Written by
Bob Stumpel

August 30

Ray Charles Is In Town – Chronology 1976

Photo by Christian Rose.
Photos by John Maginnis, c. 1976.
Leroy Cooper, interviewed and photographed by Val Wilmer, in: Coda, April 1976.
Publicity photo, c. 1976.


Mill Run Playhouse Theatre in the Round, Niles. (c) Rex Features.

America The Beautiful peaks at #98 on R&B chart.
Porgy And Bess (with Cleo Laine) peaks at #138 on Pop Album Chart.

Interviewed for Australian television. See this.
Performing guest on A Touch Of Gold. See this.

Interviewed by Larry Sawell for Armed Forces, East Asia

Featured in ad for Craig Powerplay Car Stereo.

January 1976

On tv show A Touch Of Gold. See this.
‘Soul of Amercica’ commercial for McDonnalds.

7 January 1976

Toronto [? according to photo caption, but unusal date for a concert].

Embed from Getty Images

 “Ray Charles… he made it a concert”. Photo by Reg Innell/Toronto Star/ Getty Images.

25 January 1976

Performing on Celebration: The American Spirit (air date), filmed on Hollywood hilltop. See this.

Unspecified – 1976: Ray Charles performing on Walt Disney Television via Getty Images special ‘Celebration: The American Spirit’. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
Unspecified – 1976: Ray Charles performing on Walt Disney Television via Getty Images special ‘Celebration: The American Spirit’. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

February 1976

Release of the single America the Beautiful / Sunshine.
Presenter at 9th Annual NAACP Image Awards at Hollywood Palladium.

28 February 1976

Wins Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male Grammy award for Living For The City. See this.

??4 March 1976??

Fundraiser for Jackie Wilson at Hollywood Palladium (Ray was announced, but probably didn’t make it).

25 March 1976

On The Tonight Show. See this.

With Red Foxx and Orson Welles.
With Red Foxx amd Orson Welles and unid.
With Red Foxx amd Orson Welles and unid.
With Red Foxx amd Arthur Ashe and unid. Photos by Fred Sabine (NBC/Getty).

5 April 1976

Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg MB; read review here.

7 April 1976

Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary AB

9 April 1976

On The Comedy In America Report. See this.

Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary.

13 April 1976

In Chicago, receiving Music Icon Goodwill Award from Richard S. Bull:

News wire photos.

12 – 18 April 1976

Guest on The Hollywood Squares (air dates). See this.

On or around 16 April 1976

At his auditorium, probably in St. Petersburg (FA):

Photo by Norman Zeisloft.

17 April 1976

Two concerts for inmates of Sybil Brand Institute for Women (women’s jail), Los Angeles CA.

Intro to extensive article in Los Angeles Sentinel, Apr. 22.

From Billboard, Apr. 24.

19 April 1976

National Arts Center, Ottawa ON (“rip-off”; read this and this).

20 to 23 April 1976

Recording Porgy & Bess with Cleo Laine at RCA Recording Studio in Hollywood.

Norman Granz and Ray Charles at RCA Studio.

Recording for Porgy & Bess, with James Cleveland.

Most of these photos by Phil Stern.

25 April 1976

Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo NY.

28 April 1976

“In Celebration” benefit concert at Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

30 April 1976

Co-hosting Midnight Special (air date). See this.
Carnegie Hall, New York City NY.

3 to 9 May 1976

Latin Casino (with B.B. King), Cherry Hill NJ.

14 May 1976

Headlining the Bob Hope Bicentennial Preakness Spectacular at the Civic in Baltimore, MD.

From Baltimore Sun, 2 May 1976.

17 May 1976

Meets Billy Carter. See this.

25 to 31 May 1976

Bachelors III Club, Fort Lauderdale CA.

3 June 1976

On Mike Douglas Show. See this.

10 June 1976

Great American Music Hall, San Francisco CA.

11 June 1976

Charity concert for the Life Institute For The Blind; with The Four Tops and Dorothy Moore.

12 – 13 June 1976

Grove, Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles CA.

13 June 1976


14 June 1976

Assembly Hall, Champaign IL.

20 June 1976

The Brothers Four, Nashua (“Superb”; read revies here).

19 June 1976

Benefit at Olympia Stadium in Detroit canceled, but Charles’manager “doesn’t want to acquire a no-show reputation” and demands $ 7.750 payment (later suing them for an additional $ 6.000).

20 June 1976

The Brothers Four, Nashua NH.

22 June 1976

Marc Antony’s Cafe, Hartford CT.

Ad from Hartford Courant, 11 Jun.

27 June 1976

B’nai B’rith Man of The Year event at Beverly Wilshire Hotel, L.A.

July 1976

Release of album Live In Japan.
Broadcast of third Dick Cavett Show. See this.

2 July 1976

Music Mill Theater, Six Flags Texas TX.

4? July 1976

Circle Star Theatre, San Carlos.

