Written by
Bob Stumpel

August 27

Ray Charles In Nîmes (1985)

'85 DM Nîmes

Audience in the Nîmes Arena during a Ray Charles concert in 1999.

Between 1976 en 1988 Jazz70, a group of jazz enthousiasts, organized the International Jazz Festival in Nîmes, at the local Amphitheater. Jazz70 are now sharing their documentary video archives on Vimeo.
On 20 July 1985 (according to my database, but two of the clips below are dated on 15 July) they headlined Ray Charles with the Raelettes and his Orchestra.* The quality of the footage is mediocre, but certainly has some documentary value, with nice shots of stage preparations, Ray’s arrival at the Arena, and the unavoidable fragments of Georgia On My Mind and What’d I Say.

*On the 21st France 2 had an item on Charles’ concert in Nîmes: “[…] installation of the stage before Ray Charles’s jazz concert, [close-up] technicians, [pan shot] infrastructures […], [close-up] Ray Charles, the installation, the musicians; Ray Charles’ poster in the streets, on stage, applauded jazz man”. Ina, ID CAB85000326 (mother tape CAB04000282).


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