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16 July 2010

Ray Charles Starring In French TV Show With Michel Legrand (1982)

Photo detail of photo by Patrick Guis.
The clips below were submitted to YouTube (and several other sources) by Francis Darizcuren, a bassist playing in the Michel Legrand Orchestra that accompanied Ray.
Gluing together the somewhat cryptic descriptions that Francis added to the clips (but that I haven't been able to cross-reference anywhere on the web), and the superimposed credits at the end of the last clip, it seems sure that this show was broadcast on 30 March 1982 by TF1. The title of the show was Pianistes, from the series Le Grand Studio, hosted by Jean Bardin and Michel Legrand, with "Ray Charles, Georges Arvanitas, Michel Rabouille, Erik Berchot, Jean-Michel Defaye, Jose Germain, La Velle, Christiane Legrand, Claudine Meunier, Georges Rabol, Rhoda Scott, Maurice Vander, and accompanied by "Le grand orchestre de Michel Legrand".
The program was directed by Guy Seligmann.

Legrand and Charles worked together several times. Legrand is quoted for stating: "[Ray Charles] is my favorite artist of all time. Everything he did was so extraordinary. So much feeling with so little visible effort."

I've watched a 26m37s-copy of Ray's integral performance. He played:
  1. It Hurts To Be In Love
  2. If You Go Away
  3. Eleanor Rigby
  4. Someday
  5. "Ray's Blues"
#5 was obviously written for the occasion. The keyboard battle was fought out between Ray Charles, Maurice Vander, Michel Legrand, Georges Arvanitas (elpn), Georges Rabol and Rhoda Scott (org).* Ray taking a real-piano, real-jazz solo like this - live! - was an extremely rare thing.
* J.P. Verger solved this puzzle (see comments).

Source materials: INA ID CPA82050593).
    If You Go Away:


    It Hurts To Be In Love:

    Eleanor Rigby:

    Instrumental "Ray's Blues":


    1. Ray Charles is a great man .. love to see him on tv shows.

    2. Dans le dernier clip (Instrumental),les improvisations sont faites respectivement par Ray Charles ,Maurice Vander ,Michel Legrand ,Georges Arvanitas (elpn),Georges Rabol et Rhoda Scott (org). JPVerger