Written by
Bob Stumpel

February 14

Ray Charles Tribute On Ice (2002)

02 TV Ice

On Saturday, December 21, 2002 NBC aired a Ray Charles Tribute On Ice from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Commentator: Dan Hicks.

 From Jet,
28 October 2002.

The program, taped on 5 October, featured the music of Ray Charles and the skating of Olympic and world champions. I’ve seen a copy of a French version of the NBC program, as it was aired in 2005 by Paris Première. The program, to put it mildly, didn’t make clear why Ray’s music should be  combined with a whole evening of ice dancing, but the audience, the dancers and Ray seemed to enjoy themselves.

Interview segment from press conference:

Charles performed live (with orchestra tapes) four times throughout the show (#1, #9, #13 and #14).
He sang You Are My Sunshine in a new arrangement that was highly similar to the version used on the posthumous album Genius And Friends (2005) – there with a hopeless contribution by Chris Isaak, here with very reasonable vocals by an unidentified girl (I assume one of the Raelettes).
Drift Away came as a surprise – this is the only known live version since the album release of Ain’t It So, from 1979. 

The other tunes on the setlist were coming directly from Ray’s well known studio albums, with the exception of Amazing Grace, that was taken from the Music Of Hope show (2001), recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra.

  1. You Are My Sunshine – live
  2. Hallelujah I Love Her So
  3. Hit The Road Jack
  4. Georgia On My Mind
  5. Let The Good Times Roll
  6. Here We Go Again
  7. If I Could
  8. Amazing Grace 
  9. Drift Away – live
  10. Still Crazy After All These Years
  11. A Song For You
  12. I’ve Got A Woman
  13. Oh, What A Beautiful Morning – live
  14. America The Beautiful – live


Unknown — 2015-06-14 04:47:51

I still want to buy a copy of that tape: TRIBUTE ON ICE. Will it ever be available?

Bob Stumpel — 2014-01-08 22:40:41

Thomas, It hasn't been released.

Unknown — 2014-01-08 19:32:40

Where can i buy a copy of that program? I taped it but now I can't find the tape

-------------- — 2012-02-14 12:07:25

" Tribute show to Ray Charles’ musical career while Olympic champions, Brian Boitano, Jamie Sale and David Pelletier and several other Olympic, world and national champions skate to his music." André

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