L – R: Ernest Vantrease, Tony Matthews, Jim Campbell, Scott von Ravensberg.
Johnny Coles. Pictures by unidentified photographer.
This photo (offered for sale on Ebay) had a printed sticker with  a “1” styled with stars and stripes, and the text “Ray Charles / The Raeletts / and the Ray Charles Orchestra / Monday, July 5, 1976 at 8.p.m.”

10 July 1976

Kool Jazz Festival, Royals Stadium, Kansas City MO.

11 July 1976

Recording instrumentals for Porgy & Bess at RCA Recording Studio in Hollywood.
Manning Bowl, Lynn MA (with The Four Tops).

Ad from Boston Globe. 4 Jul.

16 July 1976

First night of first edition of North Sea Jazz Festival (5,000 visitors). Ray Charles performs at PWA Zaal of Congresgeboouw, in The Hague, receiving $12,000, Count Basie gets $7,500, Lionel Hampton and Sarah Vaughan $6,000.

Photo by Hans Hendriks.

17 and 18 July 1976

Jazz à Juan festival, Antibes.

20 July 1976


Photos (undated) by Guy le Querrec.

22 July 1976


24 July 1976

Le Grand Mottey.

26 July 1976

Casino Prado, Sitges; aired on RTVE. See this.

27 July 1976


30 July 1976

Festival International de Carthage, at Théâtre, Carthage.

3 August 1976

In Italy, summer 1976.

Start of Italian tour in Viareggio. Read this.

4 August 1976

Teatro Bussola Domani, Lido di Camaiore Camaiore. Read review here.

7 August 1976

1st Annual Pontiac Kool Jazz Festival, Pontiac MI, with “6 giant closed-circuit TV screens”.

Ad from Ann Arbor Sun, Jul. 1.

8 August 1976

Double concert in Versilia.

16 August 1976

At Altromondo in Rimini.

25 August 1976

Paramount Theatre, Portland OR.

Ad from Portland Oregonian, 24 Jul.

26 August 1976

High School Auditorium, Southland.

End of August – early September 1976

Tours North-West, with oncerts Vancouver, Prince George, Fairbanks, Walla Walla, Ocean Shore.

29 August 1976

West High Auditorium, Anchorage AK.

3 September 1976

Paramount-Northwest Theatre, Seattle WA.

Ad from Seattle Times, 6 Aug.

12 September 1976

Honorary chairman of tribute to Ella Fitzgerald at NASCD awards dinner at Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills (in other source dated on October 17).

16 – 18 September 1976

Aladdin Hotel, Las Vegas NV.

19 September 1976

Paul Anthony’s International Club, Pico Rivera.

26 September 1976

Ostseehalle, Kiel.

27 September 1976

Robert Schumann Saal, Dusseldorf.


28 September 1976

Stuttgart, Liederhalle (taped for a radio broadcast; bootlegged). See this. Photos taken at press conference; read interview here.

October 1976 

Release of the single Oh, Lawd, I’m On My Way / Oh Bess, Where’s My Bess (with Cleo Laine).

1 October 1976

Deutsches Museum, Munich (part of the TZ Music Festival 76).

3 October 1976

Deutschlandhalle, Berlin.

5 October 1976

In A Salute To American Imagination (air date). See this.
Jahrhunderthalle, Frankfurt.

Promotional postcard
Ticket stubs (coll. Jean Francis Merle)

9 October 1976


Souvenir brochure for UK tour.

10 or 11 October 1976

Palladium, London.

16 October 1976

Macomb IL.

17 October 1976

Chase-Park Plaza Hotel, St. Louis MO.

23 October 1976

Civic Center, Atlanta GA.

27 October 1976

At the Aitken Centre, UNB, Fredericton NB.

“This was a truly rare event – held – to Ray’s expressed amazement, where there was ice covered with carpet, and metal chairs.  He said to the audience that if we would sit on those chairs, on ice, to hear him, he was going to do his best concert ever.  It was mind blowing.”

November 1976

Release of album Porgy & Bess.

Trade ad from Billboard.

12 to 20 November 1976

Turn of the Century, Denver CO.

14 November 1976

Ft. In The Oscar Peterson Superspecial (air date; taping was in September). See this.

26 November – 2 December 1976

1-week stint at Ontario Place Forum in Toronto ON. Photo here.

Photo for the Toronto Star, by Reg Innell (Getty-date Jan. 7, 1976 [sic?]).

5 December 1976

Avery Fisher Hall, New York City NY (2 shows). Read review here.

Ad in New York Amsterdam News, Nov. 27, 1976.

14 to 20 December 1976

Trojan Horse, Seattle WA.

24 December 1976

With Sara Jordan Powell, in Christmas In Ettal – A Black Ceremony.

Everything in this TV show looked ill-prepared, but this photo indicates that Ray and the other singers had a rehearsal session.

31 December 1976

Miami Beach FL.

Playboy poll ’76.


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