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23 August 2010

Ray Charles Is In Town - Chronology 1966

This poster, on display at the Chicago Blues Museum, has too many anachronisms to be genuine - with a Ray portrait from the mid '50s, hits from the early '60s, a Raelettes line-up from 1966, and a film ([The] Gambler Wore A Gun from 1961...

(Mid Sixties)

(Some time in the middle of the decennium, Ray was filmed performing What'd I Say; the footage was used in a 1979 documentary series; see this).

Clipped from 1967 concert souvenir brochure, prob. shot the year before.

Awarding prozes at beauty & talent contest in Baton Rouge (from Jet, June '66).

Recording at RPM.
Playing chess in the tour bus (poss. on May 7). Photos by Bill Ray.

Ray Charles on tour bus. Photos poss. by Bill Ray on or around May 7.
In Mexico, with Javier Batiz.

Crying Time album peaks at #15, Ray's Moods at #52 on Pop Album Chart and #7 on the R&B chart.Crying Time peaks at #6 on Pop Chart and #5 on R&B, Together Again at #19 on Pop and #10 on R&B, Let's Go Get Stoned at #31 on Pop and #1 on R&B, I Chose To Sing The Blues at #32 on Pop and #22 on R&B, Please Say You're Fooling at #64 on Pop, I Don't Need No Doctor at #72 on Pop and #45 on R&B.

Many similarities in this pic, but (cf. gray hair) it may be from c 1969/70.

 Interview with Hy Gardner (also see this):

January 1966
Ft. in home-produced commercials for Coca Cola. See this.

Release of albums Crying Time, and (Ray Charles Presents The) Raeletts, Yesterday...Today...Tomorrow.  March 1966 Pre-tour band rehearsals at RPM. Release of the single Together Again / You're Just About To Lose Your Clown.
Ad in Billboard, Mar. 12.
Mid February 1966
Renews contract with ABC.
From Billboard, Oct. 15, 1966.

Probably early March 1966

At home in LA. Photos by Bill Ray.

At home, in the master bedroom.

On March 10 Stanley G. Robertson, staff writer of the Los Angeles Sentinel (and in 1963 freelancing as the writer - assigned by Joe Adams - of the Ray Charles biography that appeared in Ray's concert brochures) wrote about attending a 'sneak preview' (together "with a cross section of people - college students, selected members of the press, radio, and television professions here, fellow musicians and recording and promotional people, and a few just plain Ray Charles fans") of "the New Sound of The Genius".
"He has a completely new band. None of the old faces, the stars of former years, such as David 'Fathead' Newman, are with him. He has assembled a group of musicians who as a unit sound much sharper and much more cohesive than the old band. As individuals, they possess more enthusiasm, more drive, and more, as the French say, 'joie de vie' than did the old group."

15 March 1966
Grammy Award for Crying Time.
With Ray Conniff and Joanie Sommers.
22 March 1966
Ray resumes touring with:
Steve Hufsteter - lead trumpet; Herbie Anderson, Marshall Hunt, Ike Williams - trumpets; Henry Coker, Sam Hurt, Keg Johnson, Fred Murrell - trombones; Preston Love, Curtis Peagler - alto saxophones; Curtis Amy, Clifford Scott - tenor saxophones; Leroy Cooper - bariton saxophone; Bobby Womack - guitar; Edgar Willis - bass, band leader; Billy Moore - drums; The Raelettes: Gwen Berry, Lillian Fort, Clydie King, Merry Clayton.

Pictures from a staged 'rehearsal session' at RPM in Los Angeles, for Life:

(This pic reproduced from 1967 concert souvenir brochure).

Trumpet section.

Bone section.

Sax section.

Rhythm section: Bobby Womack and Edgar Willis (also posing as band leader).

Gwen Berry.
Clydie King.

Lilian Fort.
L-R: Lilian Fort, Clydie King, Gwen Berry, Merry Clayton.

Ray and The Raelettes. 

Tableaux de la Troupe.

Portrait by Bill Ray.
Portraits of Ray.

Joe Adams and Ray Charles.

Ray Charles and an unidentified man, [posing as] an arranger.

This picture was clipped from a 1967 concert souvenir brochure.

