Written by
Bob Stumpel

September 10

Another ‘Last’ Live Tele-Recorded Concert By Ray Charles (2003)

03 LC AchievementConcert 2003 AchievementWith Ray Charles Band

Here’s a new candidate for the title ‘last tele-recorded Ray Charles concert’ (cf. what I wrote here): iTunes offers a 13-minute video from a concert by Ray Charles and his Trio (Peter Turre – drums, Brad Rabuchin – guitar, Tom Fowles – bass) at the 42nd Annual International Achievement Summit on 4 May 2003, in Washington DC.
Among the new honorees who were inducted into the Academy of Achievement was Bill Clinton, who also introduced The Genius.

The semi-professional footage has a reasonable video and a mediocre audio quality, but it certainly has documentary merit. As usual in his last years (especially from 2000 onwards), it’s fascinating (and sometimes a bit frightening) to see and hear the old man work around his increasing voice limitations – but he was still nailing it, every time again.
Ray, who reputedly ‘never’ took requests, as always when Clinton was near (cf. Chronology 1994, sub May), started with A Song For You. He followed up with Georgia, on request of the host of the Achievement Summit, Catherine Reynolds. According to their website “Mr. Charles gave a performance of remarkable depth, giving new life to classics such as Route 66 and Georgia on My Mind.”
This may imply that the setlist was highly similar to the Trio-gig for the Washington correspondents, two weeks earlier. Who knows, the full concert has survived in the vaults of the Achievement Summit.
For a report on the whole sumptuous 2003 Summit (also with a concert by Aretha Franklin), read this


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