Mediagraphy - Discography - Trackography - Videography - Gigography - Biography - Chronology

31 March 2010

Ray Charles Live At Capital Jazz Festival (1982)

The television rights of the concert on July 24, 1982 at the Capital Jazz Festival in Knebworth were sold (for GBP 15K) to Channel Four (who cut 8 half-hour programs from the footage). These were possibly also released (as VHS?) in the Jazz On Four series in '83 (Ray's segment was maybe titled: Ray Charles In The Spotlight).*
The taping was directed by Andrew Holmes, David MacDonald, and Brian Wiseman.

* Who knows more about any release?
  1. Busted 
  2. Georgia On My Mind 
  3. Oh, What A Beautiful Morning
  4. Just Because
  5. Some Enchanted Evening
  6. Love Is What We Need (The Raelettes)
  7. I Can't Stop Loving You (intro: Baby Please Don't Go) 
  8. Hit The Road Jack
  9. Knock On Wood (The Raelettes) 
  10. Baby Please Don't Go 
  11. What'd I Say + Outro
Busted:

Baby Please Don't Go:







Photo Derick A, Thomas (Corbis).


Ray Charles Ft. In The Buddy Rich Show (1982)

In 1982 Buddy Rich filmed three shows over three days at the Statler Hotel in New York.
Ray Charles guested; he performed Georgia On My Mind, Busted (his 'own' percussionist, Pete Turre, playing on Buddy's drums) and participated in the finale (possibly doing One O'Clock Jump) with Woody Herman and Buddy Rich*.
Parts of the recordings were edited in Buddy Rich - Up Close, but without any of the guests.
The Drum Channel has promised that more (how much more, and when?) will be released later as The Buddy Rich Show.

2-DVD: Drum Channel, 18 October 2011.

*Details kindly provided by Peter Turre.

This partial audio recording includes Busted (from 1:02:56):


Promo for the Drum Channel release:

Ray Charles On The Woody Herman Show (1982)

Clipping: from Billboard.
After Hours (video still).
In 1982 Woody Herman produced 3 TV shows, in New Orleans, directed by Rick Gardner. As per April they were ready for syndication. Ray Charles guested in one of them, playing with Woody and the Woody Herman Orchestra.
The other guests were singers Natalie Cole, Jack Jones, and Lola Falana, Al Hirt on trumpet, and The Heritage Hall Jazz Band. Source.

After a brief cross talk with Woody, Ray played:
  • Then We'll Be Home (Sadies Tune)
  • I've Got News For You (with Woody Herman, singing some verses) 
  • After Hours (with Woody Herman on clarinet) 


Ray Charles In Fifty Years Of Country Music (1978)

50 Years Of Country Music was filmed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, directed by Walter C. Miller, and aired on 22 January 1978. The show was hosted by Glen Campbell, Roy Clark and Dolly Parton. Guests: Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Loretta Lynn, The Carter Family, Crystal Gayle, Merle Haggard, Minnie Pearl, Mel Tillis, Ernest Tubb, Kitty Wells, Tammy Wynette, Roy Acuff, Doug Kershaw, The Statler Brothers, and Chet Atkins.
It was in fact the first of three shows under the same title. In the second one Loretta Lynn, Larry Gatlin, Merle Haggard and Bob Wills were introduced by Dolly Parton. In the last one Roy Clark hosted; guests were Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Charlie Rich. Source here.

Ray performed:
  • Take These Chains From My Heart
  • Bye Bye Love (with Glen Campbell)
Source: Jazz On The Screen, a database compiled by David Seeker (Library of Congress). The Swedish Media Database holds a Betacam copy of the show.



DVD: Country's Greatest Stars Live. Shout! Factory, 26 January 2010.

