Written by
Bob Stumpel

May 11

Ray Charles On The Joey Bishop Show (1968, 1969)

'68 TV Bishop'69 TV BishopWith Billy PrestonWith George BurnsWith Herb EllisWith Jack SterlingWith Joey BishopWith Louie BellsonWith Ray Brown

Ray with Joey Bishop.

The Joey Bishop Show had a few runs, in different formats – first as a sitcom broadcast by NBC (1961–64) and CBS (1964–65), then as a late night talkshow aired from April 1967 to December 1969, taped at the ABC Studios in Hollywood. Ray Charles guested at least four times in the 1968 and 1969 seasons.
I don’t know if the shows have survived on video, but a friend recently send me an audio tape (with an acceptable sound quality) with Ray’s contributions to the first three shows listed below.

1.In the show of  March 26, 1968 (the Atlanta Daily World announced the show for March 21), Ray played two rare medleys, and he accompanied George Burns on 2 tunes:

  1. I’ve Got A Woman (with Für Elise intro)/Hallelujah I love Her So/What’d I Say
  2. I Can’t Stop Loving You/Georgia On My Mind 

  3. Ain’t Misbehavin’ – George Burns with Ray Charles (p)
  4. Willie The Weeper – George Burns with Ray Charles (p)

For the medleys he was backed by Herb Ellis on guitar, Ray Brown on bass, and Jack Sterling on drums. George Burns’ renditions of the 3d and 4th tune were part of a not-so-funny stand-up; Charles had a minor role, both talking and playing the piano.

2.On July 18, 1968 Ray performed:

  1. You Made Me Love You
  2. The Bright Lights And You Girl
  3. I Can’t Stop Loving You (with Joey Bishop)

He was backed by the Johnny Mann orchestra, again with Ellis, Brown, and Sterling as the rhythm section. 

3.On February 20, 1969 Brother Ray came back to play:

  1. Sweet Lorraine

  2. Jazz jam (with Johnny Mann band and trio w. Ray Brown)

Sweet Lorraine got an extremely delicate treatment in Ray’s best Nat Cole mode, again supported by the Johnny Mann orchestra, Ellis and Brown, but this time with Louie Bellson on drums. The Genius then, to his obvious pleasant surprise, was lured into a great jazz jam with the orchestra and the trio.

The rendition of Lorraine is a hapax in Ray’s oeuvre. If the video mother tape of the show still exists, it certainly deserves a record release.

4.The precise contents of the show on August 26, 1969 are unknown to me, except for the guest list, with Steve Allen, Jayne Meadows and Billy Preston. I suppose Ray performed (something) together with the latter. I doubt if any footage of this show has survived.


Hal — 2019-04-14 08:34:19

Ray is singing "Early In The "Morning" with Bill Cosby using the same comedy style and melody used in his "If it wasn't for Bad Luck" duet with Jimmy Lewis. Here it is: youtube.com/watch?v=i1rOM30r4y0

Bob Stumpel — 2012-06-09 22:43:54

JP, I'm losing you here; what exactly are you referring at?

Anonymous — 2012-06-09 20:24:16

Bob, Les paroles sont differentes ;c'est peut etre la raison du titre qui a ete retenu;la musique de ce blues est plus proche de celle de "It wasn' for..." que du "Early In the Morning " du LP "RC sings the blues" de chez Atlantic.JPV

Anonymous — 2012-06-09 20:13:15

Bob,il me semble que tu l'as mis dans ton paragraph "Midnight Special avril 73" mais il est intitule "Early In The Morning".JPV Bravo pour ton blog.

Bob Stumpel — 2012-05-31 23:13:34

JP, do you know on which of the Midnight Special shows? Do you have a copy of it?

Anonymous — 2012-05-31 20:36:27

il chante aussi ce blues compose par Ray lui-meme et Jimmy Lewis avec bill Crosby (midnight special).JPV

Bob Stumpel — 2012-05-12 12:46:00

Interesting! He also played it at the Smothers Brothers & Ed Sullivan shows.

Hal — 2012-05-12 07:43:37

I recall once seeing Ray on the Joey Bishop Show singing If It Wasn't for Bad Luck with someone, probably Joey Bishop.

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