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16 January 2012

Ray Charles At Constitution Hall (1982)

Before the concert Ray Charles
was honored by the NBMC
(from Billboard, November 20, 1982).
Yesterday, a reader of this blog* surprised me with a concert video titled Ray Charles At Constitution Hall. The source of his copy dated the concert in "1980", but the program can only be associated with a concert that took place in Washington D.C. on November 1, 1982.
The earliest air date that I've found was in December 1982, the last in November 1987.

The show was directed by Arthur Forrest, and was produced by TBS in cooperation with the National Black Media Coalition (an emancipatory organization that no longer exists). The dominantly African American audience, loudly (and visibly) showing their appreciation for the things taking place on stage, have given this concert recording a unique, interactive flavor.

The tunes that made it to the TV program (I think that, apart from the instrumentals by the Orchestra, also a few songs by Ray were left out of this edit) were:
  1. Busted
  2. Georgia On My Mind
  3. Oh, What A Beautiful Morning
  4. Just Because
  5. You Don't Know Me
  6. Some Enchanted Evening
  7. Love Is What We Need (ft Estella Yarbrough)
  8. I Can't Stop Loving You
  9. One Hurt Deserves Another (with The Raelettes, ft Trudy Cohran)
  10. Title card from the video.
  11. What'd I Say (intro: Gonna Keep On Singin')
The ultra-soulful, super-slow rendition of You Don't Know Me stood out  in this set list, but the absolute climax of the concert was the performance of the tune One Hurt Deserves Another (a minor Raelettes hit from 1966, then making it to #76 on the Billboard Pop Chart and #24 on the R&B Chart), with gorgeous solo singing by Trudy Cohran.
I am not sure if the title of #7, A Little More Love, is correct; it was also listed in a description of the concert at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 1980.

Line-up**:
Musicians: Carmell Jones, Carlos Chavez, Brian Pearcy, Dean Congin - tp; John Boice, Dan Marcus, Mayo Tiana, Steve Davis - tb; Ricky Woodard, Brian Mitchell - as, Clifford Solomon, Rudy Johnson - ts, Leroy Cooper - bs; Ernest Vantrease - kb; Tony Matthews - g; Jeff Takiguchi - el-b; Rick Kirkland - dm. The Raelettes***: Trudy Cohran, Anne Johnson, Janice Mitchell, Elaine Woodard, Estella Yarbrough.

* Many thanks, once again, to Hector Tarín Nieto. **Info kindly provided by Dean Congin. *** Inferred from line-up at the Winter Park concert on September 4, 1982.

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