Ray Charles & Cleo Laine In Heart And Soul (1977)

Heart And Soul was a - rather campy - 1977 show centered around Cleo Laine and Ray Charles. The program was directed by Colin Clews, and aired  by ITV. It was a lush production, with frequently changing sets (the English interpretation of a Southern plantation for a long Porgy & Bess sequence stood out), an assortment of couples in love (for the most romantic tunes, sorted by race), dancers, a big band (Jack Parnell and his Concert Orchestra), Johnny Dankworth as an extra guest, and a choir (the Jubilee Singers). The tunes were:
  1. Hallelujah I Love Her So (RC, CL)
  2. Feelings (CL)
  3. I Can See Clearly Now (RC)
  4. The Shadow Of Your Smile (JPO, JD)
  5. Being Alive (CL)
  6. Summertime (CL)
  7. It Ain't Necessarily So (CL, RC)
  8. I Loves You, Porgy (CL)
  9. I Got Plenty O' Nuttin' (RC, CL)
  10. A Woman Is A Sometime Thing (RC)
  11. Oh Lord, I'm On My Way (RC, CL)
  12. African Waltz (JPO, JP, JD)
  13. How Does The Wine Taste (CL)
  14. Then We'll Be Home (Sadies Tune) (RC)
  15. What I Did For Love (CL)
  16. Hit The Road Jack (CL, RC)
Still.
Finale with Hit The Road Jack.

In song #1, Hallelujah I Love Her So ("Hallelujah Heart And Soul"), and #16, Hit The Road Jack ("Take A Pill Bill") the singers took  some (corny) lyrical freedoms. In the long Porgy & Bess scene, Ray could be seen (but NOT
heard!) playing a bar piano. And in #7, It Ain't Necessarily So, Ray, atypically, acted out his part sitting in a rocking chair, even pretending to look up at Cleo (Bess), standing on the second floor porch of the plantation set.
Throughout the show, Ray's singing was great, but in the duets he couldn't rub out the kitsch of Laine's virtuoso (though ugly) high notes.

Summertime, I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'  (with Cleo Laine):

Ray Charles In The Man They Call Genius (1964)

From Record Mirror, Aug. 1, 1964.
Review in Variety, Sep. 16, 1964.
The Man They Call Genius was an ARTV show (UK), taped on 20 July 1964 at Fairfield Halls in Croydon, London, directed by Robert Fleming, and televised on 26 August: "A special on the inimitable Ray Charles [...] with many famous guests from the world of pop in the studio audience" (source: SixtiesCity).
Associated-Rediffusion (ARTV) was the British ITV contractor for London and parts of the surrounding counties, on weekdays between 1954 and 29 July 1968. In 1964 the directors had a change of heart, rebranding the station as "Rediffusion, London", with a very hip 1960s style, the face of swinging London in the shiny prosperous new Britain.

The footage of the show is probably gone forever.

Ray Charles In Celebration: The American Spirit (1976)

Celebration: The American Spirit was a "[...] 90-minute Bicentennial celebration supercharged with the vitality and joie de vivre that has made American popular culture the most sought-after commodity in the world", directed by Marty Pasetta, and aired on 25 January 1976 by ABC. The format put Shirley MacLaine at the Statue of Liberty, Andy Williams at Arlington Cemetery, Frank Sinatra at the Jefferson Memorial, and Ray Charles, singing (or lipsyncing) America The Beautiful on a Hollywood Hilltop. Source here.

America The Beautiful (partial):

Ray Charles In The Cotton Club '75 (1974)

Cotton Club '75 was a TV program directed by Mark Warren, taped in (probably August or September)  1974 at Stage 1 of NBC Studios in Burbank. The caption to the photo from Ebony (below) reveals that it was actually a pilot, and hosted by Ray Charles. The show aired on November 24, 1974.

