Homeless man spreads joy, captivates audience with musical talent

**Embargo: Atlanta, Ga.** Lester Haywood is homeless, but like Ray Charles, as long as he has piano, his soul shines.

ATLANTA (WGCL) — Let me tell you a little story about soul. It takes place here in Georgia, a state that cultivates something we all need…music!

This story starts with the influence of arguably the greatest musical artist to come from Georgia, Ray Charles.

“All my life as a kid, I’ve always wanted to play music to make people happy. I met a man when I was a kid. I am not his son, but his name is Ray Charles, and I promised him one day, that if I keep on trying to do what I’m going to so, I’m going to play some music just like him,” Lester Haywood.

Haywood is homeless, but like Ray Charles, as long as he has piano, his soul shines.

“I’m homeless, not by choice, just temporarily. I play music, I play the piano!” explained Haywood.

So where does a homeless man get a piano?

“I have no idea! It might have come from heaven. I don’t know but it’s here. I was just walking through,” said Haywood. “I left the library and here’s a piano. I just come up and just start playing. The piano is out here for the general public.”

The city of Atlanta places pianos out on the streets for the public to play, but I bet they never thought one would be graced with the soul of Ray “Lester Haywood” Charles.

“It gives me energy, musical energy! When I play the piano, it makes me feel in a different world. It’s where I want to be. Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful! If they happy, it makes me even happier.”

If you are in a tough spot, I think Lester and his music really teach us a lesson on what’s important


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