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03 April 2010

Ray Charles: The Genius Of Soul (1986)

The caption to the photo above, from the archives of the Morning Call, makes clear that The Genius Of Soul documentary was an American Masters Of Jazz special, and that it was first aired on January 3, 1986 (on PBS).

Ray shaving (video still).
Ray Charles: The Genius Of Soul is a good documentary written and directed by Yvonne Smith.
It profiled him with (dramatized) scenes from his youth, music, anecdotes and commentary from David Ritz, Billy Joel, Quincy Jones, Billy Preston, Willie Nelson, Dr. John, Dizzy Gillespie, Hank Crawford, David Fathead Newman, and the Genius himself. It made use of archival footage of Ray, Muddy Waters, Nat King Cole, Count Basie, Quincy Jones, Louis Jordan, etc. The documentary was updated in 1991.
For a brief but very cool and funny sequence, look here. This Polish source shows 10 minutes of the documentary for free (and offers a local payment method if you want to download the whole program). Also read this and this.

The complete documentary in the 1991 version can be watched here. Part of the documentary, including Georgia On My Mind (taken from Shindig) is here:

VHS 1991 version: Warner Bros/WEA, 9 March 1993, ASIN B00008T3WL.

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