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20 August 2010

Ray Charles Is In Town - Chronology 1960

At an unidentified venue, late 1950s/early 1960s; photo by Bob Parent.

At unidentified venue, c. 1960.

Photo by Lacey Crawford, dated in 1966, but rather from c. 1960.

With dancer Doris Humphries (poss. at one of the many shows in Chicago during this year).
Concert in late 1950s or early 1960s.

With poet Langston Hughes (c. 1960). Photo by Allan Morrison, for Ebony.

Sometime during the year:
Gig in Jacksonville:
Ray Charles and radio DJ/promoter Ken Knight, who in December 1961 launched the Ken Knight Show, the first black television program in Jacksonville, which featured live gospel music on WJXT (TV-4). Photo (c) Loyd Sandgren/Vintage Jacksonville.

Born: Robert Robinson (to Della Robinson).
This year Come Rain Or Come Shine will peak at #83 on Billboard Pop Chart, Don't Let The Sun Catch You Cryin' at #95 on Pop and #17 on R&B chart, Let The Good Times Roll at #78 on Pop, Hardhearted Hannah at #55 on Pop, Georgia On My Mind at #1 on Pop and #3 on R&B, Ruby at #28 on Pop and #10 on R&B, Sticks And Stones at #40 on Pop and #2 on R&B, Come Rain Or Come Shine at #83 on Pop. Tell The Truth peaks at #13, and Just For A Thrill at #16 on R&B chart. The Genius Hits The Road peaks at #9 and Ray Charles In Person at #13 on Pop Album Chart.
Read this story on a gig, some time during this year, at the Cimarron Ballroom in Bartlesville.


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With Edgar Willis and Leroy Cooper.
Playing dominoes with Chicago's Tivoli night club owner Herman Roberts. Photo by David Jackson.

The Ambler stage, cover photo of French release of Yes Indeed (Atlantic 332 027).

 From Ebony, Sep. 1960: concert in Ambler, Pa .

January 1960
Release of the single My Baby (I Love Her Yes I Do) / Who You Gonna Love.
From Variety, Feb. 10.

1 January 1960
Release of album Fathead, Ray Charles Presents David 'Fathead' Newman.

10 January 1960
Palladium, Hollywood.

13 January 1960
Calderon Ballroom, Phoenix. 
From Arizona Republic, 13 Jan.

10 January 1960
Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood CA; 4,500 payees.

13 January 1960
The Calderon Ballrom, 

14 January 1960
El Paso Coliseum, El Paso TX.
From El Paso Herald Post, 9 January.

15 January 1960
Civic Auditorium, Albuquerque.

18 January 1960
Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio TX. 
From Galveston Daily News, 26 Jan.

February 1960
Release of the single Just For A Thrill / Heartbreaker.

8 February 1960
ABC Welcome ad in Billboard.

13 February 1960
Queen of Hearts Ball, St. Petersburg.

28 February 1960
Two concerts at New Auburn Casino in Atlanta GA, fronting "the same dynamic crew that stopped the show at the WAOK anniversary show last summer" ("The plaintive troubadour [...] will be featured in an all-star show that includes the Raelettes, The Five Royales, Marv Johnson and Al Pauling and his Ochestra").
Ad in Atlanta Daily World, Feb 28.

6 March 1960
Two "Jazz at its best" shows at Magnolia Ballroom in Atlamta GA with the "Rayettes" ("by populr demand after appearing a week ago before an SRO crowd at an Auburn Avenue nightery", "[his] primitive and plaintive renditions of the blues, have almost a revival quality"); Little Willie John, Marv Johnson, The Upsetters Band ft. Alfred Jackson.
Ad from Atlanta Daily World, Mar 3.
7 March 1960
"The Ray Charles Show" at the Township Auditorium, Columbia (SC).

Around 9 March 1960
"Over 3000 people danced" to Ray Charles and Orchestra at Queen of Hearts Ball of the Florida west coast Delta Sigma Theta Sorority chapter (prob. in Tampa or St. Persburg).

17 March 1960
Liberty Sporting Club, Ambler PA.

19 March 1960 
Chestnut St. Roller Palace in Rochester NY ("Charles, a popular member of the rhythm and blues set, is one of the better blues 'boppers' in the business, and an excellent pianist to the boot").

20 March 1960
With Soul 60 tour at, Broadway Capitol Theater in Detroit MI.
Ad in Detroit Free Press.

25 and 29 March 1960
Records album Genius Hits The Road in New York.

25 - ?26March 1960
"Soul '60" concert at Civic Opera House in Chicago IL, with the Horace Silver Quintette, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and Dinah Washington.
Ad from Chicago Defender, March 12, as collected by Franz Hoffmann, in: Jazz Advertised.
From Chicago Tribune, Mar. 13.

Photos by Ted Williams.
This photo from the 1960 Soul '60! concert in Chicago with Dinah Washington is reproduced from a postcard; the photos below come from the same show. The photographer was Carole Reiff.


26 March 1960
"Soul '60" concert at the Broadway Capitol Theater in Detroit MI, with the Horace Silver Quintette, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and Dinah Washington.

April 1960
Tour in the Midwest.
"[...] near-riot that came off in Atlantic City, N. J., when blues-shouter Ray Charles showed up five hours late at the Club Harlem, and some advance ticket holders found other folks occupying their "reserved" tables, since there was no first show -- and those who were lucky enough to get seats would not budge for the merrymakers with reserved ducats" (source: New Pittsburgh Courier, Apr. 30).

3 April 1960
Latin Casino in Cherry Hill NJ, New Jersey; tickets were $8.50 and included dinner.

8 April 1960
Concert (or "a short and fleeting appearance") at Taystee Bread Ad-Model Contest, Indiana Roof Ballroom, Indiana Repertory Theater, Indianapolis IN.

8 and 9 April 1960
With "his augmented orchestra" at McCormick Place, Chicago.   

22 – 28 April 1960
Apollo Theatre marquee with Ray Charles, Cannonball Adderley, Marv Johnson, Redd Foxx, 1960. Photo by William Claxton.

Apollo Theater, New York; co-billed with Cannonball Adderley; also with Betty Carter (the story has it that Miles Davis advised Ray to take her under his wings), Marv Johnson (both also backed by the Ray Charles band) and Redd Foxx. Schiffman index card: "[Percentage]", "Exceedingly well received".

27 April 1960
Recording session at Capitol Studios in New York.

Late April to June 1960
Headlines the Hitmakers Of 1960 Tour.


30 April - 3 May 1960
Howard Theatre, Washington DC; with Cannonball Adderly, The 5 Royals, Betty Carter and Redd Foxx.
Ad from Washington Post.

May 1960
Release of live album Ray Charles In Person and of the single Sticks And Stones / Worried Life Blues.

From Cashbox, Jun. 4, 1960.
From Cashbox, Jul. 2, 1960.

6 May 1960
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill NC ("The evening of May 6 saw the best year in German Club history come to a rocking climax, a climax spurred on by the high-tension music of Ray Charles and the down-to-earth blues of Joe Turner. A capacity Memorial Hail crowd witnessed the jumping Ray Charles and his vocal group, the Raelets, give voice to such hits as Let the Good Times Roll and It Shoulda' Been Me, while Big Joe kept things moving with Honey Hush and Shake, Rattle and Roll"; source: Yackety Yack Yearbook).

22 May 1960
Foot Guard Hall, Hartford CT.

28 May 1960
Hitmakers of 1960 show at Tivoli Theater in Chicago IL; with The Drifters, Marv Johnson, Ruth Brown, Ray Bryant, Ron Holden, Billy Bland, Preston Epps, and Redd Foxx.

From Ebony, Sep. 1960.
31 May 1960
'Hitmakers of 1960' concert at the State Fair Coliseum in Indianapolis IN; with The Difters, Ruth Brown, Marv Johnson, Redd Foxx, and the Ray Bryant Trio.

1 June 1960
Co-billed with The Drifters, Marv Johnson, Ruth Brown, Ray Bryant Trio, Ron Holden, Billy Bland, Preston Epps, Doc Bagby Band, Redd Foxx at the Cincinnati Gardens in Cincinnati OH.

4 June 1960
Tivoli Theater, Chicago IL, with 'Hitmakers of 1960'.

5 June 1960
With the "Hitmakers Of 1960' at Public Hall in Cleveland OH.
Clipped from Cleveland Plain Dealer (May 29th).

7 June 1960
Sports Arena, San Diego.

11 June 1960
Memorial Auditorium, Pittsburg KS ("a special treat, for it was highlighted by the Drifters, Ruth Brown, Ray Charles and Marv Johnson, who were as usual at their best").

