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05 September 2010

Ray Charles Was In Town - Chronology 2004>

Late 2003 or Early 2004
At RPM Studio. Photo by Patrik Anderson.

Interviewed for Tom Dowd And The Language Of Music (DVD released in August 2004). See this

Contributing to a PSA for, with Quincy Jones. See this.
Genius Loves Company peaks at #1 on Pop Album Chart.
Release of Ellis Hall's album Straight Ahead (Cross Over Records, ENM-4005), produced by Hall and Charles.

9 January 2004
Press release:
"Plans his comeback: Ray is on the mend and you see him in your hometown this year. The legendary singer/pianist had to cancel his tour last year to undergo hip replacement surgery. Charles will give his first performance in eight months on March 2nd in New York. The singer told the press that performing music is as important to him as oxygen and he's thrilled to be back."

10 January 2004
With Toledo Sympony - canceled.

19 January 2004:
Learning to work on a "music reading" computer (at RPM?):

23 January 2004
Benayora Hall, Seattle - canceled.

25 January 2004
Ray's very last performance at the Skirball Cultural Center, LA, with Ray Charles Trio. (Many thanks to Brad Rabuchin for corrections). The concert was titled 'Hope, Healing and Humanity', a benefit for research.

30 January 2004
Gets Grammy President's Merit Award at RPM/Ray Charles Enterprises, LA. Photo series here.

6 February 2004
Named A Cultural Treasure on behalf of the City of Los Angeles, kicking off the city's African American Heritage Month festivities; the mayor also announced that the area in central Los Angeles where Charles built his offices and studios in 1960, will be renamed Ray Charles Square.

21 or 22 February 2004
Interviewed in Waiting In The Wings: African Americans In Country Music (air date). See this.

24 February 2004
Recording with Johnny Mathis, at RPM.

25 February 2004
Press release:
"Ray Charles was hoping to get back on the road next week but his aching body spoke louder than his urge to tour. Charles who underwent hip replacement surgery has had to cancel his comeback concert in New York next Tuesday. The legendary singer has also canceled all shows until mid June. Charles says he's not recovering as fast as he had hoped."

2 March 2004
Lincoln Center, New York - canceled.

3 March 2016
Hearing Is Believing is a documentary  about the life of Rachel Flowers, a blind keyboardist/composer, performing and writing both classical music and jazz.
On March 3, 2004, just 3 months before he died, she met and played for Ray Charles at his RPM studio in Los Angeles. The film, produced and directed by Lorenzo DeStefano, premiered in June 2017 in theatres in California.

6 March 2004
Inducted into the NAACP Image Awards’ Hall of Fame at a ceremony televised from the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City, Hollywood. See this.
Photos by Frank Micelotta and Kevin Winter:

12 and 13 March 2004
Booked for Pacific Symphony Orchestra Pops series at Orange County Performing Arts Center - canceled.

9 and 10 April 2004
Pacific Symphony Pops, Orange County - canceled.

25 April 2004
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - canceled.

30 April 2004
Last public appearance at RPM: Los Angeles grants RPM landmark status. See this.

10 June 2004
Photo: Rick Francis. I think this pic was shot in 2004 [BS].
Passes away at his home in Beverly Hills, California. See this.
First time in the history of Le Monde that they opened with an obituary on a not-politician.
Also see these U.S. front pages.
18 June 2004
Funeral services at the First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles; laid to rest at Inglewood Park Cemetery. See this

27 or 28 June 2004
Freihofer's Jazz festival at Saratoga Performing Arts Center... canceled.

August 2004 
Release of album Genius Loves Company. See this.

September 2004
Release of Ray Charles Celebrates A Gospel Christmas. See this.

19 October 2004
Hollywood premiere of Ray. See this.

22 October 2004
Ray - Genius: A Night For Ray Charles; A Tribute Concert (air date). See this

29 October 2004
Release of soundtrack Ray. See this. For additional track see this.

1 November 2004
Charles' children bring out story that Ray gave them $ 1 million each in 2002. Read this.

December 2004
60 Minutes - Remembering Ray Charles. See this

Genius & Friends peaks at #36, and Ray Charles Celebrates A Gospel Christmas at #144 on Pop Album Chart.
Ray Charles Narrates Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (release date). See this
Subject of yet unfinalized documentary, Ray Charles - Genius At Work. See this

20 January 2005
Benaroya Hall, Seattle... canceled.

25 February 2005
Concert with Omaha Symphony... canceled.

7 May 2005
The Birth Of Soul (Pt 1 Of Soul Deep: The Story Of Black Popular Music; release date). See this

4 August 2005
Some big bands have survived after their founder died. You can replace a founding pianist with another pianist, and still, more or less, sound the same. But a Ray Charles Orchestra without Ray Charles is a very odd concept. 
Joe Adams nevertheless tried it out in 2005. On August 4th he gathered a group of musicians (none of whom had ever played with Ray, except for Craig Bailey, who acted as the band's leader), a few girls acting as Raelettes, and Billy Osborne as the singer, in the Blue Note, in New York.
  The Raelettes in the photos are Andromeda Turre (who was hired in 2003, when concerts started to be canceled and therefore never performed live with Ray), Joy Styles and Shalaine Adams.   
Adams invited some booking agents from abroad and some journalists. But nobody booked the act, and nobody wrote about it...
This sad documentary footage popped up on YouTube, in April 2013.

September 2005
Release of album Genius And Friends. See this. Will peak at #36 on Pop Album Chart. 

Release of Ray Sings, Basie Swings. See this. Will peak at #23 on Pop Album Chart.

28 June 2006
American Routes broadcasts Visions of Genius: Remembering Ray Charles. See this.

October 2009
Web documentary series: Ray Charles, Genius. See this.

20 October 2010
First broadcast of Ray Charles America, on BIO. See this.

26 October 2010
Release of album Rare Genius – The Undiscovered Masters.

April 2011
Release of the extended edition of Ray Charles Live In Concert. See this.

25 October 2011
Release of the DVD Ray Charles - Live in France 1961. See this.

15 November 2011
Release of the ABC singles box set Singular Genius. See this.

23 September 2013
Induction into the Music Icons Forever Stamp Series by U.S. Postal Service (combined in several packages with a CD/DVD release carrying the same title).
Design by Ethel Kessler and Neal Ashby, based on photo by Yves Carrère. 
7 July 2018
Joe Adams dies.

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