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30 August 2010

Ray Charles Is In Town – Chronology 1977

Born: Vincent Kotchounian (son, to Arlette Kotchounian).
True To Life peaks at #78 on Pop Album Chart.
With Cleo Laine on tv show Heart And Soul. See this.

2 January 1977
In The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Of The Super Bowl. See this.

10 February 1977
On Mike Douglas Show. See this.

28 February 1977
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles CA (Not assaulted with a microphone cord, tearing off the singer's coat in the process, "but only hugged by a young man who apparently was overcome by his emotions"; "Witnesses said that [...] the man yelled out, 'Ray Charles will see and the Lord will come tonight'").

March 1977
Benefit concert at Dorothy Chandler Pavillion (Jackie Onassis in the audience); young man runs up to center stage and hugs Ray forcibly, knocking off his glasses.
Photo by Ozier Muhammad.

19 to 24 April 1977
 Playhouse Square State Theatre, Cleveland OH (17,500 people).

26 April 1977
Ray & Ree On The All-Star Gong Show Special. See this.

Late April 1977
Divorce from Della Bee.

7 May 1977
Two concerts at Auditorium Theatre, Chicago IL; benefit for the Chicago Jaycee's community service programs.

9 May 1977
The women's auxiliary of Howard University Hospital present Ray Charles and Stephanie Mills at Kennedy Center.

9 to 15 May 1977
On Hollywood Squares. See this.

15 May 1977
Stegton's Regency Ballroom, Saint Charles MO.

19 May 1977
Airport Hilton Hotel, Memphis TN. Photo here.

29 May 1979
Possible contribution to NAACP Memorial Day Tribute (with Aretha Franklin) at Sports Arena, Los Angeles CA.

5 June 1977
Jesse Jones Hall, Houston TX; with Bobby Bland.

7 to 12 June 1977
Granny's Dinner Playhouse, Dallas TX.
Ad from Dallas Morning News, 1 May.
26 June 1977
Paramount Theatre, Oakland CA.

Summer 1977
The 'signed' photo below was shot at the Tivoli Konsercal in Copenhagen by Gorm Valentin, according to its source,  in 1977. It could be, so far, the only trace of a European tour during this year.

1 July 1977
Announced for the City Living Festival in Buffalo.
The Planning & Development Committee Pilgrim Congregational Church Presents A Soulful Explosion Featuring Ray Charles & B.B. King at the Jones Hall in Houston.

Around this time in July 1977
With Dee Dee Bridgewater at Operation Push Founders Banquet in Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

23 July 1977
On Midnight Special. See this.

Leaving for a tour to Australia, Switzerland and Japan ("Miss Trudy Cohran [...] said that she was "very excited" about her recent selection and said that she hopes that she will fit into the group perfectly. "He said my voice was what he needed," she said"). On 3 September the Tri-State Defender reported that Ray had selected a second girl from the Operation PUSH Ensemble Choir: Deborah Gleese. "Miss Gleese has already begun her training with the group. She left over the weekend enroute to Los Angeles, for training and from there she will be going to Portland, Oregon for a concert and then to Washington". 

3 and 4 August 1977
Two shows at Godfather Lounge, Brownsville TX.

8 - 9 August 1977
Harlequin Theatre, Atlanta GA.

31 August - 1 September1977
Oregon State Fair, Salem OR.
From State Fair program. Signature is fake.

5 September 1977
Backyard Bandstand at Belmont Race Track, Belmont NY.

8 September 1977
N.I.U.P. Theater, Newark NJ.

11 September 1977
Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier in Montreal CA.

16 September 1977
Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg MB.

22 September 1977
With Gladys Knight & The Pips at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. See this.

23 September 1977
With Gladys Knight & her Pips at Greek Theatre, Berkeley CA.

26 September - 1 October 1977
JB's Club, Hyatt Regency, Dearborn MI.

October 1977
Ray and Ahmet at the signing ceremony.
Signing of new Atlantic contract. Atlantic VP Hillery Johnson, Ray Charles, Ahmet Ertegun. 
This archive photo had a date stamp "October 29, 1979".
Release of album True To Life.
Austrasia tour to Hong Kong, Manilla, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, playing theatres, military bases and hotels.

5 (or 12?) October 1977
The Lee Theatre, Hong Kong.

Page from a (HKB-TV broadcast?) magazine; photo made at this concert?

13 October 1977
Interviewed for The Straits Times by Roger Kiew, at Neptune Theatre Restaurant, Singapore. Read this.  
Clockwise from top: Jack Evans, Bob Coassin, Ken Tussing, Ray Charles, Gregg Field.

14 October 1977
Two dinner shows at Neptune Theatre Restaurant in Singapore. Read review here.  

15 October 1977
Concert in Jakarta.

20 October 1977
Press conference in Sydney ("Even just talking, his body is in a constant rhythmical sway. A leg taps, his hands clasp, yearning for a piano or saxophone [...]").
This picture may have been was shot at this occasion.

20 to 23 October 1977
In concert at Hilton Hotel, Sydney.

26 October 1977
Shoreline Cabaret, Auckland.

November 1977
Release of the single I Can See Clearly Now / Anonymous.

8 November 1977
Van Wezel Performing Arts Centre, Sarasota FL. Read this.

12 November 1977
On Saturday Night Live. See this.
Backstage, with producer Lorne Michaels. Photo by Joe Adams.

Blackout Burglary sketch.
Ray Charles, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Laraine Newman, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Dan Aykroyd.
With the Young Caucasians.

Ray Charles, Phil Gilbeau, Marcus Belgrave, Hank Crawford, David Newman, Leroy Cooper.

With The Raelettes.

15 to 20 November 1977
Palace Theatre, Cleveland OH.
From Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2 Oct.
24 November 1977
Ft. in The Beatles Forever. See this.
27 November 1977
Columbus Room, Baltimore MD.

30 November 1977
Performing Arts Center, Milwaukee WI ("More solo time for Johnny [Coles], if you please, Ray"; read review here).

5 - 11 December 1977
On Hollywood Squares. See this.

16 and 17 December 1977
Nanuet Star Theatre, Nanuet NY (with Aaron & Freddie).

19 December 1977
Avery Fisher Hall in New York City NY, with Milt Jackson (doing a duet on Merry Christmas/The Christmas Song as an encore). From a press release (related to the True To Life album): "New York City welcomed Atlantic recording artist Ray Charles 'back home' with a night at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, as Cubistic Productions headlined him with Milt Jackson for a 'round of jazz and blues' at Avery Fisher Hall; with Atlantic Records hosting a private party afterwards at the New York State Theater."

Press map.

27 December 1977
On Sesame Street. See this.

28 December 1977 - 1 January 1978
Eight shows at the Circle Star in San Carlos CA; with The Spinners.

1977 – 1979
Featuring in 3M Scotch Campaigns. See this.

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