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01 September 2010

Ray Charles Is In Town - Chronology 1988

Photo by Thomas Ammerpohl.
Photo by Jean-Paul Guilloteau.
Unidentified gigs, c. 1988.
Publicity shoot... with tour bus. 

28 January 1988
 Deutschlandhalle in Berlin, with the Hannover Symphony Orchestra (also cf.comments to this page).

31 January 1988
CCH Saal, Hamburg.
Strange phrasing: "Musicians and Orchestra". The musicians may refer to Ray's own rhythm section. 

February 1988
When Ray Charles joined the Roanoke Symphony and a mostly black local chorus for a production of Quincy Jones Black Requiem in February 1988, the concert sold out the Salem Civic Center and probably attracted more blacks - about half the 4,000-plus audience - than any event in the orchestra's history. "No one could have asked for more," said Melody Stovall, director of the Harrison Museum.
Concert in Oklahoma City (bootlegged). See this.

4 February 1988
Kuppelsaal, with Philharmonische Orchester, Hannover; review here.

19 February 1988
With Dallas Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Eduardo Mata, at Music Hall, Fair Park, Dallas; tickets $12-$25.

20 February 1988
Los Angeles.

4 March 1988
In a press conference at his arrival in Sydney (reported by AAP, quoted from The Advertiser of March 5), Ray said:
"'South Africa is exactly the same as is happening here'[...] I got an awful lot of flak from people who thought I shouldn't have gone. We were invited by the very people our critics said were the reason we shouldn't have gone, but I don't feel it is my right to go to countries and start talking about how they ought to start handling their situations.'
He said he had not really thought about the plight of Aborigines but, if they asked, he would return to play for them just as he had responded to an invitation from the South African blacks. 'I just go to countries to play my music. All I am trying to do is just make people happy,' said Charles, 57, rocking back on his chair."

5 March 1988
On Willie Nelson, Texas Style (air date; the show was taped in February), see this.

6 March 1988
Leeuwin Winery, in Margeret River (West Australia) with The West Australian Symphony Orchestra (Or 7 March; later simulcast on tv and radio). See this.

10 March 1988

16 March 1988
Constitution Hall, Washington.

4 to 10 April 1988
Touring Japan.

28 April 1988
With the Pacific Symphony at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa.

Photo below by Don Tormey, LA Times.

29 April 1988

With the Pacific Symphony at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa. Reviewhere.

30 April 1988
Wang Center, Boston; with Four Tops, Ben Vereen, Ashford and Simpson (benefit for the Judge Baker Children's Center).

11 May 1988
Performing at Irving Berlin's 100th Birthday Tribute Concert (air date 27 May).

14 and 15 May 1988
Performing in A Fool For You, a concert dansant with the New York City Ballet (aired on 15 May 1989). See this.

The last of these 3 shots was probably taken at a rehearsal. Photos by Paul Kolnik.

30 May - 31 May 1988
Double concerts at Crazy Horse Saloon & Steak House in Santa Ana.

1 June 1988
El Camino College's Celebrity Pops Series, at Marsee Auditorium on the Torrance campus.

5 June 1988
Paul Masson Vineyards, Saratoga; co-billed with Robert Cray ("If a genius is a person who sees or hears or feels something that we all do, but is able to express it and give it a tangible form that makes us realize that we see or hear or feel it, Charles is just that. And he did just that").

9 June 1988
Community Auditorium, Thunder Bay, Ontario.

10 June 1988
Manitoba Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

11 June 1988
Centennial Auditorium, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Photo here.

12 to 13 June 1988
Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary.

14 June 1988
Century Plaza Hotel.

16 June 1988
San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, San Joaquin.

17 June 1988
Eldorado Hotel, Reno.

18 June 1988
Wilson Theatre, Fresno ("a brilliant, virtuoso performance").

19 June 1988
Closing act at Playboy Jazz Festival; "brought the Hollywood Bowl sell-out crowd to their feet". Co-billed with Spyro Gyra, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby McFerrin). Photo here.

Photo by Glenn Waggner (Getty). 
Photo  by Mark Gostin.

20 June 1988
Ft. In Good Morning America. See this.
Flying to Europe.

Two photos above: a symphony concert in Braunschweig, Germany (unknown date). The second photo was made by Thomas Ammerpohl.

22 June 1988
Palais des Sports, Caen.

23 June 1988
La Défense Puteaux, CNIT Paris.

24 June 1988
Futuroscope Théatre Alphanumerique, Portiers.

26 June 1988
Théatre Municipal, Calais.

28 June 1988
Glasgow International Jazz Festival; Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow ("he raised the occasional goosebump with his careworn voice [...]. His legs sought always to escape from their physical confines"; read review here).

29 June 1988
Royal Festival Hall, London.

30 June 1988
Palais des Sports, Porte de Versailles, Paris. More photos here.

1 July 1988
Palais du Pharo, Marseille.

3 July 1988

Palatrussardi, Milan.

4 July 1988
Performs in Detroit "for a television special" (according to an article in the Detroit Free Press of this day) .

5 July 1988
Palais des Congrès, Strasbourg.

6 July 1988
Théatre du Grand Angle, Voiron.

7 July 1988
Festival de Jazz, Sisteron.

8 July 1988
Theatre de la Mer, Sète.

10 July 1988

Double concert at North Sea Jazz Festival, Congresgebouw, The Hague.

Photos by Frans Schellekens/Getty.
Photo: ANP.
Photo: Henk Koster.

12 July 1988
Taormina, Italy.

13 July 1988
Capo d'Orlando.

14 July 1988
Messina, Italy.

16 July 1988
Collection D. Solomon.

17 July 1988
Estoril Casino just outside Lisbon - canceled after plane developed mechanical problems in Toulon. Read this, this, or this.

18 July 1988

20 - 21 July 1988
Paléo Festival, Nyon. Read review here.

22 July 1988
Interviewed in Lisbon.
Photo by Acacio Franco.
Diveramento Park, Torre Pedrera.

23 July 1988
Vallo di Citta di Nimes, Verona.

24 July 1988
Piazza Duomo, Parma.

25 July 1988
Palazzo Della Civiltà, Rome.

26 July 1988

27 July 1988

28 July 1988
Reggio di Calabria.

29 July 1988

30 July 1988
Palermo Piazza Politeama, Palermo. See this.

31 July 1988
Campo Sportivo, Vieste.

1 August 1988
Flying back to U.S.

4 August 1988
Rare double bill with Roy Orbison at Riverband Music Center, Cincinatti (it was Orbison's 4th-before-last concert, 3 months before he died).

5 August 1988
Summer in the City Festival at Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh, with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (crowd of 1,700; "finally he found a sequence of notes he wasted and remarked. 'That's three weeks of work on an album'"; read review here).

6 August 1988
Cigna Insurance Company, Bloomfield.

Wolf Trap's Filene Center.

7 August 1988
Canfield Casino, Saratoga Springs.

8 August 1988
New York, kick-off a 28-stop national tour, sponsored by California Raisins.
Wolf Trap Farm Park, Vienna.

11 August 1988
State Theatre, Minneapolis ("the quintessence of soul singing").
Marquee, from another concert at this theatre.

12 August 1988
Stevenspoint Entertainment Complex, Stevenspoint.

13 August 1988
Meadow Brook Music Festival, Rochester Hills.

14 August 1988
Powel Symphony Hall, St. Louis, with Jimmy Smith. Tickets cost $15 and $20.

15 August 1988
Opry House, Nashville.

19 August 1988
Pier 6, Baltimore.

21 August 1988
JVC Jazz Festival at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs ("fans were greeted [...] by demonstrators asking them to boycott the singer over a 1980 concert in South Africa. No one appeared to change their plans because of the demonstration, held by the Capital District Coalition Against Apartheid and Racism").

22 August 1988
Martin Luther King Jr. Series at Wingate Field, New York, with the Weather Girls.
Interviewee In Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul (air date). See this.

2 - 4 September 1988
142nd New York State Fair, Miller Court, Syracuse (7,000 people on 3d).

3 September 1988
Chatham Theatre, Cape Cod.

7 to 11 (or 12?) September 1988
Ceasar's Palace, Las Vegas; with Natalie Cole.

14 September 1988
Symphony Hall, Salt Lake City.

16 September 1988
Alberta Bear Theatre, Billings.

17 September 1988
Piedmont Airlines National Balloon Rally, Statesville - canceled for better paying gig in Las Vegas; dubbed by Johnny Cash.

17 September 1988
Rushmore Plaza Theater, Rushmore.

18 September 1988
Paramount Theater, Denver.

24 September 1988
Concert at Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinatti.
Celebrates 58th birthday at Beverly Hills Hotel, introducing a new TV commercial for the California Raisin Advisory Board. See this. Photo here.

25 September 1988
Savannah Jazz Festival at Civic Center Auditorium, Savannah.

26 September 1988
Playing at extravaganza/dinner meeting billed as the Georgia On My Mind festival, of Southern Governors Association, at Cloisters Hotel, Sea Island.

27 September 1988
Civic Center Theater, Birmingham.

28 September 1988
Prather Coliseum, Natchitoches.

29 September 1988
Mid-South Fairgrounds, Memphis.
From the archives of the Memphis Newspaper The Commercial Appeal, made (prob. on an earlier date) by Leonard Atkins.  
October 1988
Three concerts announced at Teresa Carreño Theater in Caracas.

4 October 1988
Scottish Rite Auditorium, Williamsport.

5 October 1988
Trenton War Memorial Auditorium, Trenton.

6 October 1988
Pine Arts Center, Amherst.

7 October 1988
John Harm Performing Arts Center, Englewood.

8 October 1988
'Star Night, Star Bright' Aids benefit concert at Stouffer Tower City Plaza Hotel Ballroom, Cleveland.
Photo by Richard Kendziersky.
*?and on same day?*
Paramount Arts Center, Aurora.

9 October 1988
Holiday Star Theatre, Merillville.

10 October 1988 (conflicting data:)
Night on the Town, Great Hall of Wharton Center at Michigan State University, Lansing.
and/or Holiday Star Theatre, Merrillville; tickets $18.50.

