Written by
Bob Stumpel

May 6

Ray Charles Live In Comblain-La-Tour (1964)

'64 LC ComblainConcert 1964 Comblain

These photos were made by David Redfern, who later remembered the conditions at Comblain-la-Tour as “a mud bath”.

With Joe Napoli.

The International Jazz Festival in Comblain-La-Tour, in the Belgian Ardennes, built a huge international reputation in the years between 1959 and 1966 (its tradition was revived in 2009).
Ray Charles first performed here in 1961, on July 29 or 30, shortly after his – now famous – first Antibes concerts, i.e. accompanied by his ‘small big band’.

Festival leaflet.

On August 9, 1964 Ray returned with his full big band entourage, headlining the festival. The concert started late because of “une pluie battante” (pouring rain), but according to the history pages of the festival’s website no one in the audience complained. The Genius finally reached the stage “enveloppé de gendarmes” (surrounded by police men). It may be my imagination, but it’s as if I could hear the rain falling during all tracks of the concert’s 50-minute audio recording (the taping appears to be complete, but note that Georgia is missing!):

  1. Moanin’ (with Ray Charles Orchestra)

  2. Busted

  3. I’ve Got A Woman

  4. Margie

  5. Hide Nor Hair

  6. Just For A Thrill

  7. Just A Little Lovin’

  8. Baby Don’t You Cry

  9. In The Evening

  10. Hallelujah I Love Her So

  11. Hit The Road Jack

  12. Don’t Set Me Free (with Lillie Fort)

  13. What’d I Say (+ outro on Pop Goes The Weasel)

Interviewed by Benoît Querson, before the concert.

During its first existence, the festival worked closely together with the French-language Belgian public radio station RTB – more specifically with the makers of their show Jazz Pour Tous (Jazz For All), Nicolas Dor and Jean-Marie Peterken, but the audio that I listened to sounded more like a (rather mediocre, muffled) board mix.
The Raelettes, in their new line-up, only appeared for the three last tunes.

On August 14, 1964 the Belgian public TV station BRT looked back on the festival (and the rain) with a 2m22s  item, featuring Ray Charles and Memphis Slim.



André Claudine — 2023-06-10 18:20:32

J'ai eu la chance ce jour de 1964 d'y être et d'applaudir cet immense artiste j'avais 18 ans merveilleux souvenir

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