Written by
Bob Stumpel

December 11

Ray Charles In Symphony Concert In Bourges (1987)

'87 LC BourgesConcert 1987 Bourges

Still from video copy.

Ray Charles’ symphony concert at the 11th Bourges festival in April 1987 is best known from the excellent documentary Printemps De Bourges by Serge Ginsbourg. I was also aware of some more reels with footage of the festival, mainly with contemporary news items, that are kept by the INA archive (cf. this post for all).
Today a good friend enabled me to confirm that a TV program mentioned in Jazz On The Screen (a database compiled by David Seeker, now in the Library of Congress), titled Symphonie Ray Charles, directed by Jean-Paul Jaud, “with a symphony orchestra”, has survived in a 30-minute version, and indeed can be identified with a (partial) TV taping of Ray’s Bourges concert with the National Orchestra d’Ile de France, conducted by Jacques Mercier. The taping appears to be assigned by the festival organization; the credits of the video that I saw mention “Printemps Images” as the production company.
As usual, Ray brought his own rhythm section: Paul Kreibich (drums), Kenny Carr (guitar), and Roger Hines (bass). The four of them performed a red hot version of Lay Around.
The program shows:

  • All I Ever Need Is You
  • If You Go Away
  • (All I Wanna Do Is) Lay Around And Love On You (guitar solo by Kenny Carr)
  • Georgia On My Mind
  • Yesterday
  • Outro

The setlist at the concert was probably longer. From Ginsbourg’s film and this news item we know that Ray also performed They Can’t Take That Away From Me during the concert.


Bob Stumpel — 2012-03-25 14:20:21

> Thomas, Good point (I used it above)! Yes, I have the documentary - thanks for asking.

Anonymous — 2012-03-25 12:26:18

Ray Charles SURE performed "They Can't Take That Away From Me" during the concert. See minute 1:13 from this video: ina.fr/divertissement/chansons/video/CAB87015599/bourges-round-up-festival.fr.html Have you got Serge Ginsbourg's movie/documentary "Springtime in Bourges 1987" feat. Jerry Lee Lewis and more ? Thomas.

Bob Stumpel — 2012-03-24 21:18:18

No, I'm not sure that he performed this tune during the concert, but it seems a probable conjecture. (I have changed the text a bit to accommodate your reservations;-).

Anonymous — 2012-03-24 18:50:42

Etes-vous sûr que dans le film du Ginsbourg, nous savons que Ray a aussi effectué: "They Can't Take That Away From Me"? Parce que j'ai le film et il n'a pas interprété la chanson.

Leave a Reply

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