Every Saturday Night
Album: A Message From The People, ABC/Tangerine 755, April 1972.
Single (A): ABC 11344, January 1973, b/w Take Me Home, Country Roads.
Compilation album (live): Stevie Wonder / Aretha Franklin / Donny Hathaway / Staple Singers / Ray Charles, Recorded Live At Newport In New York, Buddah BDS 5616, 1973 (vinyl and cassette).
A Message From The People was recorded at RPM International in Los Angeles in 1972. The musicians remained uncredited (but follow the link to the album to check the identified session musicians).
The superior 1973 live version was taped twice at the Newport Festival, on 1 July 1973, at Carnegie Hall (a double concert mixed with oratorium-like contributions by James Baldwin, titled The Life And Times Of Ray Charles). With Phil Guilbeau, Walter Miller, Tony Horowitz, [unidentified] – trumpets; Ken Tussing, Craig Woods, Don Switzer, Glenn Childress, Fred Murrell – trombones; Gregg Abate, James Clay, Leroy Cooper, [unidentified], [unidentified] – saxophones; John Henderson – keyboards; Calvin Keys – guitar; Edgar Willis – bass; Bill McCullough – drums; The Raelettes: Vernita Moss, Susaye Green, Mable John, Dorothy Berry, Estella Yarbrough.
Peter Turre, Ray’s drummer for many years, informed me that:
“Ray was still performing [this song] when I first joined him in 1978. It faded out of his live repertoire some time in ’79, if I remember correctly. Love And Peace came out mid-tour my 1st year. They were recording it when I first started the pre-tour rehearsals with him in mid-March of 1978. […] That is when Riding Thumb and She Knows entered the live repotoire. Ain’t It So (which I recorded with him) was recorded in early 1979, and again, came out mid-tour. We started doing a few songs off of that album in the live show (Some Enchanted Evening and Just Because). At that point in Ray’s career, he was still trying to sell albums/make gold records, and the songs he liked and thought would support record sales made their way into the live show. But they were eventually replaced by the next album’s songs unless they became a classic. […A] partial list of classics from the 70’s that made the live show: I Can See Clearly Now, Don’t Change On Me, Feel So Bad, All I Ever Need Is You (symphony shows only), Every Saturday Night, America The Beautiful, Till There Was You (symphony), If You Go Away (symphony), Come Live With Me, Then We’ll Be Home (Sadies Tune), We’re Gonna Make It, For Mama (symphony), Sunshine, It Ain’t Easy Being Green (symphony), The Jealous Kind, Oh, What A Beautiful Morning, How Long Has This Been Going On, Be My Love (symphony), Game Number Nine. Anyway, that is the why and when of how Every Saturday Night appeared and then disappeared from the live show.”Peter Turre