12 October 1988
On The Tonight Show. See this and this.

13 October 1988
Henry Levitt Arena, Wichita.

14 October 1988
Benson and Hedges Blues Festival at the Fox Theatre, St. Louis; with Bobby Blue Bland, Albert Collins and Dr. John. ("50 protesters marched outside the Fox Theatre on Friday night, urging theatergoers to boycott singer Ray Charles. Organizers say Charles is on the United Nations Cultural Boycott List for having performed in South Africa seven years ago and for refusing to rule out a return trip.The pickets, part of the Coalition for Cultural Boycott Against Apartheid, said Friday night's effort marked the fourth time they had protested a performance by Ray Charles in St. Louis").

15 October 1988
Paramount Arts Center, Aurora.

16 October 1988
Piccard Auditorium, Neenah.
From souvenir brochure.
18 October 1988
State Theatre, Easton ("ached and moaned and swooned and zoomed; it dipped and ripped and soothed and scatted"; "Charles, wearing a grape-colored tuxedo jacket with black pants and white shirt, was a rollicking presence at the portable keyboard, swaying side to side and front to back with such energy he appeared on the verge of catapulting himself from the padded piano bench").

19 October 1988
Forum, Harrisburg ("Ray Charles may have set a record last night for taking the most bows in a given 90-minute period").

20 October 1988
Kenwood Town Center, Cincinatti.

22 October 1988
Top of the Mart Southern, Highpoint.
*conflicting with*
According to caption taken on this day in Toronto, by Keith Beaty (Getty Images).
23 October 1988

26 October 1988
Convention Center, Charlotte.

28 October 1988 (conflicting data:)
Myrtle Beach.
104th anniversary homecoming celebration of Northwestern State University, at Prather Coliseum, Natchitoches.

29 October 1988
Fox Theater, Atlanta.

30 October 1988

1 November 1988
Arie Crown Theater, Chicago.

3 November 1988
Moody's On The Beach, Miami. See this.

4 November 1988
Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, Sarasota.

5 November 1988
Windstar Country Club, Naples.

6 November 1988
Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater.

7 November 1988

8 November 1988

9 November 1988
Westbury Music Fair.

11 November 1988
Valley Forge Music Fair.

13 November 1988
Marriott Hotel Ballroom, San Antonio.

17 November 1988
Sports Palace, Rome.

18 November 1988
Charity concert for Unicef in Rome. See this. Photo here.

19 November 1988
Brown or Wortham Theatre, Houston.

21 November 1988
Rehearsals for Legends of Rock ‘n’ Roll Live, in Rome, at Palalottomatic Arena. See this.

22 November 1988
With 6 More Legends of Rock 'n' Roll Live in Rome, at Palalottomatic Arena. See this.

22 to 25 November 1988
The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano.

26 November 1988
Ventura Theater, Ventura.

27 November 1988
Bacchanal, San Diego.

December 1988
In French Telethon broadcast; see this.

7 December 1988
Honored at The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration Of The Performing Arts (aired on 30 December). See this.

1 December 1988
The Symphonie Tour '88, Hannover ("Als aber der blinde Ray Charles auf die Bühne geführt wurde, war der Spuk von Kurpromenade und Nivea-Musik mit einem Schlag verschwunden, und die Aura eines bedeutenden Sängers unserer Tage begann zu leuchten, und dieses Licht erbarmte sich sogar des Orchesters und fiel auf dessen Schultern"; read review here).

8 December 1988

16 December 1988
With the San Francisco Symphony orchestra at the Masonic Auditorium, San Francisco ("His voice was beautifully integrated into the orchestral arrangements, conducted brilliantly by Sid Feller, ever sensitive to Charles' shifting dynamics and the nuances of his rhythmic feeling and phrasing. With his trademark lexicon of grunts, laughs, pained sighs, joyous shouts and quick falsetto cries, Charles worked his way through a dozen songs that never failed to move and delight. He navigated the emotional territory where pain and exaltation overlap, his voice throbbing with a sound that moved around the edges of hope and despair..").

17 December 1988
On Parade Of Stars. See this.

Festival Of The Continents, poster from 1988 or 1989. Who knows what/where this was?


  1. I attended a Ray Charles Concert at Berlin / Germany, Thursday Jan 28, 1988, 8 p.m., Deutschlandhalle Berlin, with the Symphony Orchestra Hannover.

    He played
    [after 3 Instrumentals by the orcherstra, "Rhapsody in Blue", "Progy and Bess Medley" and "Ma Fair Lady Medley"]
    - They can't take that away from me
    - If you go away
    - It hurts to be in Love
    - Georgia on my Mind
    - Take these Chains ...
    - [unknown to me then]
    - Eleanor Rigby
    - [? - something like "She's gone for me"]
    - Lay around in Love on you
    - [unknown to me then]
    - All I ever need is you
    - Träumerei [instrumental - Robert Schumann]
    - Yesterday

    I just found my note made then during the concert...