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02 May 2010

Ray Charles Live In Melbourne (2003)

This was Ray Charles' one-before-last completely recorded live concert, for an audience of 18,000 people, in February 2003 in Melbourne. Produced and broadcast (on 18 April 2003) by ABC Radio National. Ray Charles "and his quartet" performed a.o. Route 66, Hallelujah I Love Her So, Georgia On My Mind, A Song For You, and Angelina. In 2004 Concord Records considered to release the concert as a CD, but this never happened.
In this concert Ray was accompanied by Peter Turre on drums, Tom Fowler on bass, Brad Rabuchin on guitar and Jean Michel-Bernard on Hammond organ.
ABC Radio re-broadcast the show on 25 and 27 June 2004, 'with special permission from Joe Adams'. The program was presented by Paul Petran.
The (bootleggish) CD below only has the tunes. It has circulated for a short while after Ray's death.

The setlist was:

  1. The Preacher
  2. Route 66
  3. A Song For You
  4. Hallelujah I Love Her So
  5. Georgia On My Mind
  6. Stranger In My Own Home Town
  7. Angelina
  8. Teardrops From My Eyes
  9. Just For A Thrill
  10. It Had To Be You
  11. Straight No Chaser

#1 (The Preacher) is the Horrace Silver Tune; this is the first recording by Ray that I know of. #11 (the instrumental Straight No Chaser) was not frequently on Ray's setlists, but, remarkably, it was also the last tune at a concert in 1976 (Antibes).


  1. iwasiw_comma_james@hotmail.com15 April, 2011 14:50

    I was there and for my continued well being, I need a recording of this show. I can prove my assertion. If you have a recording, please contact me.

  2. Hi. I think I was at this event. Was it held in Melbourne Australia near the Polly Woodside boat, next to the Melbourne Convention Centre? If it was the same day... What a FANTASTIC performance it was and what a great man he was. Thanks

  3. Brad Rabuchin13 June, 2012 04:49

    I remember that one being a particularly good and energetic performance. The first date of a short Australian tour. Yes it was outside near the convention center and John Mayall and his band also played.