Ray Charles posing in his office, at RPM.

Ray Charles inspecting Bill Ray's camera (with an unidentified man watching).

25 March 1966
Music Hall, Cleveland.
From Cleveland Plain Dealer, 22 March 1966.   
26 March 1966
 McCormick Place, Chicago.

28 March - 10 April 1966
Gig at Latin Casino, Cherry Hill.
At a concert in New Jersey; photos by Steve Schapiro; possibly shot at the Latin Casino.
From Variety, Apr. 20.

April 1966

Recording (a.o. I Don't Need No Doctor) at RPM International in Los Angeles.
12 April 1966
MSU Auditorium in East Lansing.

Around this date in April 1966
Signs new contract with Shaw Artists (now called SAC).

16 to 17 April 1966
Arie Crown Theater, Chicago; "vocalist, pianist, composer, arranger, alto sax player, and perfectionist" (gross 48,300; Charles gets 50% of the gate).
Honored at cocktail part at the Executive House, on this photo joined by Johnny Pate (ABC Midwest A&R director, and Mrs. Lucky Cordell, wife of WVON radio program director. From Jet, May 12, 1966.

22 – ?28? April 1966
Thunderbird in Las Vegas.

23 April 1966
Harmon Gymnasium, UC Berkeley campus.

24 April 1966
Frost Amphitheatre, Stanford. The band played Goodness Gracious, and Watermelon Man with solos by Cliff Scott (ts) and Henry Coker (tp). Ray opened with The Genius After Hours, and sang Don't Mess Up A Good Thing with The Raelettes. (Source: San masteo Times, 25 Apr.).

30 April 1966
Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles.          

May 1966
Release of the single Let's Go Get Stoned / The Train.

5 May 1966
Four Seasons Arena, Walpole.
"Ray Charles and his 'House of Charles' caravan of music will appear at the RPI Fieldhouse" in Schenectady.  See this.

6 May 1966
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy (gross $10,000).

7 May 1966
From Carnegie Hall season brochure; Billy Moore's story here; more photos here.
Two shows at Carnegie Hall, New York (grossing $28,000).

Photos by Bill Ray.

Ray in the cockpit, seen on the back of his head (clipped from a photo auction).
With the Buzzard, the company plane, flying from LA to NYC.


Backstage with Eric Burdon and other Animals. 


Carnegie's dressing room, with assistant (Edward Wolter?), Edgar Willis, Joe Adams, unidentified lady.




The Carnegie concert.

Leaving by bus, fans outside.

The company bus, with the band.
* The pics marked with an asterisk (and some other on stage photos and back stage photos) may have been shot at another venue than Carnegie Hall.

8 May 1966
Fairfield (gross $10,000).
Symphony Hall, Newark (gross $19,000).

13 May 1966
Masonic Temple Theater in Detroit.

9 May 1966
Recreation Hall, Penn State University.

16 May 1966
Southwest Missouri State College Areba, Springfield.

19 May 1966
Opera House, Seattle.

20 May 1966
Rensselaer Polytechnic, Troy (grossing $10,000).

21 May 1966
Two concerts at Carnegie Hall, New York (grossing $28,000).
Lagoon Patio Gardens, Farmington; Deseret News reporter Joe Bauman remembers "a cute Western girl in his group being turned back at the entrance to the Ray Charles concert because she was wearing jeans - it was dresses-only for women. She took off the jeans in a bathroom, buttoned up her coat and, seeming to be wearing a miniskirt, was admitted."

22 May 1966
Fairfield (Conn.; grossing $10,000).
Symphony Hall, Newark (grossing $19,000).

26 May 1966
Venox building, Ventura County ("Never have I seen such electricity generated through an audience"; read review here).

Ad from Oxnard Press-Courier, 7 May.

27 May 1966
Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix.
Ad from Arizona Republic, 15 May.

28 May 1966
At Convention Hall in San Diego, with The Dells.
Trade ad below: "9 weeks from April 1st to June 1st... over $500,000 gross... and 20 fully booked weeks to go in 1966!!!"

28 May 1966
Masonic Auditorium, San Francisco.

June 1966
Recording (a.o. I Chose To Sing The Blues) at RPM International in Los Angeles.

