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26 August 2010

Ray Charles Is In Town - Chronology 1974

Ad for Rhodes keyboards.

In NBC-TV Pilot for Cotton Club format. See this.
Come Live With Me peaks at #182 on Pop Album Chart.

Photos by Ted Williams.

January 1974
Release of album Come Live With Me.

4 to 8 and 9 to 15 February 1974
(Dates probably differed locally).
Co-hosting the Mike Douglas Show. See this
From this series' press kit.

March 1974
Release of the single Louise / Somebody.

12 March 1974
On the Tonight Show. See this.

13 - 23 March 1974
Interviewed at his suite during stint at Blue Room, Fairmont Hotel, New Orleans LA.

Retouched photo by Ralph Ulribe (and watermarked wirephoto of backside), from NOLA newspaper Times-Picayune.

28 to 31 March 1974
Jupiter's, Long Island NY.

6 April 1974
University of Dayton Arena, Dayton OH.

9 to 13 April 1974
Trojan Horse, Seattle WA.

17 to 27 April 1974
Joe Namath's, Birmingham AL.

29 April to 19 May 1974
The Empire Room of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City NY. Review here.

Table card. Not sure what that subline implies: ""Dancing to the Bob Rosegarden Orchestra - Direct from the Dick Cavett T.V. Show"...
At a Waldorf-Astoria reception in his honor.

21 to 25 May 1974
Southernaire Nightclub, Atlanta GA.
The second photo was made by Steve Banks.

25 May 1974 to 1 June 1974
Showboat I, “featuring an aristocracy of Jazz Concert Artists” aboard the Rotterdam, a Holland America Line cruise ship, sailing to Nassau and Bermuda - 8 days from $ 325 to $810 - with Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Leonard Feather, James Moody, Dakota Staton, Jimmy Tyler, Carl Warwick and Bobby Hackett “in a great freewheeling exhibition of traditional Jazz - Hot, Cool, Funky, Bop, Blue, Soul”. Passengers have the opportunity "to sit on jam sessions and conduct panel discussions with the performers".
...But it seems that Ray only performed in Nassau, on May 27. 
Ad from Columbia Spectator.

28 and 29 May 1974
Gainesville FL.

30 May to 2 June 1974

Holiday Inn Dinner Club, Memphis TN.

3 to 6 June 1974

Chattanooga TN.

7 to 15 June 1974

Bachelors (III Club) Inn, Fort Lauderdale FL.

16 to 21 June 1974
Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles CA.

20 June 1974
Music is the Message Festival at Fort Gordon.  

23 June to 4 July 1974
 Salón Candides Hotel, Mexico City.

This photo was taken at a Club de Leones in Mexico (City?) in the 1970s. Ray is welcomed by (from left to right) Enrique Villa, Juan Antonio Isla and Juan "El Pato" Ríos. Photo by Silvia Botello.
5 July 1974
Monterrey (Mexico).

6 July 1974

Guadalajara (Mexico).

 7 July 1974

Double concert at Teatro Degollado, Mexico City.

20 July 1974
Live guest on radio program New York, New York, broadcast by Voice Of America (air date). See this.   

30 July - 4 August 1974
Warehouse Restaurant, Denver CO.
Photo made on July 31st by Denver Post staff photographer John Preto.

5 - 10 August 1974
Oakdale Musical Theatre, Wallingford CT with Gladys Knight.

Ad (partial) from Hartford Courant, 26 Jul.
12 August 1974
Musicarnival Concert in or near Cleveland with Gladys Knight (source: review in Cleveland Plain Dealer, 13 Aug. 1974).

19 August 1974
Bomb threat cuts short Ray's show at Wollman Skating Rink during Schaefer Music Festival in Central Park in New York City NY. Also cf. sub 2 September.

Photos by Waring Abott (Getty).

20 August 1974
Robin Hood Dell, Fairmont Park, Philadelphia PA; with Erroll Garner; 45,000 spectators

25 August 1974
Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood CA, with Quincy Jones and The Sylvers.
Ree & Ray in LA, in 1974 (maybe on this day).
30 August 1974
Michigan State Fairgrounds, Detroit MI.

