Written by
Bob Stumpel

August 29

Ray Charles Live In San Carlos (1971)

'71 LC San CarlosConcert 1978 San Carlos

In my last post I wrote about a recording of a Ray Charles & B.B. King concert at the Circle Star Theater in San Carlos, in late November of 1972. A reader remembered that a similar (audience) audio recording was made at the same location about a year earlier (the precise date is not known), this time just with the Ray Charles Group. The audio quality of the copy that I’ve listened to is reasonable.

The concert entailed quite a number of rare tunes.

  1. Golden Boy (Ray Charles Orchestra)

  2. The Sandblaster (intro; with Ray Charles Orchestra)

  3. The Bright Lights And You Girl

  4. Georgia On My Mind

  5. Feel So Bad

  6. The Long And Winding Road

  7. Intro Raelettes

  8. Bad Water (ft Mable John)

  9. Intro Booty Butt

  10. Booty Butt (with Ray Charles Orchestra and The Raelettes, tenor sax solo by Andy Ennis)

  11. I Can’t Stop Loving You

  12. Intro to Leave My Man…

  13. Leave My Man Alone (with The Raelettes, ft Vernita Moss)

  14. Don’t Change On Me

  15. Chain Of Fools (The Raelettes, ft Estella Yarbrough)

  16. Look What They’ve Done To My Song, Ma

  17. You Have A Way With Me (The Raelettes, ft Susaye Greene)

  18. So Soon

  19. What’d I Say

The Ray Charles Band at a concert
in San Francisco, in December 1971
(photo by Robert Altman).

Ray was in one of his funny, talkative, moods that night. Golden Boy (#1) is the only known live recording of this instrumental from My Kind Of Jazz (released in April 1970). The Genius’ introduction (#2) was accompanied by the usual tones, but this time in a full-length version. The tunes’ title appears to be The Sandblaster, and it was written by Roger Neumann.*
Feel So Bad (#5) had an unusual sequence driven by audience hand clapping and drums. Uniquely, the four Raelettes were all introduced (#7) by their first name; Ray jokingly introduced their first song (#8) as Polluted Water. In the spoken intro to Booty Butt (#10) Ray mimicked a child asking his mother to pass on a special request: “I don’t remember the name of the song, but it’s something about your butt”. It is the first known live version of this instrumental hit tune, which was first released on the My Kind Of Jazz album in April 1970, and was then brought out on a  45RPM in March 1971 (reaching #31 on the Billboard Pop Chart, and #13 on the R&B Chart).
Look What They’ve Done To My Song, Ma (#16) is also a first live version; this tune was part of the album A Message From The People (1972), making it a rare sample (i.e. after the 1950s) of a song that was performed on stage before it was released on vinyl. You Have A Way With Me (#18) is the first and only known live version of this song, released on the Raelettes album Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (1971). So Soon (#18) got an excellent rendition from Ray; it was never released on vinyl, and is only known from a few concerts in 1972 – 1973, where Ray performed it together with keyboardist John Henderson (who almost certainly did not contribute to this San Carlos concert). 

* Many thanks to Tony Horowitz.


The Raelettes were Susaye Greene, Mable John, Vernita Moss, and Estella Yarbrough. The line-up of the band must have been very similar to the known personnel of the October 1971 concerts at La Salle Pleyel in Paris.

’71 LC San Carlos – The Sandblaster, the walk-on tune:


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