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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).

These photos from the first show are dated March 26, 1968. Photos by Gerry Null, Getty Images).

Photos: Getty.

Backstage, with Andy's wife, Claudine Longet. 

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.

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