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31 March 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)
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):