|Photo possibly made by Burt Goldblatt, c. 1968.|
|Concert, c. 1968|
Eleanor Rigby peaks at #35 on Pop Chart and #30 on R&B, Understanding at #46 on Pop and #13 on R&B, That's A Lie at #64 on Pop and #11 on R&B, Come Rain Or Come Shine at #98 on Pop.
A Portrait Of Ray peaks at #51, and I'm All Yours Baby! at #167 on Pop Album Chart.
Release of the single Go On Home / That's A Lie.
|Tangerine ad in Billboard, February 17, 1968.|
First air date of second part of Caltex Presents The Genius Of Ray Charles, on Channel 7 in Australia. Seen on more than 20 stations "Part 2 is [...] once again marked for an outstanding quality of sound. Hit The Road Jack, Shake, Georgia, Sister Mary, I don’t need a doctor, How high the moon, Going out of my Head, Something deep inside, and many more”). See this.
26 February 1968
Taping of Jonathan Winters Show (aired 6 March 1968). See this.
|Ray Charles, The Four King Cousins (Tina and Cathy Cole, Candy Conkling,|
Carolyn Cameron) and Jonathan Winters.
Rehearsing with Orchestra and (mainly:) Raelettes.
Release of album A Portrait Of Ray.
|Ad for A Portrait Of Ray.|
21 and/or 26 March 1968
On Joey Bishop Show; see this.
5 – 9 April 1968
Latin Casino (shows of 6, 7 and 8 canceled after assassination of Dr. King).
9 April 1968
Attending Martin Luther King's funeral in
10 – 11 April 1968
12 April 1968
On Operation: Entertainment (air date). See this.
12 – 14 April 1968
15 April 1968
Start of Spring Tour 1968 - 31 cities in 56 days.
|The Raelettes; f.l.t.r. Alex Brown, Mary Clayton, Gwen Berry, Clydie King. At an unidentified venue (poss. in or near St Petersburg, FA); photo by Bob Hannah, dated April 4, 1968; prob. published in Florida Times.|
Leon Cole Auditorium, JSU, Jacksonville.
18 April 1968
Florida A&M University, Tallahassee.
25 and 26 April 1968
Bushnell Memorial, Hartford.
28 April 1968
Back Bay Theater, Boston.
On Andy Williams Show, with Simon & Garfunkle, Mama Cass and Burt Bacharach. See this.
|These b&w photos are dated March 26, 1968 (Photos: Getty Images).|
Release of the single Understanding / Eleanor Rigby.
|Trade ad in Billboard.|
Early May 1968
Receives 2 gold records:
|From Billboard, May 11, at unidentified event.|
4 May 1968
With His All New Show at Carnegie Hall.
7 May 1968
8 May 1968
10 May 1968
11 May 1968
Carnegie Hall, New York.
12 May 1968
Public Music Hall, Cleveland.
|From Cleveland Plain Dealer, 7 May 1968.|
17 May 1968
20 May 1968
22 May 1968
Booked for Circle Star Theatre in San Carlos - obviously canceled.
24 May 1968
25 May 1968
26 May 1968
Municipal Auditorium, Nashville; winding up a 56-day tour of 20 states.
Taped concert leads to It's a Blues Thing, a bootleg-ish album. See this.
28 May - 2 June 1968
Circle Star Theatre, San Carlos.
4 to 9 June 1968
Melodyland Theatre, Anaheim,
14 June 1968
Will Rogers Auditorium, Fort Worth.
18 - 21 June 1968 [conflicting with Tulsa]
Two shows daily at Music Hall, Houston.
|Back stage with fan on 20th.|
Assembly Center, Tulsa.
22 June 1968
Melody Fair, Wurlitzer Park, North Tonawanda ("dazzling a full house"); read this.
24 June 1968
Bushnell park, Hartford.
Around this day in June 1968
Gaither's Gymnasium, Florida A&M University, Miami.
|From Chicago Defender, Jun 29.|
26 June 1968
Saratoga Performing Arts Center ("The singer-pianist has played to over eight million persons in 21 countries, earning himself a reputation as the apostle of 'soul'"; read this).
29 - 30 June 1968
Three shows at Civic Opera House, Chicago - "The Man Who's For Real".
3 July 1968
Kicking off the Philadelphia Music Festival at John F. Kennedy Stadium (co-billed with Nina Simone and the Mandrake Memorial).
4 July 1968
|Ad from Charleston Gazette, 9 Jun.|
6 July 1968
Convention Hall, Asbury Park, opening Festival Of Stars (with "songbirds" and "songful cuties" Alexandra Brown, Clydie King, Gwendolyn Berry and Merry Clayton"; read this and this.
|From Variety, Sep. 11.|
7 July 1968
|Clipped from sleeve of Japanese single "Come Live With Me".|
|Billy Preston (photo detail, captured from video).|
|From 1973 Japan Tour brochure.|
|Photo by Joe Johnson.|
|Photo by David Redfern.|
|Photos by Burt Goldblatt.|
8 July 1968
Schaefer Music Festival, Central Park, New York.
|Ad in New York Amsterdam News, Jun. 15, 1968.|
|Review in Cashbox, July 20.|
18 July 1968
On Joey Bishop Show (ABC). See this.
17 - 29 July 1968
|"A big kiss is planted by Mrs. Della Charles on het famous husband's cheek after his opening [...]." From Los Angeles Sentinel, Jul. 25.|
2-week engagement at the Cocoanut Grove (Ambassador Hotel), Los Angeles (23,000 covers for his 23 shows, some nights as many as 25% turnaways). The opening night was a benefit for the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation.
CBS filmed Ray at this venue, and used some of the footage (with fragments of Georgia, The Sun Died, Yesterday and Eleanor Rigby) in the documentary Of Black America - Body And Soul.
Rita Graham's 'Vibrations' album was "[...] the 'straw that broke the camel's back' for R.C.'s Raelettes. They all quit one night while the show was booked into L.A.'s Premiere night club, the Cocoanut Grove in the Ambassador Hotel. The next morning after I had been at the Grove, 'glowing' to everyone about my album that Ray Charles had produced, R.C. called me and asked me to be at his office in the Washington Boulevard RPM Studios within the hour. Two other girls there, Beverly LeShure and Susaye Green and I, made up the new (Instant) Raelettes. That night, we were standing on the stage of the Grove, and I was a nervous wreck. Unlike the other girls, I'd had no experience with harmony and group singing, because I'd never been a church singer and I'd never been with any singing group, except for solo work with a professional choir when I was eleven" (Rita Graham in an interview, published here).
|Photo of the club's marquee.|
The Cloister; read this.
30 July 1968
Documentary Body And Soul first airs on CBS. See this.
1 August 1968
Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento.
|From Tower's early concert promoting days, a Western Union telegram confirming a date change.|
Release of the single Sweet Young Thing Like You / Listen, They're Playing My Song.
1 August 1968
Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento.
2 to 10 August 1968
Mr. D's, near Montgomery in San Francisco. With the new Raelettes.
|Ad from Oakland Tribune, 28 Jul.|
4 August 1968
Ed Sullivan Show, with Billy Preston. See this.
7 August 1968
Mr. D's, San Francisco.
From Variety, Aug. 14.
17 August 1968
18 August 1968
Oakdale Musical Theatre, Wallingford.
19 to 25 August 1968
Carter Barron Amphitheatre in Rock Creek Park, Washington DC.
30 August 1968
Memorial Auditorium, Spartanburg.
31 August 1968
Steel Pier, Atlantic City.
|From Steel Pier's 1968 summer brochure.|
A week at the Apollo.
Between gigs, Ray flies to LA to record I'm All Yours, Baby.
3 September 1968
Stambaugh Auditorium, Youngstown.
|Ad from Vindicator.|
Apollo Theatre, New York.
4 September 1968
Latin Casino, Cherry Hill.
13 September 1968
On Merv Griffin Show; see this.
15 September 1968
Carousel Theatre, Boston.
20 September 1968
Date mentioned for taping of BBC-2 show in London; see below.
21 September 1968
Two concerts at Royal festival Hall, London.
22 September 1968
Two concerts at the Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton.
23 September 1968
25 September 1968
Oslo (probably at Njårdhallen; cf. this).
