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02 September 2010

Ray Charles Is In Town - Chronology 1991


Photo by Michel Comte.
Photos by June Essex.
With grand daughters (Ray Jr.'s kids).
 Photo by Philip Porcella. "This photograph [...] was taken as part of a project for Unicef".

Records Big Bad Love (with Diana Ross). See this.
Appears two times on Muppets specials. See this
Ft. In Pepsi campaigns (until 1993). See this.
The Paylettes: Melaini Paul, Fretchen Palmer, Darlene Dillinger (from Jet, May 18, 1992).
 Continuation H.E.A.R. campaign. See this.
Appeared in the original Sesame Street music video for Monster in the Mirror, sung by Grover.

27 Januari 1991
Wire photo announcing the Pepsi Super Bowl promotion, distributed on Jan. 7.
Ad promoting a Pepsi commercial during the first in-match break of Super Bowl XXV (New York Giants vs Buffalo Bills) at Tampa Stadium on January 27th.

8 and 9 February 1991
San Antonio Pops (conductor David Mairs), Majestic Theatre, San Antonio TX.

15 February 1991
USF Sun Dome, Tampa FL, with the USF Jazz Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra conducted by H.B. Barnum and Gospel Choir ("The 1 1/2-hour production was impeccable throughout. Despite such massive accompaniment, Charles remained the focal point, his eminently soulful voice always pushed to the forefront. Much of this was due to a superb sound mix and the deft hand of Charles' conductor [...]"). Ray had the show recorded on audio and video; the tapes must be in the vaults of the Ray Charles Foundation. See this.

18 February 1991
Palacio de Deportes, Madrid.

21 to 23 February 1991
Three days at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert CA; taped for VHS release. See this.

1 and 2 March 1991
Dallas Pops Orchestra at Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas TX.

3 March 1991
Collin Creek Mall, Plano TX.

21 March 1991
Macon City Auditorium, Macon GA.

April 1991
Gets NAFEO readership Award.

19 April 1991
Stop in Boston for shopping mall tour promoting Pepsi clothing line ("The mixing board was in front of the cash register in men's apparel. The band set up between two store pillars in the first floor men's casual wear area. This was the Grand Avenue Boston Store-Diet Pepsi-United Brands International free afternoon sing and shop gig"). Read review here.

Original caption: "A young fan applauds Ray Charles while perched on a willing set of shoulders at Grand Avenue Boston Store". Watermarked (wire)photo by Karen A. Sherlock.

Photo probably shot at a gig during this same Pepsi tour.
27 April 1991Receives Gershwin Award from Joe Cocker at UCLA Spring Sing, Tennis Center, Los Angeles.

29 April 1991
 Another promotion event for the Pepsi clothing line at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale. See this.

30 April 1991
At private party celebrating Willie Nelson's 58th birthday, San Antonio.

15 May 1991
Mayfest, Tulsa.

16 May 1991
With Jimmy Carter and and home-run king Hank Aaron among 10 people enshrined as the first members of the Atlanta Celebrity Walk.

18 May 1991
With a 48-piece orchestra for a private dinner audience of 3,300 at the Mid-America Merchandise Show in Kansas.

7 and 8 June 1991
Symphony Pops, Fort Worth (critic in Fort Worth Star: "I'm sorry, but there's just no cooler human being on the face of the Earth than Ray Charles.Even though the man is 60 years old, he's still cool. Even though he sings America the Beautiful, he's still cool. Even though he plays with pops orchestras - as he does this weekend with the Fort Worth Symphony - he's still cool"; "Charles kept the audience on the edge of the seats. [Some of that may have been due to a poorly placed piano too near the front of the stage.] Charles just keeps getting better as he gets older").

11 June 1991
A Romantic Evening At The McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert (laser disc release date). See this.

14 June 1991
Release of video single with America The Beatiful (also with Georgia, Your Cheating Heart, Eleanor Rigby).

15 June 1991
Co-billed with Ruth Brown, playing the Playboy Jazz Festival, at the Hollywood Bowl.
The gig, as David Hoffman remembers it: "I joined Ray Charles band in 1991, right before the start of a seven-month tour. It was a last-minute thing, and I got to Los Angeles to rehearse with the band on Thursday. The band had been rehearsing since Monday, and our first gig was at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night. Therefore I only had 2 days to try 2 get comfortable with a large amount of music. It meant that I would be sight reading many selections on the job. I was playing one of the solo trumpet books and Ray required the soloists to come to the front of the stage 2 blow. if this wasn't stressful enough, I kept being called out of rehearsal for them to find me a band suit that fit. I ended up with a jacket that was a couple of sizes too small, and pants that were a couple of sizes too big.
Fast forward to Saturday evening at the bull. The way the bowl is set up is that a band is set up on stage, with the next band on the opposite side of the stage wall facing backwards. The stage then revolves so that you are immediately facing the audience. we got the list of music 10 minutes before the hit. so I was finding the music in this huge book, trying to look at it a little bit, and seeing if I had two solo I did. I had solos on a couple of different Tunes. I had not played one of them at all. I get the tunes for the night in order with about 30 seconds to spare.
when the stage started to revolve, a gust of wind caught my music stand, and my music started blowing all over the stage. band members were scrambling to try to help me get my music, which at this point was woefully out of order. it was then that the band reached this position on stage and the first tune was counted off. I glanced front for an instant to see approximately 15000 people in attendance during every rest I was attempting to find at least a semi order.

After the first tone, I glanced at the second one and found that I had I rather substantial solo. It then dawned on me that I had to weave myself to the front of the stage to play something I had never rehearsed and that due to my pants being two sizes too large there was a substantial chance that my pants would fall down in front of 15,000 people at the Hollywood Bowl. luckily they didn't, nor did I get fired, and in fact was on that gig for 13 years."

16 June 1991
Pops on the Green, at Amphitheatre, Fiddler's Green, Denver.

17 June 1991
Cincinnati Pops concert at Riverbend ("Charles wowed the crowd of several thousand").

18 June 1991
The Pavilion, Ravinia, Highland Park IL. Photo here.

20 June 1991
Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls OH. 

21 June 1991
Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati OH with Cincinnati Symphony.

27 June 1991
Associated Black Charities' charity gala ("Giving Gifts through Music", at the Meyerhoff, Baltimore.

28 - 29 June 1991
Oakdale Musical Theatre in Wallingford CT. Read this.

29 June 1991
JVC Jazz Festival at Avery Fisher Hall; with Regina Belle; tickets at $17.50-$35 ("Using a voice that moved from a hiss to a moan, he made the most of slight melodies, imbuing almost everything he sang with loss and longing. Though Mr. Charles sings his songs the same way every night, he has the ability to turn the routine into something that signifies passion; as the band stared straight ahead, looking bored, the audience went wild"; read review here).

30 June 1991
Newport Jazz Festival, Saratoga.
Through its caption, the bottom photo was associated with this Newport concert, but it was prob. shot at another venue. Photo by Chuck Stewart.

3 July 1991
Convention Center, Ocean City MD.

4 July 1991
Blockbuster Pavilion, Charlotte NC,  in a "Red, White &Blue Celebration" to Desert Storm troops (19,000 people).
Photo by Catherine Bauknight.
6 July 1991
Summer Pops at Chastain Park Amphitheatre, Atlanta GA.

7 July 1991
Civic Center, Mobile AL (with The Chi-Lites).
Ad from Mobile Register, 2 Jun.

11 July 1991
Mosque, Richmond VA ("The vocally ingenious Ray Charles enraptured nearly 3,000 admiring fans"; "bobbed his head to direct the Orchestra, 12 horns, two guitars, bass, a tasteful drummer and a shimmering Hammond B-3 organ whose solo was sublime"; crowd of 2,981").

12 July 1991
Maryland Theatre, Hagerstown MD.

13 July 1991
With Florida Philharmonic Orchestra at Marine Stadium, Miami FL; tickets at $12 - $22 (sang "[...] like a man wondering in the back of his mind if he turned off the iron at home [...]. Still, there were moments, flashes of brilliance"; read review here).

15 July 1991
Montreux - with band & Raelettes, but not for the Jazz Festival.

16 - 17 July 1991
Ray Charles - solo - sitting in a few times at the Montreux Jazz Festival. See this.

20 July 1991
Double concert at Music Hall, Houston TX; tickets at $20 - $25. See photos here.  

27 July 1991
Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center in Canandaigua NY.

2 August 1991
With George Kirby at Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas NV.

4 August 1991
Las Vegas.

13 August 1991
Casino Ballroom, Hampton Beach NH.

14 August 1991
Hatch Shell, Boston MA.

15 August 1991
In He Does It Best Because He Loves It (news item). See this.

16 August 1991
Westbury Music Fair, Westbury NY.

17 August 1991
Valley Forge Music Fair, Devon PA.

18 August 1991
Newport Jazz Festival, Newport RI ("was in extremely strong form, his multitextured voice lithe and alive").

19 August 1991
Wolf Trap Filene Center, Vienna VA.

22 August 1991
Starwood Amphitheater, Antioch TN; tickets $12.50-$17.50).

29 to 31 August 1991
The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano CA; tickets at $39.50.

1 September 1991
Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle WA.

3 September 1991
Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay, San Diego CA.

7 September 1991
Concert at Paul Masson's Mountain Winery in Saratoga. Etta James opened the show. Photos by Tim Mosenfelder.

11 - 12 September 1991
Parker's Casino & Niteclub, Seattle; tickets at $27.50. Read review here
19 September 1991
Ray Charles, Willie Nelson.
TV show 50 Years In Music, Uh-Huh; a benefit event for the Starlight and Starbright Pavilion Foundations, in Pasadena. See this.
Gladys Knight, Ray Charles.
Finale, with Tevin Campbell, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones a.o.

19 September 1991
Levitt Pavilion, Pasadena CA.

20 September 1991
Luther Burbank Center For The Arts, Santa Rosa CA.
Photo by Kevork Djansezian.

21 September 1991
Tower Theater, Fresno CA; tickets at $24.50.

22 September 1991
15th Annual Sacramento Blues Festival.

26 September 1991
Assembly Hall, University of Illinois, Champaign IL.

27 September 1991
With Marcus Belgrave - solo'ing on Alexander's Ragtime Band and (for Ray) slipping in a few notes on a late Happy Birthday - at Orchestra Hall, Detroit:

29 September 1991
Riverside Theatre - canceled by almost bankrupt promoter.

Q4 1991
A concert in Istanbul.
Photo by Murat Gül.

3 October 1991
At the University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center in Amherst MA ("let loose with a raw-edged voice that dipped to an aching whisper and rose to a shattering scream, sending unavoidable chills down the spine of any human being who heard it").

4 October 1991
Morris Knolls High School Auditorium, Denville NJ.

6 October 1991
State Theatre in Easton PA.
Ray performing Feel So Bad, during a concert in Easton. Brochure cover and photo courtesy of coll. Harry Irvin.

10 (or 17?) October 1991
AUD, Boston.

11 October 1991
Memorial Auditorium, Worcester MA (3,000 people).

15 October 1991
Forum, Harrisburg PA.

16 October 1991
Proctor's Theatre, Schenectady NY.

17? October 1991
Jewish Community Center at Dutchess County.

18 October 1991
Burlington Memorial Auditorium, Burlington IA.

19 October 1991
Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie NY.

20 October 1991
Concert in Stockholm "canceled when the promoters discovered the soul singer was on a U.N. blacklist for performing in South Africa in 1981".

22 to 27 October 1991
The Blue Note ("reported to be the only nightclub in the world where Charles still performs"), New York City NY. The show on the 26th was taped from the audience; cf. this.
Ad from New York Amsterdam News, Oct. 26, 1991.
At the Blue Note, prob. between 1989 and 1991. Photo by Douglas Carver.

30 October 1991
Austria Center, Vienna.

31 October 1991
Nibelungenhalle, Passau.
Photo made backstage at this venue (but not necessarily in '91).

1 November 1991
International Jazzhaus Festival, at Stadthalle in Freiburg.

2 November 1991
Aula, Gronau.

3 November 1991
Mehrzweckhalle, Ingolstädter Jazztage.
Program brochure (courtesy of André Monnot).
Nils Johnson and Ray Charles. Photo by Gerhard Löser.
6 November 1991
Unterfrankenhalle, Asschaffenburg.

8 November 1991
Grugahalle, Essen.

9 November 1991
Rai Congrescentrum, Amsterdam.

Sold out concert for a 'dominantly elderly audience'. From Parool, Sep. 11. Photo by Geert van Kesteren.

Around this date in November 1991
A concert in Luxembourg or Northern France.

12 November 1991
Photo by John Van Hasselt/Corbis.
Two concerts at the Palais des Congrès in Paris. Photo here. The Europe 1 logo may imply that the concert was aired over radio.
Postcard with a woodcut or linocut, sold for Amnesty

Coll. J. Dufour.
Photo by Alain Benainous/Getty.
Photo made in Paris, c 1991.
13 November 1991
Les Pyramides, Le Port-Marly.

14 November 1991
Galaxie, Amneville.

15 November 1991
Salle du Casino, Montreux.

16 November 1991
Palais des Festivals, Grand Auditorium, Cannes. A Dutch news paper wrote that Ray and Quincy canceled their concerts in Cannes in fear of terror attacks, but France 3 had a news item (INA ID
NIC9111253654), where Ray's arrival by airplane was filmed).

19 November 1991
Badnerhalle, Rastatt.

21 November 1991
Saalbau, Wettingen.

23 November 1991
Typhoon HK Areena, Turku.
On A Party For Richard Pryor (air date). See this.

24 November 1991
Falconer Theatre, Copenhagen.

26 November 1991
Tatro Sistina, Rome; review here.

27 November - 8 December 1991
Italian tour with concerts in Bari, Ferrara, Padova, Milan, Cagliari, Parma, Trieste, Quario.

1 December 1991
First broadcast of the documentary Ray Charles: The Genius Of Soul.

2 December 1991
Palasport, Ferrara.

4 December 1991
  Milanofiori Forum di Assago, Assago (aired on the 6th by TMC; see this).

8 December 1991
Palasport (PalaRuffini) in Torino ("embarassing sound quality"; review here).  

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