1 June 1966
Jackson, Mississippi (one of Ray's Jackson gigs in these years was the subject of an FBI investigation).

10 June 1966
Soundblast '66 at Yankee Stadium in New York; with The Cowsills, The McCoys, The Marvelettes, The Byrds, Jerry Butler, Stevie Wonder, and The Jimo Tamos Orchestra; Ray Charles and the Beach Boys are saved until the last; The Gentrys and the Guess Who are billed but presumably do not appear. Read this. See contemporary press release here). Pictures here.

Ad in the weekly New York Amsterdam News, Jun. 11, 1966.
Raelettes f.l.t.r.: Merry Clayton, unidentified, Gwen Berry, Clydie King. Photo: Don Paulsen (Michael Ochs Archives/Corbis).

Michael Ochs/Getty photos above by Don Paulsen.

12 June 1966
Musical Theater, Oakdale.

Mid June 1966
Burial of Milt Shaw in New York (died the 12th).

13 June 1966
Shady Grove Music Fair.

16 June 1966
Integrated gig at Coliseum in Jackson (grossing $10,600).

19 June 1966
Municipal Auditorium, Nashville.

20 June 1966
Ray Charles with autograph seekers.
A "night under the stars" at Victory Field, Indianapolis.

25 June 1966
McDonald Gym, Beaumont.

1 July 1966
Ad in Cavalier magazine, July 1966.
Municipal Auditorium, San Antonio.

Ad from San Antonio Light, 26 Jun.

2 July 1966
Dallas City Council refuses to rent out the Memorial Auditorium for Ray Charles concert (because of riots during 1964 gig at that venue).
Assembly Center, Tulsa.

4 July 1966
Municipal Auditorium, Austin.

12 to 17 July 1966
Royal Tahitian, Ontario.
23 July 1966
Convention Hall Ballroom, Atlantic City (gross 14G).

25 July 1966
Painters Mill Music Fair at Pixie Judy Musical Theatre, Baltimore.

26 July 1966
 11th Lorton Jazz Festival at  Lorton Reformatory; with Shirley Horn. Photo from Jet; read here.

Ray Charles, Gwen Berry, Merry Clayton & Clydie King.
The year before, Frank Sinatra performed on the same stage with the Count Basie Orchestra (conducted by Quincy Jones):

29 July 1966
The comeback of Ray Charles, feature story in Life. Read here. 

Bushnell Memorial, Hartford ("claimed a hero by jet and LSD set alike, proved he has the soul of jazz at his fingertips").

30 July 1966
Convention Hall, Asbury Park.

August 1966
Release of the single I Chose To Sing The Blues / Hopelessly.
Recording session (a.o. Chitlins With Candied Yams) at RPM International in Los Angeles.
Clipped from drummer Hal Blaine's, [Hal Blaine] And The Wrecking Crew (Hal Leonard Corporation, 2003).
Billboard trade ad, September 3, 1966.

19 to 24 August 1966
Leo's Casino, Quad Hall Hotel, Cleveland.

27 August 1966
Forest Hills Music Festival at the Tennis Stadium, New York; with 7-year old Frederick Nelson 3d opening (crowd of 9,500).

Backstage at Forest Hills, with Stan Rubin; prob. on this date.

September 1966
Night club (former Swan Theatre) in Milwaukee ("swooning and sobbing, and puring out a lifetime of woe, put on an electrifying performance").
Around this time: release of album Ray's Moods.

4 September 1966
Camden County Music Fair.

Ad from Boston Globe, 15 Sep.

5 September 1966
Storrowton Music Fair, West Springfield.

12 September 1966
The Scene, Milwaukee.

16 September 1966
Carousel Theater, Boston.

18 September 1966
Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford.

25 September 1966
Music Hall, Kansas.

27 September 1966
Municipal Auditorium, Austin.

30 September 1966
Moody Center, Galveston.

Ad from Galveston Daily News, 27 Sep.

October 1966
Release of the single Please Say You're Fooling / I Don't Need No Doctor.

Ad in Billboard, Nov. 12, 1966.
Concert in Copenhagen. More Copenhagen photos here.
Copenhagen 1966..

Photos by Jan Persson.

