I think I am totally with you. But, I don’t know if there can ever be another, say, Ray Charles–because Ray Charles is the combination of a great talent and a no longer existent world boxed in by nascent inter/national media.
Imagine, in 1955, when “I Got a Woman” went to #1 in the US, how many other R&B artists were out there who never ended up getting a chance to make records, and whom we’ve now never heard of. Or ones who cut a 45 that is now lost to obscurity.
I don’t know that we’d see Ray Charles as such an amazingly legendary talent if all of those other artists could have made albums, and we could hear them a lot.
And, looking at it the other way, people don’t know that the Motown girl-group, The Velvelettes are great because The Supremes, etc., were the ones Motown turned into legends, circa 1964-65.
It’s not that Ray Charles or The Supremes are made less talented by suddenly being seen against more obscure contemporaries. It’s just that there’s less space for them to be legends on a pedestal.