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03 April 2010

Ellie, My Love (1989)

In 1989, Ray Charles recorded a version of the Southern All Stars' song Itoshi no Ellie as Ellie, My Love for a Suntory TV commercial, reaching #3 on Japan's Oricon chart. Eventually, it sold more than 400,000 copies, and became that year's best-selling single performed by a Western artist for the Japanese music market. Ray released the track also on his Would You Believe album. The first video below looks like a relict of a Japanese tv show, possibly at the time of Ray's second Japan tour in 1990.

This was the first time the tune was played live with the band and The Raelettes - probably in a TV studio in Yokohama.

 '90 LC Tokyo BB:

Another Suntory commercial, obviously from a separate, preceding campaign, from 1989, used a new arrangement of What'd I Say as a soundscore. The full version of this arrangement was released in Japan in '89 as a CD, and much later also on the album Thanks For Bringing Love Around Again (2002).
The commercial version was arranged and produced by Jerry Hey, and engineered at Light House Studio by Rock McKerman and Mick Buzawski.

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