Written by
Bob Stumpel

November 10

Hang Around Blues (?)

03 DM Blowin'Unreleased


On June 2, 2003 Ray was co-billed at the Apollo Theater for Blowin’ The Blues Away, a scripted concert conceived by Wynton Marsalis as a staged documentary on the history and the role of the blues as an integral part of American life and culture.
I don’t know if any part of Ray’s performance was recorded.

One ill-prepared witness wrote: “Out came Ray Charles, who contributed the night’s most bizarre solo, bending notes on a keyboard to imitate a guitar; Mr. Marsalis could only chuckle and shake his head”.

Dan Aquilante of the New York Post wrote:

“During the piano rolls of Hang Around Blues [maybe to be identified Worried Life Blues? BS*], house pianist Richard Johnson (who was excellent throughout the night), like an eager kid at school, strained to watch Charles’ ancient fingers fly across the keyboard. […]”

* Better suggestions are welcome! Who knows if the concert was recorded?

Ray Charles and Richard Johnson.


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