July 1960
Release of album Genius Hits The Road and the single Sweet Sixteen Bars / Tell The Truth.

2 July 1960
At the Newport Jazz Festival (filmed, and aired on Voice of America). See this.

Photo by Florence Lewis / Jazz Hot, Sep. 1960.

Backstage, chatting with with Lambert, Hendricks and Ross (from Ebony Sep. 1960). Photo by Allan Morrison.
Backstage, talking with Mitch Miller. Photo by Allan Morrison.

3 July 1960
Atlantic City Jazz Festival at the Warren Theatre in Atlantic City NJ (2 shows).
Ad in Baltimore Sun, 20 June 1960.
Ad for Atlantic City Jazz Festival in New York Amsterdam News, Jun. 18, 1960.
and Newport Jazz Festival. See this and this
From: The Age, 4 July 1960.

8 to 14 July 1960
With his "All-New Big Orchestra" at the Regal Theater in Chicago IL along with Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers, Betty Carter and The Coasters (grossing $38,500).
Ad from Chicago Tribune, 9 Jul.
16 July 1960
Mambo Club in Wichita KS.
The original date of "15" covered with an affixed "16" label. 
17 July 1960
Meadow Acres Ballroom, Topeka KS.

Ad from Kansas Sentinel, 7 Jul

27 July – 11 August 1960
The Cloisters Hotel, Hollywood CA

August 1960
Release of the singles Georgia On My Mind / Carry Me Back To Old Virginny and Them That Got / I Wonder.

18 August 1960
Palladium, Hollywood CA; 7,542 in audience, grossing "a walloping $21 [thousand]"; "Charles, in on percentage, wound up with $9,100. Zeiger paid a flat $1,000 rental for ballroom and spent $2,000 on radio spots" (source: Variety, Aug. 24).
This article in Down Beat describes this event  ("Deep emotional expression by musician and listener alike is keenly hungered for is most evident in the almost fanatical popularity of Ray Charles. The effectiveness with which this man communicates with an audience must be seen and heard to be believed. At a one-night stand in late August at the Hollywood Palladium, 6,016 fans paid $18,048 to attend what became almost a religious meeting. Charles, working on a percentage, went away with a reported $9,100. Observing the crowd was an unforgettable experience. From Charles' first opening wail, the mass of jam-packed humanity howled its joy. In groups they sang, chanting along with him. They stood on tables and waved hands above their heads in utter abandon. Even the sides of the bandstand were packed with admirers who wanted to get as close to Charles as they possibly could. On a raised platform to the right of the stand, normally used for a relief trio at dances, a young white couple began dancing until stopped by a ballroom guard. When the singer launched into Let The Good Times Roll a deep-throated roar of recognition went up. All over the ballroom floor hands and arms, grouping like lost souls striving for heaven, reached up from the mass. Hysteria born of almost holy fervor gripped the crowd. Between shows Charles admirers parked themselves among the instruments on the bandstand, sitting silently behind the drawn stage curtain like pilgrims at a shrine. What Ray Charles possesses is the power to reach and probe deep into the souls of his people.").

21 August 1960 

Pacific Ballroom, San Diego (also see video sub June 7).

26 August 1960
Ray Charles buys Flxible Starliner tourbus.

26 - 28 August 1960
"The record breaking, crowd pleasing, New Prophet of Entertainment, the fabulous Ray Charles, brings his rollicking vocal and his great big band and show in the" 5-4 Ballroom in Los Angeles CA; "no doubt [this will be] the all time exciting three days of merriment in the annals of local pleasure. The pulsating blind virtuoso, who has personally spearheaded a campaign to bring music back to its roots, has stood them on their ears wherever he has performed", wrote the Los Angeles Sentinel (Aug. 25).
Ad from Los Angeles Sentinel, Aug. 11.

September 1960
Performing Georgia On My Mind on Playboy Penthouse tv show, taped in Chicago. See this.

Release of the single Doodlin' (Parts I & II).
Ray Charles, Margie Hendricks  interviewed in Los Angeles Sentinel, Sep. 15.
Ad in Billboard, Aug. 29, 1960.

4 September 1960
Royal Ballroom, Portland; riots when Charles doesn't show up. The incidents were filmed; see this.

18 September 1960
Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood CA.

26 – 29 September 1960
Birdland, Detroit MI.

