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17 August 2010

Little Ray Sings & Sways Like A Doll (2002)

Little Ray was a singing and swaying and piano playing animated doll, marketed as a commemorative collector's item, created by Beyond Design, Inc, and manufactured by Pro Source from Hong Kong. It was sold exclusively at Walgreens stores from October 2002, for $29.99.
It stood 18 inches tall, used 4 AA batteries (included), and played What'd I Say and America The Beautiful.

Ray first saw a prototype in his dressing room at the Arie Crowne Theater in Chicago, on 8 April. After meeting 'Little Ray', the real one said, "Those cats! ...they are good. And I don't mean just good. I mean good!" Also cf. this.

On 10 September 2002 Ray Charles was a "music guest" in Regis And Kelly, produced by Buena Vista Television, hosted by Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa. The other guests were Walter Cronkite and Tim Curry.
Ray used the show to promote 'Little Ray', his mechanical other self.

Who knows more about Ray's contribution to the show?

The design also received first place recognition from Appliance Manufacturer Magazine's 16th Annual Excellence in Design Award. (It now sells for $100 on eBay).

If you want to see the sad thing, watch this.

Ray also collaborated on a promotional video message: here.

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