The program was produced by Joe Adams. It obviously failed, just like a number of contemporary ventures (e.g. Soul Of The Holy Land, Everybody Can Be Somebody).
The TV page of the Oswego Palladium from 23 November 1974 announced it as: "Black revue blends old favorite Billy Daniels, the Nicholas Brothers, Redd Foxx and Ray Charles with newcomers Cleo Laine, Jonelle Allen and The Lockers. Highlights include Ray Charles' rendition of Let The Good Times Roll, Cleo Laine's medley, Redd Foxx's monologue and a tribute by the principals to the late Duke Ellington".
The original line-up also included Cab Calloway (see next paragraph), Franklyn Ajaye, Johnny Dankworth, Clifton Davis, Rosey Grier, Buddy Rich, and Jimmie Walker.
The Herald Statesman (Yonkers, NY) in 1982 ran an article claiming that "In 1975 [sic!] Cab [Calloway] came to the West Coast to appear in a TV special about the club with Ray Charles. But Cab walked, calling the production 'phony, an insult to the Cotton Club'". See this.

1975 was the year that the second location of the real Cotton Club was demolished.

The Paley Center has archived two 1-hour tapes (ID 79957, 79958).
Photo from Ebony, October 1974.
 "Ray shares spotlight with Clifton Davis (L), Stony [? BS] of ABC-TV Series That's My Mama, and veteran singer Billy Daniels during taping of recent NBC-TV pilot." From: Ebony, Oct. '74.
There's much more in this newspaper article (follow the link to see the whole page).

30 March 2010

Ray Charles In: Of Black America: Body And Soul (1968)

In Part 2 of the educational documentary Of Black America: Body And Soul, Ray Charles is the narrator, discussing black music. The documentary first aired on July 30, 1968 (the cover photo above is from much later date). The story is illustrated with archive performances by Mahalia Jackson, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Count Basie and Duke Ellington.
Ray recalled details of his early life and experiences, and stated that because of the isolation, misery, and humiliation suffered by American blacks, they developed much of their own music and dance forms.
Part 1, presented by Harry Reasoner, was focused on the differences between black and white athletes. Black excellence in athletcs may be due to a difference in bone and muscle structure. White athletes are better at long distances. This episode included interviews with athletes Mack Robinson, Jimmy Hines, Charlie Greene and Harry Edwards.
Body And Soul also had some modest circulation in alternative (African American) film houses.

'68 DM Body (fragment of Part 2): 

'68 DM Body (full episode):
Interview in the Toledo Blade, 30 July 1968.

Ray Charles In The Best On Record (9th Grammys, 1967)

Prior to the first live Grammys telecast in 1971 on ABC (CBS bought the rights in 1973 after moving the ceremony to Nashville, Tennessee; the American Music Awards were created for ABC as a result), a series of taped annual specials in the 1960s called The Best on Record were broadcast on NBC. Ray was a regular winner in these years.
Crying Time won two Grammys in the 9th edition (1967): for Best R&B Recording and Best R&B Solo Vocal Performance, Male.
The Best On Record, aired on March 3d 1967, was directed by Bill Foster. For the story on the perilous production of the show, read this. For the line-up see this article. Behind the scenes photos here.
As far as I know, nothing of the show has survived.

Ray Charles In Swingin' Along (1961)

 
 
Video still.
The comedy Swingin' Along was directed by Charles Barton, of Abbott & Costello fame. The film is also known under other titles: The Schnook (which seems to have been the working title) and Double Trouble. The latter represented the original cut, that was shipped to England for movie theater release.
The musical scenes were produced later (also with Roger Williams and Bobby Vee; cf. review here), in Hollywood, to spice up the film, which also required the shooting of some new bridging scenes - and inspired the new film title.
Ray Charles, "The World-Renowned Musical Sensation",  and his group performed steaming versions of Sticks And Stones and What'd I Say. Phil Guilbeau, John Hunt (trumpets) David Newman (tenor saxophone), Leroy Cooper (baritone saxophone), Bruno Carr (drums) and Edgar Willis (bass) lined up a 'small bigband' (Bruno Carr wasn't on camera; Hank Crawford is also missing from the footage, but maybe he was present). The Raelettes (f.l.t.r. on the video still: Darlene McCrea, Pat Lyles, Margie Hendricks, Gwen Berry) were prominently on camera. More film credits here.
For a fun read on the differences between the versions cf. this (and there click through to page 172). The U.S. premiere was on Feb. 14, 1962. An unusual wealth of promotion materials has survived (see above and also the 1961 Chronology page).

