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07 June 2010

Ray Charles At Printemps De Bourges (With Serge Ginsbourg) (1987)

Impressions of the 11th edition of the Printemps de Bourges festival, that was held from 17 to 26 April 1987, were broadcast by TF 1 on 23 July of that year. The 52-minute programme was made by Serge Ginsbourg.
In an interview segment Serge (who seemed a bit stoned) and Ray reflected on their respective ages, on Ray's concert rehearsals, and on their favorite pianos. Serge then showed Ray how people in France shake hands.
In the concert sequence, Ray was accompanied by the National Orchestra d'Ile de France, led by Jacques Mercier.* Apart from the sequences discussed above, you can see them rehearse They Can't Take That Away From Me and Yesterday, and - extra special, never seen or heard before or since - we see and hear Ray whistle a few notes.
Source: Ina, ID CPD01007359. For more impressions of this same festival, see this.

* Ray, as usual, brought his own rhythm section, with Paul Kreibich (drums), Kenny Carr (guitar), and Roger W. Hines (bass).

Other items in the Ina archive:
  • From 22 April 1987 an announcement aired by the France 2 news: "Printemps De Bourges festival", which may be identical to the clip below. Source: Ina, ID CAB87015077 (mother tape CAB02061041).
  • From 25 April 1987 a "Round up of the week: [...] 21/04/87: Ray Charles on stage at the piano." on France 2 news. Source: Ina, ID CAB87015599 (mother tape CAB02061164).
  • From 23 July 1987 a France 2 news item, where "Ray Charles repeats They Can't Take That Away From Me, with the National Orchestra of Paris [...] supervised by Jacques Mercier." Source: Ina, I00006770 (mother tape CPD01007359).
  • The Ina archive also has an enigmatic entry titled Festival Of Antibes: Tribute Has Ray Charles. The occasion  was probably the announcement of Ray Charles' concert at the Jazz À Juan festival, later that year (cf. here and here). In the automated French - English translation of the "has" ("a") is probably a mistake for "at" ("à"). However, it was a 24 minute program, extracted from the Printemps de Bourges documentary. It was aired by France 3 on 19 February 1990. Source: ID, MOC9002201055 (mother tape: RBC05007372).  

See this post for a taping of (most of) the concert.

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