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30 May 2010

Ray Charles Ft In Mies, A Dutch Talk Show (1981)

Mies Bouwman reikt een gouden plaat uit aan Ray Charles

The clip below entails one of the most embarrassing sequences in the international history of television. It may also be labeled as the longest blooper in the history of entertainment.
The circumstances weren't that bad. Mies Bouwman, the host of this talkshow (adequately titled Mies), had a reputation of being the "mother of Dutch television entertainment". She was a highly competent producer and presenter of numerous formats since the earliest days of Dutch television. The show was directed by Leen Timp (accidentally Mies' husband), a highly skilled and extremely experienced tv maker as well. The show was live, aired on 17 (or 18) November 1981, from the 't Spant Theater in Bussum. The Dutch have a sound reputation when it comes to live tv production.
The other guests were soccer player Johan Cruijff, comedian/actor Johnny Kraaykamp, singer Trea Dobbs (of local Ploem Ploem Jenka-fame) and Diana Ross (who was interviewed by Mies, but - thank God - didn't have to perform live).
After a quick introduction by Mies, the set opened to show Ray, sitting at a baby grand. The orchestra tape didn't start where (or as) Ray expected, and he had to hum a few notes before tackling the lyrics. His rendition of Your Cheating Heart, however, was excellent.
When he was done with that, Mies walked up to him, with a big bunch of flowers. It took a while before the lighting director found back both of them. Mies handed over the flowers to Ray, for whom this obviously was big enough of a surprise. But then she had another one waiting for him.
She presented a golden record for The Legend Lives (a compilation album; probably to be identified with Arcade ADE G 139), which sold 50,000 copies in The Netherlands.
To top it off, she explained that the record company had put some commemorative text on the golden record, in braille.
To accept the golden record and braille-read it, Ray first had to get rid of the flowers. He succeeded in doing just that, be it after a brief struggle with Mies, and quickly concluded that he couldn't feel the braille (because the record company had finished the present off with a glass plate). Mies, in her worst schoolgirl dunglish, apologized to Ray, abundantly blaming the record company.
Hurrying to the next item of her show, she left Ray, helplessly, behind in the middle of the set.
Source materials: Beeld en Geluid-archief, Document ID: 98923.

Your Cheating Heart:

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