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11 June 2010

The Genius Of Ray Charles, Live In Australia (1967)

(Caltex Presents) The Genius Of Ray Charles was a television special in 2 parts of a live concert taped on 18 August 1967, directed by Norman Spencer, presented by John Ewart, produced by ATN 7 (then a TV station in Sydney, now part of the 7 Group in Australia; aka CTC 7). Billy Preston sang a couple of songs and did some dancing. The 2 x 60-minute footage was occasionally interrupted by messages from the sponsor, Caltex, delivered by the actor John Ewart. The footage contains the title The Genius Of Ray Charles while the leader states The Ray Charles Show (with the leader of one component stating Episode 2). Part 1 was broadcast on 4 or 7 November 1967. The air date of part 2, also on Channel 7, was 15 January 1968 (source here). Both parts were scheduled to fill an hour.
The concert took place at the Festival Hall in Melbourne (cf. this). The Sydney Morning Herald's daily tv guide of 15 January 1967 announced the second part of the program program as:
"CALTEX PRESENTS The Genius of Ray Charles Recorded live from Melbourne's Festival Hall."
The tunes of the 2nd show, listed in the newspaper article were (with obvious corrections):
  • I Can't Stop Loving You
  • You Made Me Love You
  • You Don't Know Me
  • Hit The Road Jack
  • Shake
  • Georgia On My Mind
  • Sister Mary [= Eleanor Rigby?]
  • I Don't Need No Doctor
  • How Deep Is The Ocean (How High Is The Sky)
  • Going Out Of My Head (?)
  • Something Deep Inside [= Hey Girl?]
If Going Out Of My Head is a correct title (as far as I know, the Charles troupe didn't perform it elsewhere), the best candidate for the composition is the Randazzo/Weinstein song with this title (and then it would surely have been performed by a Raelette).
From the sources below, we know that at least one more song on the setlist of the second program was:
  • I've Got A Woman 
Reelin' In The Years has footage of Ray's arrival on Sydney Airport (2m52s), and of an interview (1m10s) taped in Sydney, both dated 16 August 1967. The interview fragment (starting at 24:06) in this educational program about drugs probably comes from this footage:


In that same year, but without precise date, they also list versions of Yesterday and You Are My Sunshine, which could be originating from the Melbourne show.

The Australian Film & Sound Archive's database (in mother file No. 138035) offers a number of entries related to the 1967 concert(s). What I grab from it, the archive keeps the following items:  
  1. The Ray Charles Show/ The Genius Of Ray Charles, episode 1 (Title No: 8796). Production date: 18 August 1967. "Television special of a live concert in 1967 of Ray Charles accompanied by a big band at an unidentified auditorium.."
  2. Trailer for and/or excerpt of The Genius Of Ray Charles (Title Nos: 8797 and 690513). Production date 18 August 1967. Approx. 5 minutes showing Ray Charles, performing I've Got A Woman and another "famous song". 
  3. The Ray Charles Show (Title No: 11056) and 16 mm-duplicates of this second program, aired on 22 October (Nos: 11056-1 and 11056-2).   
  4. The Ray Charles Show: publicity material (Title No: 780309), 1967. Entails Channel 7 information sheets relating to episodes screened 1/10/64, 14/10/67 and 22/10/67. Information includes production details and some credits.
The description of item 3. seems to indicate that the second hour of the concert has also survived. The AFSA ("screened") dates mentioned sub 4. do not match with the dates mentioned in the first part of this article. The 1964 materials named under 4. may be related to one or more of the '64 files specified in this article.

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