4 October 1966
Georgia Coliseum, Athens.

8 October 1966
Dinner Key Auditorium, Miami. Probably also the date of Ray's interview with Hy Gardner; see this.
Hollywood Palace TV show, Los Angeles. See this.
Photo by Joe Adams.

This picture must have been taken during a rehearsal for the show, or for a finale (probably performing What'd I Say) that was never televized.

9 October 1966
Municipal Auditorium, Birmingham.

15 October 1966
Grover Center, Ohio University.

Photo review from Athens Messenger, 17 Oct.
Billboard special commemorating Ray's 20 years in show business.

Ray receives Braille copy of the Billboard special (on 1 December, from Billboard, Dec. 10).

19 October 1968
Ice Arena, Seattle.

 22 October 1966
Palais des Sports, Paris (bootlegged). Read this for correct date.

22 October 1966
New Haven Arena.

23 October 1966
Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo.

28 October 1966
Adelbert Gymnasium at Western Reserve University.

4 November 1966
Memorial Auditorium, Utica.

6 November 1966
Auditorium in Minneapolis.

11 to 13 November 1966

Valley Music Theatre, Woodland Hills (gross $46,708).

16 November 1966
Star Theatre, Phoenix.

18 – 20 November 1966
McCormick Place, Chicago, with Frederick Nelson III. Photo here.
From Chicago Tribune, Nov. 13.
20 November 1968
Walter Sillers Coliseum, Delta State College, Cleveland.

22 November 1966
In Boston sentenced to 2 years probation and $10,000 fine.  

22 to 27 November 1966
Westbury Music Fair.

25 November 1966
McCormick Place, Chicago.

End of November 1966
A few college gigs in New York.
And a concert in New Orleans.

1 December 1966
Receives Braille copy of Billboard special, in New York City (see sub Oct. 15, above).
McCormick Place, Chicago.

4 December 1966
Symphony Hall, Newark.

6 December 1966
Auditorium, Greensboro.

16 December 1966
Civic Auditorium, Albuquerque.

17 December 1966
A Christmas program at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Rest of December 1966
Home in LA.
Recording In The Heat Of The Night at RPM, with Quincy Jones. See this

31 December 1966
The brown poster (top) looks authentic, but the full color poster certainly does not - the photo of Ray is of much later date.
First remote network radio appearance: Ray Charles, the Raelettes, and his Orchestra contribute to NBC New Year’s Eve show; Ray is broadcast from City Center Arena in Seattle. See this.

Ad from Seattle Times, 31 Dec.

The Raelettes in concert, somewhere in the UK. Licensed by Corbis, who date this pic in 1965.

Note the cigaret.
Photo series by Maurice Seymour (= Maurice & Seymour Zeldman).
Rare publicity photo of The Raelettes. Clockwise, from top: Merry Clatton, Clydie King, Gwen Berry, Lilian Fort.  

Publicity photo of the Raelettes. Clockwise, from top: Merry Clayton, Clydie King, Gwen Berry and Lilian Fort. Photo by John E. Reed, Hollywood); licensed by Corbis, who date this shoot in 1965.

Photo by Maurice Seymour (= Maurice & Seymour Zeldman). Clockwise: Ray Charles, Clydie King, Gwen Berry, Alex Brown, Merry Clayton.

Same photo, in an often seen cropped version, as licensed by Corbis
From left to right: Gwen Berry, Merry Clayton, Clydie King, Alex Brown. Photos by Maurice Seymour.
From left to right Alex Brown, Merry Clayton, Ray Charles, Gwen Berry. Photo by Maurice Seymour.

From a UK Magazine. From left to right: Alex Brown, Merry Clayton, Gwen Berry, Clydie King. Photo by Maurice Seymour.

Clockwise, starting left: Alex Brown, Clydie King, Gwen Berery, Merry Clayton. Photo by Maurice Seymour.

Top to bottom: Clydie King, Merry Clayton, Alex Brown, Gwen Berry. Photo by Maurice Seymour.

From a Dutch newspaper (1970).

From a UK concert souvenir brochure (Sep. 1969).
Next to Ray: left Susaye Greene, right Mabel John.
At unidentified venue, possibly in 1966 (reproduced from 1967 concert souvenire brochure).

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