Mediagraphy - Discography - Trackography - Videography - Gigography - Biography - Chronology

17 November 2012

Ray Charles Promoting A Smithsonian Exhibition (1996)

In 1996 Ray Charles contributed to a promotion for the America's Smithsonian exhibition national tour, celebrating the 150th anniversary of this institute.

The Smithsonian keeps photos (collection ID# SIA Acc 97-074) and VHS tapes (SIA Acc. 05-058) of the event.

(Since 2005, the Smithsonian also displays a rather sinister permanent exposition of RC memorabilia).

Ray Charles In Paris (1984)

On 29 and 30 October 1984 Ray Charles performed at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, where he was interviewed for Pathé by Michel Jonasz. The Gaumont Pathé archives keep a "3:29" reel, also including footage of Ray performing Georgia, and a cassette of rushes (ID# 124, 124 Rush); including that footage the reel appears to be close to 5 minutes long.
Stills from the Gaumont Pathé archives.

Ray Charles In Oslo (1968)

On January 6, 1969 a Norwegian (radio or TV?) station aired a 50-minute Ray Charles concert, taped at the Njårdhallen in Oslo. Almost certainly, this concert was recorded the year before, on September 25, 1968. During that show, just as in Amsterdam (and probably at other venues during the European tour), a 21-year old local tenorist sub'ed in the sax section: Jan Garbarek - despite being a bit nervøs.

I'm afraid the program did not survive.

11 November 2012

Six Instrumentals From The Mexico Concert (1975)

On 6 and 7 December 1975 the Ray Charles group played a series of concerts in Mexico City. I wrote earlier about a 'board mix' version of Cherry, but it turns out that all of the instrumentals that were performed by the Ray Charles Orchestra have also survived, coming from the same tape recording. The sound quality isn't great, but the jazz is marvelous.
  1. Sister Sadie (Johnny Coles and Leroy Cooper played the head; Leroy Cooper - solo bs)
  2. Samba De Elencia (Andy Ennis - solo ts; Ken Tussing - solo tb; Clifford Solomon - fill on last chord)
  3. Unidentified instrumental (Johnny Coles and Clifford Solomon played the head; Johnny Coles - solo plunger trumpet; Clifford Solomon - solo as; Ernie Vantrease, solo p)
  4. Morning Of Carnival (Dave Boyle - solo bass tb; Johnny Coles, solo flugel)
  5. Spain (Jack Evans - opening flugel, solo tp; Ed Pratt, solo as)
  6. Blowing The Blues Away (Jack Evans [or Waymon Reed?*] - solo tp; Leroy Cooper - solo bs; James Clay, Andy Ennis - solos ts; Bob Coassin - solo screech tp)
* Jack Evans, who also contributed the other notes to the tunes, as mentioned above, remembers that Reed "[...] joined the band for a very short time when we returned from the 1975 Australia/Japan tour. [...] We had met Waymon earlier in the year in NY, and he expressed a strong interest to play with RC if the opportunity came up."

#3 was a funky & funny tune yet to be identified; Coles' solo on plunger trumpet is a rare feat. #4 (Morning Of Carnival a.k.a. Manhã De Carnaval and Black Orpheus) is the only known live version of this tune by the Ray Charles band; it was first released on the Jazz II album (1973); it's also the only known taping of a solo by Dave Boyle as a band member.

#3 Unidentified instrumental:

07 November 2012

Ray Charles Singing More Love Than Ordinary In Manor Commercial (1999)

Ad by one of Manor's retail chains.
Groupe Manor is a Swiss retail group. In 1999 they broadcast a Millennium commercial. The agency was Frei. Partner. The production company was Wirz Fraefel Paal. The film was shot at Studio Primetime in Zürich; directed by Ernst Wirz, creative direction by Mäni Frei, Martin Furhrer held the camera.*
During the campaign period all Manor stores sold Christmas candles, with the proceeds (SSF 150,000) donated to the charity organization Swiss Solidarity.  There must have been more versions of the TV commercial with French and Italian (and maybe even Rhaeto-Romanic) voice-overs.
* Many thanks to Levente Paal for details.

The song was originally written by Francis Cabrel (a B-side of a single released in 1986) as Il Faudra Leur Dire (cf. this Youtube clip), and adapted in English by (Ray's longtime French girlfriend) Arlette Kotchounian. It was added as a bonus track to a (French?) (re?)release of Ray's album My World (Disk ID: 1674286*). Ray's original audio version, with Ray even singing a line in French, can be listened to here (and through the soundclip below).

* This source dates CD in 1993, the year of the original release; I assume the re-release with this bonus track was from 1999 or 2000.

1999 commercial:

Soundclip of the bonus track: