Ray Charles On 20/20 (1981)
On 12 November 1981 the ABC news magazine 20/20 – which offered investigative journalism items and entertainment features – had a documentary item on Ray Charles, made by correspondent Bob Brown. Through an interview with the Genius, cross-edited with new footage from Greenville, a few contemporary sequences from concerts, and Ray’s performance before the Georgia State legislature, the feature focused on the usual biographical mantras.
Most of the concert segments showed fragments of a gig that must have been recorded a few years before, with a selection of Ray’s biggest all-time hits (I’ve Got A Woman, What’d I Say, I Can’t Stop Loving You, Georgia), but also with a beautiful brief finale of Am I Blue, with Johnny Coles (whose last stint with the band was in ’79).
Also unexpectedly, for a few seconds we see Ray working in his studio, experimenting with a recording of Little Drummer Boy.
This clip promoted the 10-year anniversary special for 20/20 that was broadcast on June 9, 1988: