Written by
Bob Stumpel

April 19

Ray Charles Live At The Nassau Coliseum (1973)

'73 LC NassauAlbum 1973 NassauConcert 1973 Nassau

Tony Horowitz (his mother was in the audience), on trumpet.

George Wein’s bill of the last night of the second Newport Jazz Festival, on 8 July 1973 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale on Long Island, carried the names of  Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Donny Hathaway, Aretha Franklin, and Tito Puente. Cf. this squib, this article, this article, and this source.
Wolfgang’s Vault has made a near-complete audio live recording of Ray Charles’ part of that concert night available on their website.
The sound quality is mediocre, the editor’s cuts between the songs are ruthlessly ugly, but all in all the atmosphere of this good concert, and the audience’s reception, was well captured.

  1. Intro
  2. Let The Good Times Roll 
  3. Georgia On My Mind 
  4. The Long And Winding Road 
  5. Look What They’ve Done To My Song, Ma 
  6. Don’t Change On Me 
  7. I Can’t Stop Loving You
  8. Eleanor Rigby 
  9. I Can Make It Thru The Day (But Oh Those Lonely Nights) 
  10. Shake (with The Raelettes)

Track #9 is a special treat. I Can Make It Thru The Days (from the 1972 album Through The Eyes Of Love) was climbing the charts when this concert took place (peaking at #81 on the Pop chart and #21 on the R&B chart), explaining the extra cheerful response of the audience on the performance of this (great!) tune. It’s the only live recording of this song that I know of.

The Voice of America collection in the Library of Congress holds a taping (“quality levels fluctuate”) of this concert (catalog number RGA 0227-0229; RWD 7049-7051), which includes the expected finale:

   11.  What’d I Say.

Musicians: Phil Guilbeau, Walter Miller, Tony Horowitz, [unidentified] – trumpets; Ken Tussing, Craig Woods, Don Switzer, Glenn Childress, Fred Murrell – trombones; Gregg Abate, James Clay, Leroy Cooper, [unidentified], [unidentified] – saxophones; Calvin Keys – guitar; Edgar Willis – bass; Bill McCullough – drums;  John Henderson – keyboards. The Raelettes: Vernita Moss, Susaye Greene, Mable John, Dorothy Berry, Estella Yarbrough.


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