31 August 1974
Announced to perform one or more winning entries of the 1st annual American Song Festival Contest, at the Saratoga Arts Center, in Saratoga Springs – but probably escaped from this. See this.

Souvenir brochure mentioning Ray.

1 September 1974
Cardines Field, at Newport Jazz Festival, Newport RI.

2 September 1974
Schaefer Music Festival, Wollman Skating Rink, Central Park, New York City NY (making good on show that was cut off on 19 August).

Dorothy Berry and Mable John.

Photos by Waring Abbott.

4 to 8 September 1974

Nanuet Theater-Go-Round in Yonkers, Nanuet NY, benefit for Yonkers' Big Brother-Big Sisters; with Gladys Knight and the Pips. Read review here.
Ad in New York Amsterdam News, Jul. 10, 1974.
Ad in New York Amsterdam News, Sep. 7, 1974.
14 and 15 September 1974
West High School Auditorium, Anchorage AK ("The listeners leave, some in shock but most swear they'll return the next night"; read review here).

17 September 1974
Civic Audtorium, Portland OR.
Ad from Portland Oregonian, 1 Sep.
19 - 28 September 1974
The Cave, Vancouver BC.

Photos by John Mahler.

30 September 1974
Opera House, Spokane WA ("Superb"; read review here).

4 October 1974
Harry Adams Field House, University of Montana, Missoula MT.

5 October 1974
Civic Center Auditorium, Great Falls MT (marketed through a "mini-vacation package".
Concert - Ad, Civic Center Auditorium, Great Falls, Ray Charles, mini-vacation, Lethbridge Herald September 26, 1974 - 19741005

6 October 1974
Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles CA.

11 October 1974
Fort Sill Officers Club, Lawton OK.

14 and 15 October 1974
The Governor Morris Inn, Morristown NJ.

16 - 27 October 1974
Venetian Room at Fairmont Hotel, Atlanta.

28 October 1974
Hilton Field, Fort Jackson, Columbia SC, with 3,000 trainees in audience ("Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell III, post commander, occupied a seat on stage during part of the festival").

31 October 1974
Gaffney Sports Arena, Fort Meade, Argonne Hills MD.

Rest of fall 1974 
Fairmont Hotels in Dallas, New Orleans and San Francisco.

November 1974
An interview at an unidentified location:

A filmed interview in Dallas. See this. 
With Oscar Peterson on a CBC show. See this. 

5 November 1974
Riverside Gymnasium, University of California, Riverside CA.

7 - 17 November 1974
Venetian Room, Fairmont Hotel and Tower, San Francisco CA.

19 November 1974
On The Tonight Show. See this.

20 to 30 November 1974
Venetian Room at Fairmont Hotel, Dallas TX.

1 – 2 December 1974
Armadillo World Headquarters, Austin - after cancellation of Texas Opry House (which closed just before the Ray Charles concert due to Willie Nelson's problems with the IRS); the poster below was never printed (read story here).

28 December 1974
"We Can't Stop Loving You" tribute to Quincy Jones at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles (Ray was expected to perform, but I haven't found any confirmation that the made it).

Ray Charles writing braille. Photos by Ted Williams for Ebony.

Rehearsing at RPM Studios, LA, c 1974. Photos by Ted Williams.

Photos by Ted Williams, for Ebony.


  1. Fascinating! What a supremely gifted Human being.

  2. Great site, but I think the entry for 10 October 1974 in Auckland, New Zealand is erroneous, and actually should be exactly one year later - 10 October 1975 for Auckland correctly appears on the 1975 chronology page. I live in Adelaide, Australia, and went to one of Ray's October 1975 concerts here, and I distinctly remember reading in one of Adelaide's daily papers a couple of weeks before about NZ's immigration minister initially refusing to grant Ray a visa. Plus, I seriously doubt that it would have been possible for Ray and entourage to make it from Auckland to Oklahoma for the October 11th show without being seriously jetlagged, even allowing for gaining almost a full day crossing the International Date Line (even now, direct flights from Auckland to Los Angeles take 12 hours or more, and would probably have been longer in the 70s). The fly in the ointment in this story, though, is the different venues - YMCA and Civic Theatre - shown in the 1974 and 1975 listings, but I think at least one of those has to be wrong!