Ray Charles Video Museum

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

31 October 2014

Light Out Of Darkness

The genesis of the song, as described
in a (c. 1965) concert souvenir
Album: Country And Western Meets Rhythm And Blues (aka Together Again), ABC/Paramount 520, August 1965.

Ray wrote this wonderful song in '64 and the recording was produced - with the band - that same year for the film Ballad In Blue.
The - longer - album version was delivered with strings and choir.

Ballad In Blue 1964:

As concert souvenir programs from the period show, the song was on the playlist of the band between 1966 and 1968.

Lil' Darlin' (With The Ray Charles Septet)

Compilation album: Pure Genius: The Complete Atlantic Recordings, Atlantic/WEA, 20 September 2005 (DVD with Newport 1960 concert).

"An unusually slow instrumental from the Basie Book", warned Willis Connover in his introduction to the 1960 performance of the tune.

With Ray Charles - piano; Phil Guilbeau - trumpet, John Hunt - flugelhorn; Hank Crawford - alto saxophone; David Fathead Newman - tenor saxophone; Leroy Cooper - baritone saxophone; Edgar Willis - bass; Milton Turner - drums.
Solos by Ray Charles - p, John Hunt - flh, Phil Guilbeau - tp, David Newman - ts, Hank Crawford - as.

The same line-up (with only Milt Turner replaced by Brono Carr) performed the tune as brilliantly at all four concerts in Antibes, in July 1961. It's still a riddle to me how the camera men succeeded in missing it all four times.

Newport 1960:

'60 LC Newport - Released
'61 LC Antibes - 4x

Listen Up (With Quincy Jones A.O.)

Promotional CD, liner notes.
Single3: Quincy Jones, Listen Up, Warner Bros/Quest Records, 7 September 1990 (CD single: Warner Bros, 14 September 1990).

Vinyl release.
The exact release history is totally unclear to me, but this maxi single was part of a multimedia package with the documentary and "book with music" Listen Up - The Lives Of Quincy Jones, "a Warner Bros. motion picture", available with cassette or CD. It obviously was also released on vinyl. The maxi single contains 7 remixes of Quincy's composition Listen Up.

The core track features: Tevin Campbell, Siedah Garrett, Karyn White, Ice T, Al B. Sure!, The Winans, James Ingram, El DeBarge, Big Daddy Kane, Melle Mel, Ray Charles. Keyboards Programming: Eric Kupper and Mac Quayle. Arranged by: Arthur Baker and Arif Mardin.

Raw Dance Mix:

On YouTube several other mixes have been uploaded.

Distored video (tune starts at 4:15):

The whole film (VHS: Warner Home Video, 1990; DVD: Warner Bros, 27 January 2009):

30 October 2014

Listen, They're Playing My Song

Single (B): ABC 11133, August 1968, b/w Sweet Young Thing Like You.
Compilation album: Singular Genius, Concord Records, 15 November 2011.

Recorded at RPM Studios in Los Angeles, with strings and choir.

Little Drummer Boy

Album: The Spirit Of Christmas, Columbia 39415, January 1986.

The tracks of this album were recorded at RPM International in Los Angeles - almost all of them with members of the Ray Charles Orchestra - in the fall of 1984.

The one exception was this tune, which was recorded "off season" (i.e. in a hiatus between tours, maybe in early 1985 before Ray hit the road again) with a few LA session musicians, amongst whom James Gadson.

Ray had toyed with the idea of a Christmas album for many years. Proof of that can be found in a documentary item produced by the ABC news magazine 20/20, aired on 12 November 1981  - with a few seconds where you can see Ray working in his studio, experimenting with a recording of Little Drummer Boy (in a radically different arrangement).

Gospel concert 2002:

'88c TV Christmas - With orchestra tape
'02 LC Gospel - Released

Little Hotel Room (With Merle Haggard)

Album: Friendship, Columbia 39415, February 1985.
Single (B): Columbia 5575, August 1985, b/w Two Old Cats Like Us.            .

Recorded at the Eleven Eleven Studios and the Soundshop Studio in Nashville, and the Pedernales Studio in Spicewood, with c&w veteran Billy Sherrill. Ray finished things off at the RPM studio in Los Angeles.

The session musicians working on the album were: Hargus Pig Robbins, Robert Ogdin, Bobby Wood - keyboards; Jose McElhiney, Bill McElhiney - trumpet; Billy Sanford, Reggie Young; Henry Strzelecki, Robert Wray II - bass; Pete Drake, Buddy Emmons, Dale Sellers - acoustic guitar; Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Kennedy - acoustic guitar; Jerry Douglas - dobro; Terry McMillan - harmonica, percussion; Ron Snake Reynolds - percussion; Jerry Carrigan, Kenneth Malone, Jerry Kroon - drums. Bill McElhiney - arranger.

Little Rock Getaway

Compilation album: Pure Genius: The Complete Atlantic Recordings, Atlantic, 2005 (1952-1959), Disk 7.

From the rehearsal session with Ahmet Artegun, on 10 May 1953, in New York.

Living For The City

Album: Renaissance, Crossover 9005, June 1975.
Single (A): Crossover/Atlantic 981, July 1975, b/w Then We'll Be Home (Sadies Tune).

The album was recorded in late 1974 and early 1975 at RPM International in Los Angeles.

Ray later explained, "I do it a lot differently than Stevie; I cut out a lot of the musical flourishes and I put that long rap in the middle, talkin' ‘bout the rats and roaches." The song earned Ray a Grammy Award in 1975 in the Best Rhythm & Blues Vocal Performance, Male category.

The album was taped with The Ray Charles Orchestra, The Raelettes, on a few tracks also with some alumni of the band and other session musicians.
The band members were: Jeff Conrad, Bob Coassin, Phil Guilbeau, Jack Evans - trumpets; Wally Huff, Ken Tussing, Glen Childress, Steve Davis - trombones; Andy Ennis, Clifford Solomon, Ed Pratt, James Clay - saxophones; Leroy Cooper - baritone saxophone, band leader; Joe Harris - bass; Tony Matthews - guitar; Ernest Vantrease - keyboards. James Gadson - drums. The precise line-up of The Raelettes is uncertain.

Complete album (this is track #1):

The only thing better than one genius is...

50 Years show (1991) with behind-the-scenes footage:

'75 TV Midnight NM
'75 LC Japan - Released
'75 TV Cher
'76 TV Douglas
'91 LC 50 Years - With Stevie Wonder - Released

Living Without You

Album: Would You Believe? Warner Bros 26343, October 1990.

Recorded at RPM International in Los Angeles. Musicians remained uncredited; Rich Cason produced the synthesizer parts.

Living Without You by 08 - RAY CHARLES on Grooveshark

Lonely Avenue

Single (A): Atlantic 1108, August 1956, b/w Leave My Woman Alone.
Album: Yes Indeed, Atlantic 8025, October 1958.

Recorded on 16 May 1956 in New York with Joe Bridgewater, John Hunt - tp; David Newman - as, ts; Emmett Dennis - bs; William Peebles - d; Roosevelt Sheffield; The Cookies - backing vocals.