27 September 1968
Sport Palast, Berlin.
|Original artwork by Günter Kieser, for album King Of Soul (ABC/Hör Zu), 1968.|
28 September 1968
29 September 1968
30 September 1968
Deutsches Museum, Munich.
|Photo made by Ulli Schwenn, and therefore almost certainly shot in Munich (the author says in 1965, but that should probably be 1968).|
Last week of September or early October
Concerts and TV show in the UK.
|From New Musical Express, Sep. 21, 1968.|
|The photos above and the pics below are from a (yet to be identified) BBC TV show, which probably was taped between September 23 and October 4, in London. Also read this. Photos by David Redfern.|
|Billy Preston was part of the show.|
|From sleeve Impulse single Moanin'.|
|Source of newspaper photo: Leidsch Dagblad.|
|Ray flying on stage, in a '69 newspaper clipping from Leeuwarder Courant.|
1 October 1968
On The Jerry Lewis Show (air date). See this.
2 October 1968
4 October 1968
Double concert Jahrhunderthalle,
|Photo by Joe Gromelski.|
5 October 1968
Doelen, Rotterdam (after the intermission Ray announces that Preston is back to play the organ, but Billy is not on stage - "That's life," Ray says).
Concertgebouw, Amsterdam (midnight concert); review (in Dutch) here; also see this.
|Photo made in Holland, possibly around this date.|
this); documentary footage for 'Ray Charles Big Band' shot for Dutch tv (air date 20 August 1969; see this).
|On arrival at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. Photos by Eric Koch.|
6 October 1968
Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels.
8 - 9 October 1968
La Salle Pleyel, Paris. First aired on October 12. See this.
|La Salle Pleyel, Paris; photo by Jean-Pierre Leloir.|
13 October 1968
Civic Center, Baltimore (with The Impressions and The Delfonics).
16 October 1968
|This photo was submitted to Facebook, with the following comment: "Sometimes archives can be disappointing! Yesterday the archivist was excited to find photos of Ray Charles at Gammage Audtiorium in 1968, but when we scanned from the 35mm contact prints we found the original photos were out of focus!"|
Civic Auditorium, San Jose.
18 October 1968
19 October 1968
Center Arena, Seattle (with Andy Butler).
20 October 1968
New Civic Auditorium, Portland.
24 October 1968
Men’s Gym, Cal Poly,
25 October 1968
Fresno, with Andy Butler (concert was taped; see this).
26 October 1968
College of Santa Fe.
28 October – 4 November 1968
Release of the single If It Wasn't For Bad Luck (with Jimmy Lewis) / When I Stop Dreaming.
|Trade ad from early '69 issue of Billboard.|
Photo from Indianapolis Reporter, Feb. 22, 1969.
|Music director Billy Davis, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles.|
|This PR piece appeared in the California Times on February 8, 1969.|
5 November 1968
Civic Center Auditorium, Atlanta.
6 November 1968
Sings The Sun Died on The Bob Hope Show. See this.
10 November 1968
11 November 1968
|Ad from the program booklet.|
14 November 1968
'Soul Spectator '68' at T. Roosevelt Jr. Hi, Altoona (with Billy Preston).
17 November 1968
20 November 1968
Minges Coliseum, Delta State College, Greenville.
|From yearbook The Buccaneer.|
22 November 1968
23 November 1968
27 November 1968
Memorial Auditorium, Chanute.
1 December 1968
Masonic Temple in Detroit.
5 – 18 December 1968
10 December 1968
"All new 1968 revue" at Symphony Hall in Newark (co-billed with "extra special attraction" Hugh Masekela).
8 December 1968
Ed Sullivan Show. See this.
|Ray Charles and The Raelettes, performing Eleanor Rigby at the Ed Sullivan Show.|
"All new 1968 Revue with Orchestra & The Raelets" at Symphony Hall, Newark. With Hugh Maskela.
21 December 1968
Clowes, Indianapolis (2 shows).
25 December 1968
At Civic Theatre in
27 December 1968
28 December 1968
29 December 1968
|Unidentified location (UK?), c. 1968.|
|Italian postcard; photo from late 1960s.|