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12 April 2010

Ray Charles On The Dinah Shore (Chevy) Show (1963)

Ray Charles appeared in The Dinah Shore Show in its 7th season, episode 5, aired on 20 or 23 January 1963. The other guests were Liberace, Peter Nero and Big Tiny Little. The program traced the history of the piano "from the lyrical precision of Chopin to the spirited improvisations of modern jazz". Ray performed Just A Little Lovin', You Don't Know Me, and What'd I Say. In the finale Charles, Nero, Liberace and Little backed Dinah on Zip A Dee Do Dah.

The most talked about moment in the white press the day after the show was that Dinah had put her hand on the shoulder of Ray (see photo below). The contemporary black press only talked about Ray's fat $15,000 cheque. (Also read this article by Marc Myers: How TV Sabotaged Racism).

The show probably was taped & 
broadcast in color.
In the 5-DVD Boxset titled The Dinah Shore Chevy Show - 10 Episodes, Ray is in show #10. A tape of the original show is in the UCLA Library. The footage of the show is offered for licensing by Retro Video; black and white copies have been circulating on the web.

Ray brought his orchestra and The Raelettes to the show. I advise to watch the whole program (it's a gem), but if you only want to see & hear The Genius, follow these cues:
  • [Dinah's laudatory intro] 27:00
  • Just A Little Lovin' 27:40
  • You Don't Know Me 30:50
  • What'd I Say 34:24
  • [Finale:] Zip A Dee Do Dah (with Dinah Shore, Liberace, Peter Nero and Big Tiny Little) 54.39
At the first notes of You Don't Know Me you can see one of the trumpet players - probably Phil Guilbeau - returning to his chair, most probably after taking a solo... Are we missing a song, or did the director miss him when he came forward to play these last tones of Just A Little Lovin'?

For more on Ray & Dinah also see this (1956) and this (1967).

The integral TV show (the original was probably - also? - broadcast in color):

At the end of this copy there are another 8 minutes or so. Were they originally used as an announcement for the whole show?

Photos and clippings

A white hand on a black shoulder... From Jet, TV - Ray Charles, Dinah Shore, 21 November 1963.

From Jet, 24 January 1963.
From Ebony, April 1963.
Rehearsal scene. From Jet, 31 January 1963.

Rehearsal scenes: Dinah Shore and Ray Charles. Photos by Howard Morehead.

Still from the show's finale. Source: Billboard, 15 October 1966.

Rehearsal scene: Liberace and Ray Charles.
Ray's booking and PR agents and Atlantic would re-use the photos taken at the set of the TV program for many years. This one is from an article in the Dutch newspaper Nieuwsblad van het Noorden, from April 27, 1963. (The article   specs out the groups' personnel in 1962).

Personnel (per section, f.l.t.r.)*:
Musicians: Marcus Belgrave, Wallace Davenport John Hunt, Phil Guilbeau; Leon Comegys, Henderson Chambers, Julian Priester, Keg Johnson - trombones; David Newman, Hank Crawford, Buddy Pearson, James Clay, Leroy Cooper - saxophones; Unidentified - drums; Sonny Forriest - guitar; Edgar Willis - bass. The Raelettes: Margie Hendricks, Gwen Berry, Pat Lyles, Darlene McCrea.
*Many thanks to Joël Dufour.
Since '63 a cluster of photos, apparently made during the taping of this show, has been published in Ray Charles-related publicity materials. But the odd thing is that the situations depicted in these photos aren't reflected in the actual footage of the show as we know it. Obviously, somebody - probably Joe Adams - decided to use the set of the TV show for the shooting of a series of publicity photos. All or most of the photos shown in this blog post were made by Howard Morehead.
 Publicity photo: Ray - standing in front of the Orchestra - acts as if he's taking a solo on saxophone. Note that Hank Crawford is holding a flute here. Joe Adams accidentally stepping into the picture?!
Publicity photo: this one was probably taken a second later.
Publicity photo: Ray Charles and Dinah Shore standing in front of the Orchestra.
Publicity photo: Ray Charles and Dinah Shore, flanked by The Raelettes, standing in front of the Orchestra (clipped from c. 1964 souvenir brochure).

Publicity photo: David Newman on flute (clipped from c. 1964 souvenir brochure).
Publicity photo: in the mid Sixties Ray Charles' concerts frequently featured a pre-intermission section announced as "the Band within a Band", i.e. the members of Ray's 'small big band'; here with f.l.t.r. Leroy Cooper, David Newman, Hank Crawford, John Hunt, Phil Guilbeau (clipped from c. 1964 souvenir program).

This album cover photo (released in August '63) was also shot during the production of the Dinah Shore show. Photo by Howard Morehead. Cover design by Frank Gauna.
Cover art of an Australian EP from 1969.

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