Written by
Bob Stumpel

June 28

Ray Charles In Salute To Georgia Music, And In A Georgia Commercial (1980s)

'85 CM Georgia NM'85c TV Georgia NM

This article in The Augusta Chronicle described how producer Tim McCabe was involved in a local TV-program with Ray Charles, and – later – also in a TV commercial titled Georgia On My Mind. In the interview part of the story McCabe recalled:

Tim McCabe and Ray Charles, probably at RPM in LA.

“The first time that I met him, was producing a Salute To Georgia Music program for WAGA-TV in Atlanta. We went to Bossier City, LA, to film him being given his Georgia Music Hall of Fame induction award, which he never had received. He wasn’t present in 1979 at the Georgia Terrace Hotel when he and Bill Lowery became the first two people inducted in the state Hall of Fame.
Later, when I was working with him on the Georgia On My Mind commercials, I arranged some short versions of the song and recorded it with just a piano in Atlanta. Then I flew to Los Angeles for him to sing on the master tape.
We were in his own studio, just Ray and myself, and, even though he’s blind, he ran the recording console and told me what buttons to push. It was one of those moments I had to say to myself, `Lord, look at me. Here I am with my idol.’ It was really special.”

I guess the photo reproduced here was taken during the first half of the 1980s, possibly at Ray’s RPM studios in Los Angeles, during the production of the soundtrack for the commercial.
So far, I haven’t found any other trace of either the WAGA tv-program or the Georgia commercial.

Who knows more?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *