Written by
Bob Stumpel

July 14

Ray Charles Live At The Latin Casino (1975)

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During many years, the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill (NJ) was a regular stop for Ray Charles. In 1975 his group was engaged during the week of Memorial Day.* On May 24 band members taped the concert, right at the board. The sound quality of the cassette tape that I heard may be low, the documentary value of this recording is high. Ray, the band, and The Raelettes were in great shape that year.

  1. Our Suite (Ray Charles Orchestra)

  2. Intro

  3. The Bright Lights And You Girl

  4. Georgia On My Mind

  5. You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want To Do It)

  6. Come Live With Me

  7. Feel So Bad

  8. Rock Steady (The Raelettes)

  9. I Can’t Stop Loving You

  10. Everything’s All Right

  11. Hold On, I’m Coming (The Raelettes)

  12. What’d I Say

  13. Outro

The 13-minute instrumental Our Suite (#1) gave plenty of room for solos by Leroy Cooper on baritone, Andy Ennis on tenor, Phil Guilbeau on trumpet, Johnny Coles** on flugel, John Bryant on drums, and Bob Coassin on trumpet, showing again how free – and good! – the Orchestra played in ’75. 

In #3 Ray took unusual liberties in his vocals. #8 got a Why didn’t you tell me/It’s All Right-intro. #10 is the ditty only known from the 1975 Madrid concert. #12 was a very loose mixture of known finale elements, with an I Love The Way You Love Me-intro, the ominous pandemonium on el. piano known from other ’75 concerts, a yodel and a few lines of I’m Gonna Keep On Singin’, and Shake That Thing. During the outro Ray gave special credits to Ernest Vantrease: “the Deacon of our congregation”, “playing the hell out of it”.

* Bobby Blue Bland opened the show. ** This was the the engagement where Johnny Coles rejoined the band after losing his eye earlier in the year.


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