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20 August 2010

Ray Charles Is In Town - Chronology 1951

First solo recordings in LA (and Miami?), first to be released as "Ray Charles" singles.

January 1951
Gig at City Auditorium, Houston.

15 January 1951
Gig at Empire Room, Dallas.
Rhythm Room, Dallas.

Late January 1951
Showboat Musical Bar at Douglass Hotel in Philadelphia.

10 February 1951
Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand peaks at #5 on Billboard’s Most Played Jukebox R&B Jukebox chart.

Review in Cashbox, Mar. 31, 1951.

What 'charting' looked like. From Cashbox, Apr. 21, 1951.

Mid February 1951
Another gig at Empire Room, Dallas.

From Billboard, Mar. 17.

4 March 1951
At Sunset Terrace, Indianapolis, featured with Lowell Fulson as an added attraction, a "song stylist", and a "sensational songbird, who'll give with such numbers as Everyday I Have The Blues, Blue Shadow, Sinner's Progress and Old Time Shuffle".
First known application of this portrait photo of Ray Charles.

9 March 1951
With Lowell Fulson and his orchestra at Labor Temple in Minneapolis.

24 March 1951
Municipal Auditorium, Charleston (WV).

30 March 1951
Billed as Boogie Woogie Blind Pianist in a "Battle of Bands 5 Star Show" (with Joe Morris, Little Laurie Tate, Lowell Fulson, Bill Mitchell) at the Mosque in Richmond VA.

Spring and Summer 1951
Gigs all along chitlin circuit.

Mid-April 1951
Billboard news: Shaw Artists signs blues singer Ray Charles.

18 April 1951
City Auditorium, Atlanta ("The most stupendous show ever presented", "The gfreatest array of stars ever assembled on the same stage") with Dinah Washington, Earl Bostic, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Melvin Smith, Lowell Fulson, Dr. Willie Jones, Tommy Brown, Titus Turner, Ray Sneed, Billie Wright and his Floor Show, floor shows from the Poinciana and Royal Peacock.
From Atlanta Daily World, April 8.

13 May 1951
Gig at Sunset Terrace in Indianapolis.

June 1951
Gig at Houston Cicvic Auditorium.
Gig at Empire Room in Dallas.
Gig at Updaters Club in Oklahoma City.
Release of the single All To Myself / I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now.

Review in Cashbox, Jun. 23, 1951.
Ad in Cashbox, Jun. 9, 1951.

3 July 1951
"A bombshell of entertainment" and "a star spangled ramble" at City Auditorium, Atlanta ("Lowell Fulson and his crew will be spotlighted by the bluesy renditions of Ray Charles", "Singing 'Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand'", "will be heard in 'Blue Shadow' and 'Everyday I Have The Blues'"); Amos Milburn headlining, also with Mari Jones, Lloyd Glenn, Johnny Moore's Three Blazers Band, Floyd Dixon, Oscar Moore and Jackie Brenston. Meets David Fathead Newman, who played in Glenn's band, around this date.
From Atlanta Daily World, Jul. 1.

15 July 1951
Paradise Auditorium/Public Hall in Cleveland with Lowell Fulson for a "dawn dance engagement" on a Sunday morning.

16 - 22 July 1951
A gig as the "most likely piano-playing vocalist" with Lowell Fulson for a "one of the jumpiest weeks" ever at the Ebony Lounge in Cleveland.
From Cleveland Call and Post, Jul 16.

31 July 1951
Marries with Eileen Williams, in Atlanta.

11 August 1951
Club Desire, New Orleans LA, with Lowell Fulson, Joe Pollock.

5 to 6 or 7 September 1951
Headlining at Royal Peacock in Atlanta; with Jimmy Lott.

Mid-September 1951
Release of the single What Have I Done / See See Rider.

Review in Cashbox, Sep. 15, 1951.
23 September 1951
Arch Ballroom in Monessen, with Lowell Fulson.

14 October 1951
With Lowell Fulson at Elks' Patio in Redwood City.

 Earliest known handbill.
(It's a bit suspect that such an ephemeral piece of printing has survived; I'm not sure it's genuine - BS).

16 October 1951
Eagles Auditorium, Seattle.
Ad from Seattle Times.

1 November 1951
Recording sessions in LA with Lowell's band, taping Kissa Me Baby, Hey Now, The Snow Is Falling and Misery In My Heart.

Early November 1951
Release of the single She's On The Ball / Honey Honey (Billboard review here).

Late November - December 1951
After Thanksgiving touring again with Fulson.

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