Ray Charles On Art Ford's Jazz Party (1958)

Art Ford's Jazz Party was a jazz show presented simultaneously on tv and on radio, on most Thursday evenings from 8 May 1958 until 25 December 1958. On 4 September and 9 October 1958 they aired Hallelujah I Love Her So. The Genius was not on camera, according to the description in Jazz On The Screen. 

29 March 2010

Ray Charles On The Andy Williams Show (1968, 1969, 1971)


Ray appeared three times on the Andy Williams Show, that ran from 1962 to 1969. At the time the 24-year old Mike Post, who also hand-picked the members of the studio band, was the music director of the show (see videos at bottom of this article). Ray's first performance was on The Andy Williams Show that aired on 28 April 1968. The other guests were Simon & Garfunkle, Mama Cass and Burt Bacharach. He acted out a cross talk and sang a medley with Andy, playing some notes of the Mondschein Sonate, and mixing a saucy version of What'd I Say with an alto sax solo during the Spinning Song. It must have been one of the last show-ups of Gwen Berry in The Raelettes. The What'd I Say duet was released on William's DVD Moon River And Me (Questar, 2011).




















With Andy's wife, Claudine Longet. These photos from the first show are dated March 26, 1968 (Photos by Gerry Null, Getty Images).
A contemporary tv guide announced: "This special [...] will be set against a background which includes a wild disotheque and a solitary desert, and will be a blend of today's musical sounds with psychedelic lights. Andy opens the show singing Natural To Be Gone and follows with Little Help From My Friends. Ray Charles and the Raelet[te]s then sing I'm Movin' On and I Can't Stop Lovin' You. Andy and Ray exchange pleasantries and Andy joins Ray and the Raelet[te]s in What'd I Say." But someone who owns a complete copy of the show informed me that I Can't Stop Lovin' You wasn't part of the set list. The footage stock agency Research Video* is licensing out I'm Movin' On.

In season 6 (aired on 18 October 1969) the other guests were Creedence Clearwater Revival and Mama Cass. Ray gave a (kind of) mini concert:

1. Instrumental theme (intro to medley)
2. I've Got A Woman
3. Georgia On My Mind
4. Hallelujah I Love Her So
5. I Can't Stop Loving You
6. I Can't Stop Loving You Baby
7. Yesterday
8. You Are My Sunshine
9. Games People Play (with Andy Williams)

In season 7 (aired on 12 January 1971) Ray peformed If You Were Mine, and (with Andy, Mama Cass and Elton John) Heaven Help Us All.
These performances have been released on various compilations of The Andy Williams Show.

I'm Movin' On and Mondschein Sonate / (with Andy:) What'd I Say / Spinning Song:


Mondschein Sonate / What'd I Say / Spinning Song (with Andy Williams):
Andy looking back on this (in a Jools Holland program):
'69 TV Andy - Games People Play:
'71 TV Andy - Heaven Help Us All (with Andy Williams, Mamma Cass, Elton John):
Here's a great interview by Bret Primack with Mike Post, reminiscing about the music production circumstances during the taping of the Andy Williams shows.

And here about the same + some more of Mike's memories:


* Their website was dead the last time I looked at it.

28 March 2010

Ray Charles On The Big T.N.T. Show (1965)

The Big T.N.T. Show was a 1966 concert film, directed by Larry Peerce and distributed by American International Pictures. It included performances by numerous popular rock and roll and R&B acts from the United States and England.
It in fact was a sequel to The T.A.M.I. Show (1964) and like it, Phil Spector was all over it. The Big T.N.T. Show was also shot on videotape and transferred to 35-millimeter film. A lot of the footage from it was reused in the film That Was Rock a.k.a. The T.A.M.I./T.N.T. Show (1984).
Poster, positioning the showas a Folk Festival...
The concert was shot before a live audience at the Moulin Rouge club in Los Angeles on November 29 and 30, 1965. Its pre-release title and the theme song were This Could Be The Night, written by Harry Nilsson, produced by Phil Spector, and performed by The Modern Folk Quartet. Ray performed What'd I Say, Georgia On My Mind, and Let The Good Times Roll.
The 'Ray Charles Orchestra' played along with the tunes #1 and # 30 (or were they only playbacking?!). The Jet article reproduced below states that the band was "composed largely of Los Angeles jazz artists", including bassist Al McKibbon and tenor player William Green. The Raelettes were (f.l.t.r. on the videos below): Lillie Fort, Gwen Berry, Fritz Basket, and Marilyn McCoo.
Ray's appearance on this show marked his come back after his rehab.