30 September - 13 October 1960
Apollo, New York City NY. "Apollo Theatre management had to stop Ray Charles from doing extra shows to satisfy his fans crowding the theatre to hear him. They feared he'd wear himself out. He's there an extra week...", and ""At the height of his popularity, the Apollo had to cancel the movie several times over the weekend while Ray did extra shows to accomodate the huge crowds", the New York Amsterdam News wrote on October 8.

“2,976 persons heard Ray Charles sing his latest hit Georgia On My Mind. Twenty-four other rock and roll devotees missed hearing the song altogether. They went to jail” (Baltimore Afro-American, 11 October 1960). Schiffman index card: "[Percentage]", "One of our best attractions".

From Cashbox, Oct. 22, 1960.

Ad for prolongation at Apollo in New York Amsterdam News, Oct. 8, 1960.
Photo of Apollo Theatre marquee, possibly from this show..
Illustration by Alain Bertrand, based on the photo above.

29 October 1960
Homecoming dance at the Armory (in ???).

30 0ctober 1960
Two shows at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Opera House, Brooklyn, New York City NY..

The contract (from the archives of the Village Gate in NYC) covered two shows. Ray Charles was to be paid $3,000. Reverse of contract lists eight musicians: Charles, David Newman Jr., Edgar Willis, John Hunt, Leroy Cooper, Sol Samuels, Philip Guilbeau (misspelled), and Ben Crawford.
Ticket sales report.

November 1960
Release of the singles Tell Me You'll Wait For Me / Come Rain Or Come Shine and Ruby / Hard Hearted Hannah.
Billboard ad.

Billboard ad.

From Cashbox, Dec. 24, 1960.
First week of November 1960
Howard Theatre in Washington (with Betty Carter and The Coasters; Jimmy Smith opening act). Then gigs up and down the East Coast (returning to New York  when they had a few days off)."

2 November 1960
Municipal Auditorium, Charleston WV.

7 November 1960 
White Elephant, Chester PA. 
From Delaware County Times, 4 Nov.

9 November 1960
Township Auditorium, Columbia SC, for a crowd of 2,000 people.
Ad from The State, with unique specification of "Colored Dance and Show" vs "White spectators".

10 November 1960 
West Chester State College, West Chester PA.

15 November 1960
Coliseum, Florence.

19 November 1960
Chilhowee Park Auditorium, Knoxville.
Very rare byline:"Reserved Section For White Spectators."
23 November 1960
Promoted by WAOK, an "In Person Again" concert at the City Auditorium in Atlanta GA; with Little Anthony and the Imperials, Jimmy Reed, Sl Brown and his Tune Toppers, Christ Columbo Quintet, Piano Red and The Metertones, mc'ed by Baron Wilson.
Ad from Atlanta Daily World, Nov 23.
26 November 1960
Ball's Auditorium, Lake Charles LA.
From Lake Charles American Press, Nov. 18. 

23 - 25, 28 – 30 December 1960
Brooklyn Paramount TheatreBrooklyn, New York City NY. Annual Christmas Revue ("Sid Bernstein had put together an all-star lineup of hit-makers, and knowing that he could lure audience members back for two or more shows, he signed Bobby Rydell to headline for three days, Brenda Lee for three, and Ray Charles for four"; read Clay Cole's story here and here).
The 10-day Clay Cole Christmas Show featuring Bobby Rydell, Brenda Lee, Ray Charles, Dion, Neil Sedaka, Bo Diddley and more, broke the all-time house box office record at the theater. 

26 – 27 December 1960
Recording  Genius + Soul = Jazz at the Van Gelder Studios in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. See this.
Photos attributed to Moneta Sleet, and dated 1964 - but probably made by Howard Morehead..

31 December 1960
Palladium, Hollywood CA. (9,011 admissions; gross $25,400). "Charles did an extra show as well as pump dance music so as to chase some customers so others could be clocked in" (Variety, Jan. 11).

Photos at unidentified venues, from the early 1960s.
Atlantic selling out RC albums (1960).
Backstage, at a Ray Charles concert in Oakland. Photo by Jim Marshall. I doubt if the year is correct (also see 1962 Chronology page).

1 comment :

  1. the tour on May 31 is with MARV JOHNSON not Mary Johnson. You know MARV "You Got What it Takes" Big Hit.... Shame Shame Shame on you