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29 August 2011

Ray Charles Live In Berlin And Frankfurt (1967)

Photo from concert in Milan, during the same tour.
The year 1967 has long been a barren time zone in the history of documented live performances by Ray Charles. Only recently, I was happily surprised to find a (partial) copy of a concert in Paris, on 18 April 1967, in my inbox - even though the quality of these soundfiles was even a little worse than just bad.
Milan concert, April '67.
But an other follower of this blog has just provided me with an even bigger surprise, entailing not only a couple of better copies of tunes from aforementioned concert in Paris, but also from two complete concerts in Berlin and Frankfurt.
The concert in Berlin took place on 3 May 1967, at the Sport Palast. My guess is that the Frankfurt show, just like in other German tours of the Ray Charles group, came right after that - probably in the The concert took place at the Höchst Jahrhunderthalle on April 29. just like the year before and the year after.
I don't know by whom the concerts were taped, but the story is that both concerts were originally produced  for radio broadcasting. The sound quality of both copies is mediocre, but just acceptable.

The personnel was probably identical to the line-up in Paris, with the exception of Billy Preston (whose B3-moans on Going Down Slow were replaced by Rillera's electric guitar).
Musicians: Marshall Hunt, Walter Miller, Carl Adams, Bill King - trumpet; Henry Coker, Fred Murrell, Donald Cook, Keg Johnson - trombone; Joe Roccisano, Curits Peagler, Curtis Amy (bandleader), Shellie Thomas, Leroy Cooper - saxophone; Billy Moore - drums; Barry Rillera - guitar; Edgar Willis - bass. The Raelettes: Merry Clayton, Alexandra Brown, Clydie King, Gwen Berry.

Berlin setlist:
  1. Intro
  2. Instrumental 
  3. Goodness Gracious* (guitar solo Barry Rillera)
  4. Soft Winds
  5. I've Got A Woman
  6. Georgia On My Mind
  7. Hallelujah I Just Love Her So
  8. You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want To Do It)
  9. Going Down Slow (guitar solo by Barry Rillera)
  10. Hold On, I'm Coming (The Raelettes)
  11. One Hurt Deserves Another (The Raelettes) 
  12. Shake (The Raelettes)
  13. Don't Set Me Free (ft. Merry Clayton)
  14. Crying Time (with Gwen Berry)
  15. If You Love Me Like You Say (ft. Clydie King)
  16. I Can't Stop Loving You
  17. I Don't Need No Doctor
  18. Baby, It's Cold Outside (ft. Alex Brown)
  19. Let's Go Get Stoned
  20. You Are My Sunshine (ft. Merry Clayton)
  21. What'd I Say
  22. Outro 
'67 LC Berlin - I Don't Need No Doctor (soundclip):

'67 LC Berlin - What'd I Say (soundclip):

Frankfurt setlist:
  1. Intro
  2. Instrumental 
  3. I've Got A Woman
  4. You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want To Do It)
  5. Going Down Slow
  6. Soft Winds
  7. Don't Set Me Free (ft. Merry Clayton)
  8. Crying Time (ft. Gwen Berry)
  9. What'd I Say
  10. Outro
The #1 instrumentals at both concerts were the same tune. The #2 track of the Berlin concert is Goodness Gracious, a rocking tune dominated by Rillera's marvelous guitar playing (the origin of the song is so far unknown; it was rarely called by Ray, but it stayed on the band's repertoire well into the '90s).
So far, the only known live version of Soft Winds was from the Pleyel concert in 1968. The Raelettes vehicle One Hurt Deserves Another was so far only known from their Tangerine album Souled Out (from 1971).
If You Love Me Like You Say is the only known live recording by the Ray Charles band of this Little Johnny Taylor tune (Ray, Clydie and the band in 1968 also taped in the studio, but the Tangerine master was only found back about 40 years later; it came out in 2007, as part of Clydie King - The Imperial & Minit Years; Stateside EMI 5099950958122, 2007).
Maybe the biggest gem is Let's Go Get Stoned, so far only known in just a few live versions.

On December 20, 1967, the radio and TV guide page of the Friese Koerier, a Dutch newspaper, listed a one-hour show with Ray Charles, to be aired by the second German network (ZDF) with the Dutch title De wereld van de jazz (the world of jazz), "a recording made in Frankfurt".

I have a strong feeling that the Hit The Road Jack-clip below, which I still haven't properly identified or dated, is from 1967. Does anybody have a clue when and where it was taped?

* Title of this instrumental kindly provided by Dave Hoffman and Peter Turre. The tune was still part of the Orchestra's book during the '80s and '90s.


  1. Bonjour Bob,
    La video de "Hit the road Jack" me semble comme tu le notes de 1967 avec Merry Clayton et les raelettes qui accompagnaient Ray Charles en Europe (ou alors elle a ete tournee sur un autre continent).
    Quant au concert de Francfort il est difficile de le dater ;la presence de Billy Preston orienterai vers 1968 mais a la date du concert de Francfort cette annee la (4 octobre 1968)le groupe de Raelettes avait change de membres et il me semble entendre Merry Clayton sur "Don't set me free". Je ne sais pas si Ray Charles a fait un concert a Francfort en 1967 (Preston l'ayant rejoint....).Alors on peut s'orienter vers 1966 .Merci Bob.JPVerger.

  2. J' ai les dates et lieux du "Ray Charles Show 68" presente par Norman Granz and Lippman + Rau :
    23 septembre :Stockolm
    25 sepyembre ;Oslo
    27 septembre :Berlin (Sportpalast)
    28 sepyembre :Hamburg (Musikhalle)18 + 21 Uhr
    29 septembre :Wien (Konzerthaus)
    30 septembre :Munchen (Deutsches Museum) 19 + 21.45 Uhr
    01 octobre :Stuttgart (Liederhalle)
    02 octobre :Zurich (Kongresshaus)
    04 octobre :Franckfurt (Jahrhunderhalle) 19 + 21.45 Uhr

    Le 08 octobre Ray donnait ses 2 concerts a la salle Pleyel a Paris ou il aurait improvise "My Soul".On aimerait avoir les morceaux joues en Allemagne,Autriche ou Suisse.
    Encore Merci Bob .jp Verger

    Les renseignements proviennent de la plaquette vendues lors des concerts de Pleyel en octobre 68.