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11 April 2010

Ray Charles On The Mike Douglas Show (1974, 1976, 1977, 1979)

The Mike Douglas Show, airing in syndication from 1961 until 1982, was one of the greatest talk shows of its day. He had many of the best musical acts, from Sam Cooke to Liza Minnelli, from the Jackson Five to James Brown. Ray appeared at least 7 times, 4 times as a co-host. But as good as sure he was also on the shows on February 6th (episode 113) and 8th (episode 115) in 1974.
  • 1974 (February 4, Season 12, Episode 111): Mike's co-host this week is singer Ray Charles; guests are actor James Earl Jones, Tony Orlando and Dawn, comedienne Betty Walker and Weight Watchers founder Jean Nidetch. [Cynthia Scott informed me that during the week The Raelettes also contributed to the show].
  • 1974 (February 5, Season 12, Episode 112): Ray Charles co-hosts; guests are Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian, actor Brock Peters and comedian Franklyn Ajaye.
  • 1974 (February 6, Season 12, Episode 113): Ray Charles co-hosts; guests are singer-comedian Jim Stafford, news anchor Byron MacGregor and Sister Sue Roth director of Social Service for Philadelphia Center for the Blind.
  • 1974 (February 7, Season 12, Episode 114): Ray Charles co-hosts; guests are actor Lloyd Nolan, Sesame Street's Bob McGrath and comedian Freddie Prinze.
  • This ad, from TV Guide (9 - 15 Feb.)
    announces that Ray was co-
    hosting the show during
    this whole week, but he 
    only guested on February 15, 1974.
  • 1974 (February 8, Season 12, Episode 115): Ray Charles concludes his co-hosting duties; guests are TV personality Dick Clark, singer Joe Williams*, actor-dancer Ben Vereen and hydroponic gardener J. "Lem" Jones. 
  • 1974 (February 15, Season 12, Episode 120): Michel LeGrand co-hosts; guests are Opera baritone Robert Merrill, pianist-singer Ray Charles, lyricist Hal David, singer Mary Phillips, musician Bob Fordyce and author-naturalist Jean-Pierre Hallet.
  • 1976 (June 3, Season 14, Episode 194); a copy of this 90 minute show is archived by Historic Films (ID Tele-756). Robert Goulet co-hosted; guests were actor Abe Vigoda, comedienne Brett Somers, Maybelle Segal, Rudi Unterthiner, and Ray Charles. He was interviewed by Goulet (between #1 and #2) and performed:
  1. Living For The City
  2. America The Beautiful
  3. The Long And Winding Road
  4. With Mike Douglas and James
    Earl Jones, on Feb. 4, 1974.
    From unidentified episode. Raelettes f.l.t.r.: Vernita Moss (?),
    Susaye Greene, Mable John , Dorothy Berry and
    Madelyn Quebec (?).
  5. Take Me Home, Country Roads
    • 1977 (February 10, Season 15, Episode 99): with composer Michel Legrand, actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, actor Gavin MacLeod and comedian Marty Allen. Highlight: Ray and Michel perform Georgia On My Mind. This commemorative clip has a fragment with Legrand - so far the only hint that any of Ray's appearances in this show may have survived:
    • 1979 (February 15, Season 17, Episode 92): Ray Charles co-hosts; guests are comedian Kip Adotta, an acrobatic team and Frank Bindhammer (who co-founded a juvenile offenders' program in New Jersey). Ray performed (see backstage photo here):
      1. I Can See Clearly Now
      2. She Knows
      3. Riding Thumb 
    From unidentified episode.
    That last show had a very peculiar scene, where Ray got a lift from the acrobatic 'Tanger Troupe'. The (shocking!) image is here. There must have been more frightening moments - in one of the other episodes "Ray Charles rode onto the set astride a motorcycle".

    * Joël Dufour pointed me at the great Joe Williams Bio-discography by Yoshikazu Takahashi, which lists 7 tunes that Ray and Joe played during this show. Attributing this to this February 8-episode of the Mike Douglas Show is my conjecture (Takahashi, probably erroneously, associates this with the Mike Douglas Show episode of June 14, 1974). It would be marvelous if Ray and Joe played all or most of these tunes together, but the most feasible division of tasks would be that Ray played #1 to 3, that Joe played #4 to 6, and that they played #7 together.
    1. Doxy [= the Sonny Rollins standard]
    2. Come Live With Me
    3. Every Saturday Night
    4. Everyday [= Every Day I have The Blues? (cf. this)]
    5. Drifting And Drifting [= Drifting Blues? (cf. this)]
    6. Have Mercy Baby [= The Dominoes' tune with that title? (cf. this)]
    7. What’d I Say 

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