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25 July 2010

Ray Charles Promoting 135th World Tour (2002)

On 10 May 2002 Reuters and Warner Bros Records released a video press kit (ID 205100047; source here), titled Jazz And Blues Legend Ray Charles Embarks On 135th World Tour. It also promoted his album Thanks For Bringing Love Around Again.
The footage was a mixture of a few shots of Ray's performance at the Newport Jazz Festival on 12 or 13 August 2001, a video of Ray singing (at Newport 2001?) A Song For You, the video clip of I'll Be Good To You, and an interview with Ray, done in Los Angeles on 17 April 2002. The transcription of the interview parts is:
The public can't come to you, you've got to go to the public I mean that's the way it is. I have to go to Chicago, I got to go to New York, I got to go to Miami, I got to go wherever. That's where the people are and they want to see me or want to hear me so I must go to them, so it makes it very, very nice. Because, you know, for me I can walk out onto the stage, I haven't sung one note, nothing, and the people stand up. I mean isn't that marvelous, I find that incredible. People know when I walk out, they already know they are to get all of me so they stand up to let me know they're with me before I even start to sing and you've got to love that. When people say to me, 'Oh Ray you got a standing ovation, I don't have the nerve to say yeah man, but that's every night.'
I'm never really satisfied but you see I know that that's just because I'm very critical of myself. I can always think I could have done this, I should have done that. You know when you hear later on, you think I wish I has, or I wish I had, but there comes a point where you have say am I happy right now, at this moment and if you say yeah, then you go home and you sleep.
Music has always been like my breathing, how do you do without breathing, you can't do without breathing, I can't do without music. It's truly my life, it's all I got, it is the one thing I know when everything else fails me I can count on music I know that cos I've been through it.
I don't know anything to retire to, you understand what I mean. I'm doing what I love doing and as long as I have my health and my strength I'm going to do that until the good Lord tells me you can come out to pasture now, you've been a good horse and he takes me away. But until then I'm of the Duke Ellington variety, I'm going to do music till I die, It aint no retiring.
I'm not as excited as I would like to be, in other words when I was coming up you had people in the business who were truly creative to start with. Had their own identity, you knew exactly who they were and where they were coming from and they had their own mark. You take a person like Nat Cole sang two notes and you knew it was Nat Cole, Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald or Barbara Streisand . Today and I don't blame the kids cause I know what record companies do to kids nowadays, they don't want them to be original they want them to sound like whoever had the last hit whatever that was. So instead of being original, it's so much imitating or copying.

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