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06 April 2010

Ray Charles On The Parade Of Stars (1987 - 1995)

The first Lou Rawls Parade Of Stars (in 1998 renamed in An Evening Of Stars), a telethon for the UNCF (United Negro College Fund), aired in 1979, and became one of the longest running and most successful televised events in US history; raising over $200 million to supplement the cost of higher education for its scholarship recipients and member institutions.
Ray featured on the show at least 4 times. I found him listed in the cast line-ups for the shows recorded on 3 December 1987 (aired the 29th), on 17 December 1988 and 30 December 1989, and the one aired on 6 January 1995. The submitter of the first clip below on YouTube specifies it's from 1994 [sic!], and mentions The HB Barnum Orchestra, with David Rokeach - drums, Kevin Brandon - bass, Tony Drake - guitar, Ernie Fields Jr.- sax, and Jorge Arciniega - trumpet.

A Song For You (1995):

Trailer (1995):

The Paley Center for Media has archived an undated PSA (from circa 1985), where "Ray Charles explains in a jingle that a whole new generation [of black students] is 'reaching for the dream that spells tomorrow.'" This infomercial is part of a long running campaign with the evergreen-slogan "A mind is a terrible thing to waste", created in 1971 by Y&R. See Youtube for a long series of samples from this campaign.
The 30th anniversary celebration TV show (nowadays titled An Evening Of Stars) of the UNCF included the presentation of a Founders Award to The Ray Charles Foundation in recognition of Ray's support of the scholarship fund. 

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