The full playlist was:
  1. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - instrumental; David McCallum conducting the orchestra (studio band + Ray Charles Orchestra)
  2. What'd I Say -  Ray Charles
  3. Downtown -  Petula Clark
  4. Do You Believe In Magic -  The Lovin' Spoonful
  5. You Didn't Have To Be So Nice -  The Lovin' Spoonful 
  6. Hey Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley 
  7. 500 Miles - Joan Baez
  8. There But For Fortune - Joan Baez 
  9. Georgia On My Mind - Ray Charles 
  10. Let The Good Times Roll  - Ray Charles  
  11. You've Lost That Loving Feeling - Joan Baez; Phil Spector on piano 
  12. Be My Baby - The Ronettes
  13. Shout -  The Ronettes
  14. Dang Me - Roger Miller  
  15. Engine Engine#9 - Roger Miller
  16. King Of The Road - Roger Miller  
  17. England Swings - Roger Miller   
  18. Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season) -  The Byrds
  19. The Bells of Rhymney - The Byrds
  20. Mr. Tambourine Man - The Byrds 
  21. You're The One - Petula Clark 
  22. My Love - Petula Clark 
  23. Universal Soldier - Donovan
  24. Reflections From A Summer's Day - Donovan
  25. Bert's Blues - Donovan
  26. Sweet Joy - Donovan
  27. Shake - Ike &Tina Turner
  28. It's Gonna Work Out Fine - Ike &Tina Turner
  29. Please, Please, Please - Ike &Tina Turner   
  30. One, Two, Three (1-2-3) - instrumental; David McCallum conducting the orchestra (studio band + Ray Charles Orchestra)
The first traces of a theatre distribution that I found are from January 1966. A compilation of the T.A.M.I. and T.N.T. shows, under the title That Was Rock (also see clip below) was released on VHS in 1984. Anchor Bay released The Big T.N.T. Show on VHS in 1988. In March 2011 the program finally came out on DVD.
The show was hosted by David McCallum's, of U.N.C.L.E. fame (the campy espionage series The Man From U.N.C.L.E), who also conducted the band. "This was actually less wacky than it may now appear since McCallum was trained - albeit briefly - at the Royal Academy of Music in London.," this source says.

According to legend, the following dialog between the two geniuses took place  backstage :

RC: 'Are you Mr. Phil Spector?’
PS: ‘Yes.’
RC: ‘Are you the Boy Genius?’
PS: ‘Yes.’
RC: ‘Are you the inventor of the Wall Of Sound?’
PS: ‘Yes.’
RC: ‘Are you the guy who had over 20 hit singles in a row?’
PS: ‘Yes’
RC: ‘Then Mr. Spector, how come there's no toilet paper in the bathroom?’


In Europe the film was distributed under the title The Big Beat



McCallum was booked as the conductor, but Phil Spector certainly seems to lead a wall of guitars here (Barney Kessel, Bill Pittman, Don Peake and Herb Ellis).



Don Peake showing the Gibson he played on:


YouTube has the complete film:


Here's a contemporary radio commercial for the film.

27 March 2010

Ray Charles As Arthur Tibbits In St. Elsewhere (1987)

Still: Arthur comforting a fellow patient
by singing
You've Got A Friend.
In Jose, Can You See? (season 5, episode 16 of St. Elsewhere's 5th season, first aired on 4 February 1987 on NBC) Ray really showed that he could act, playing the role of Arthur Tibbits, a blind street person.

Ray also gave an unplugged rendition of Carole King's You've Got A Friend.

When you live in the UK, you can download the episode here.

With opening scene (NSFW):




The sequence with the song:

Ray Charles On Shindig!

With conductor Onzy Matthews.
Shindig! was a fast-paced, teenage music TV show that featured major rock and roll artists and was televised for a live audience. At the time it arguably was the most fun and music-packed teenage show in the U.S.
Shindig! aired from September 1964 through January 1966 and began as a half hour program, expanded to an hour and retracted back to a half hour before going off the air on 8 January 1966. Ray was a guest on the show that aired on 19 May 1965, directed by Dean Whitmore. He looked as if he had gained some weight during his (rehab-)sabatical.

Billy Preston sat in for Ray during rehearsals - the first time they (kind of) worked together professionally (see Billy's testimonial clip here). At Shindig the music and vocal tracks were often recorded one or two days before the episode was taped. The performers then rehearsed numerous times to make sure that their acts looked live. In some cases - as with Ray's, I guess - the vocals were live.
Ad in Billboard, 15 October 1966.

Opening medley (song excerpts): The Righteous Brothers: This Little Girl of Mine. Donna Loren, Bobby Sherman: Sticks and Stones. The Blossoms: Guess Who. The Wellingtons: Hit the Road Jack. Ray Charles: I Can't Stop Loving You. (End of medley). Ray Charles: I've Got A Woman, Georgia. The Righteous Brothers: Bring It on Home To Me, Sticks and Stones. Donna Loren: Cycle Set, Into My Heart. Dinah Lee: You Don't Talk about Love, Oh, Boy! Bobby Sherman: Hey Little Girl, Well Alright. The Zombies: It's Alright with Me, Summertime. George Soulé: I Love The Way You Love. Joe Williams: I'm Sticking with You Baby. Glen Campbell: I Guess I'm Dumb. Ray Peterson: House Without Windows. The Wellingtons: Little Old Lady from Pasadena. The Shindogs: Hippy Hippy Shake. Finale: Ray Charles: What'd I Say (with the Righteous Brothers and The Blossoms). Source here.

There are several DVD collections of the series. Shindig! The Complete Series, from 2005, seems okay.

Georgia On My Mind:


I've Got A Woman:


Georgia On My Mind (Atlanta, 1988)

For a CNN shoot from 25 September 1988 (someone painting a portrait of Ray on the foreground, for Ray's birthday five days later), look here.

Los Angeles Grants Ray Charles Studio Landmark Status

Raw video materials from CNN covering Ray Charles' last public appearance, on 30 April 2004, at RPM in Los Angeles are kept here.
I just found back this moving article by Ray's biographer, David Ritz: Last Words of Brother Ray.

Ray Charles Live In Antibes (2001)

From Ray's last Antibes concert in 2001 (with a quintet line-up including Jean-Michel Bernard on organ and Michel Gauchier on sax), on or around 21 July, we have a shaky clip of Just For A Thrill, a nearly complete version of Georgia (which you can watch here), plus a brief news report with some concert and interview fragments (Source: Ina, ID 1761739001044; mother tape 1761739001) from a France 2 news cast that aired on 21 July ("A myth, a living legend... The organizers of the jazz festival [...] managed to convince the great Ray Charles to return...").

Antibes, 2001:

24 March 2010

Ray Charles Live In Japan (1982)

The series of clips shown below represent a - seemingly complete - video registration of concerts at the Nippon Budōkan in Tokyo on 17 and 18 December 1982*. The sound quality (of the YouTube clips or of the original registration?) is mediocre at best. But the quality and the impact of the close-ups of Ray is high. And seeing George Yanagi (Japan's coolest R&B artist) having the day of his life is big fun.
  1. Intro
  2. Riding Thumb
  3. Busted
  4. Oh, What A Beautiful Morning
  5. Just Because
  6. Born To Love Me (with Elaine Woodard)
  7. Hit the Road Jack
  8. I Can't Stop Loving You (with intro: Hit The Road Jack + A Fool for You) 
  9. Hallelujah I Love Her So (with George Yanagi)
  10. Georgia On My Mind (with George Yanagi)
  11. What'd I Say
  12. Outro** 
The brief - strange and slurring - improv on Hit The Road Jack almost sounds like a mistake; Ray quickly lets it fade over in a few notes of A Fool For You, a much more usual intro to I Can't Stop Loving You.

Personnel:***
Musicians: Dean Congin, Carlos Chavez, Doug Martin, Phil Guilbeau - trumpets; John Boice, Dan Marcus, Mayo Tiana, Steve Davis - trombones; Brian Mitchell, Rickey Woodard, Rudy Johnson, Clifford Solomon (bandleader), Louis Van Taylor - saxophones; Ricky Kirkland - drums; Tony Matthews - guitar; Jeff Takiguchi - bass; Ernest Vantrease - Hammond B3. The Raelettes: Trudy Cohran, Estella Yarbrough, Elaine Woodard, Janice Mitchell, Ann Johnson.

*Information kindly provided by my friend sk4260volt, who entitled his YouTube playlist as Joyful Christmas Concert. **Setlist reconstructed by Hector Tarín. ***Information kindly provided by Doug Martin, Dean Congin, and Janice Mitchell.

[Intro +] Riding Thumb:

Busted:
 
Oh, What A Beautiful Morning:

Just Because:

Hit The Road Jack (+ intro I Can't Stop with elements of A Fool For You):

I Can't Stop Loving You:
 
Hallelujah I Love Her So (with George Yanagi):

Georgia On My Mind (with George Yanagi):

Born To Love Me (with Elaine Ross):
  >
What'd I Say:
 

19 March 2010

Ray Charles: Welcome to Crossover Website


In 2002 Ray Charles revived the CrossOver label, just to release his own album Thanks For Bringing Love Around Again (and an album by his protégé Ellis Hall).
In 2003 the record company even got its own multimedia website, which - curiously enough - is still live, and still running some video and audio squibs.

Ray's video welcome message is here. A few tunes from the album are here.

18 March 2010

Kennedy Center's Honors Tribute to Ray Charles (1986)

Ray Charles received The Kennedy Center Honors for exemplary lifetime achievement in the performing arts in 1986 from President Ronald Reagan. According to one of my sources, Stevie Wonder performed I Just Called To Say I Love You in tribute to Charles, while 50 children from the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind did America The Beautiful. The Columbus Times of 30 December 1986 reported that the children sang You Light Up My Life and that Stevie Wonder played America The Beautiful on his harmonica.
A 'complete 2-hour video' of the event is offered on the web, but I'm not sure if Ray's tribute is really part of this (the Columbus Times wrote: "Sorry you will not eye or ear these side events on the tube rebroadcast...").

This was also the only time - as far as I know - that Ray Charles was caught singing the national anthem . Watch a fragment of it here (don't miss Lucy holding Ray's hand).

There's also a video containing parts of that 1986 event (including a biographic documentary), and an October 2003 performance by Ellis Hall - at the request of the ailing Ray Charles, who had recently been co-producing an Ellis album on Crossover Records. Watch it here (requires RealPlayer). And don't miss this photo. Some more fragments of the same '86 event, Ellis' 2003 act, and more promo stuff from Ellis are here (again with a confusing timeline;-):



The 1986 program was announced as "An evening of tribute and entertainment", first from the White House, then the Kennedy Center. It took place on December 7, 1986.
Below is the - seemingly complete - footage of the tribute to Lucille Ball. In Part 1 Walter Cronkite introduces the honorees and shows a recap of their evening at the White House. Ray, sitting right next to Lucy, is on camera a lot in the other parts as well. Reagan's speech can be watched here; national anthem here.

Part 1 of tribute show for Lucille Ball:
Part 2:
Part 3:

For a clip of the honorees singing the national anthem, see thisThe same sequence was also filmed by 
NBC.