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12 April 2010

Ray Charles On The Carol Burnett Show (1972)

Ray Charles signs the Char-woman's autograph book.
This photo is dated on Jan. 14.
Ray was on the show three times in 1972. In the 17th show of season 5, that aired on 26 January 1972 on CBS he performed a medley duet with Carol, in her role as the Char-woman. The black-and-white photo of Ray sitting at his piano was dated January 14, so that may have been the date that this show was taped. The duet was released on the DVD that was part of the photo book publication Ray Charles: Yes Indeed! The Photographs Of Joe Adams (Genesis Publications, 2009). The medley can be broken down into:
  • Georgia/Yesterday*
  • Blues In The Night
  • God Bless The Child
  • Hallellujah I Love Her So
Update 29 October 2019:
The Char-medley turns out to be much more complicated than described above. You can enjoy it here (and don't miss the first sequence, exclsuively showing Ray and his girls):

* The two tunes and their lyrics were mixed in the medley's arrangement. Also cf. the Suit101 blog: "According to a long-standing theory, Yesterday was sparked by Ray Charles' version of Georgia On My Mind, which it resembles in structure and chord progression. [...] If it served as [McCartney's] inspiration, however, he didn’t pick up on it, and the two songs ultimately sound very different."
Ray Charles doing a duet with Carol Burnett in one of the shows.
These set photos are dated 14 January 1972, and were taken during the taping of this first show. 

Jet Magazine (27 Apr 1972) mentioned what must be a second episode, broadcast on 26 April 1972, and Ray came back a third time on the 11th show of the 6th season (aired on 22 November 1972). In the latter show Ray Charles starred "as a cocktail piano player, singing tunes for a sentimental customer, Carol Burnett".
Still from the November episode.
There's a legitimate 20 DVD set encompassing all (?) CB shows, Carol Burnett & Friends, but I'm not sure if all Ray's performances are included in this. The Carol Burnett Show - The Lost Episodes  (Time-Life 2015) only has the January 26, 1972 show with Ray.

I've watched a(n imperfect) copy of the bar scene from the Nov. 1972 episode. Ray and Carol played a great sketch, with duets on The End Of Me and I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Cry.


Here's Carol (1917) with some fond memories:

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