Written by
Bob Stumpel

September 5

Ray Charles Was In Town – Chronology 2004>

04 DM FlowersAlbum3 2004 HallChronology 2004-Now

Late 2003 or Early 2004

At RPM Studio. Photo by Patrik Anderson.

Interviewed for Tom Dowd And The Language Of Music (DVD released in August 2004). See this



Contributing to a PSA for Mentoring.org, with Quincy Jones. See this.

Genius Loves Company peaks at #1 on Pop Album Chart.
Release of Ellis Hall’s album Straight Ahead(Cross Over Records, ENM-4005), produced by Hall and Charles.

9 January 2004

Press release:

“Plans his comeback: Ray is on the mend and you see him in your hometown this year. The legendary singer/pianist had to cancel his tour last year to undergo hip replacement surgery. Charles will give his first performance in eight months on March 2nd in New York. The singer told the press that performing music is as important to him as oxygen and he’s thrilled to be back.”

10 January 2004

With Toledo Sympony – canceled.

19 January 2004:
Learning to work on a “music reading” computer (at RPM?):

23 January 2004

Benayora Hall, Seattle – canceled.

25 January 2004
Ray’s very last performance at the Skirball Cultural Center, LA, with Ray Charles Trio. (Many thanks to Brad Rabuchin for corrections). The concert was titled ‘Hope, Healing and Humanity’, a benefit for research.

30 January 2004

Gets Grammy President’s Merit Award at RPM/Ray Charles Enterprises, LA. Photo series here.

6 February 2004

Named A Cultural Treasure on behalf of the City of Los Angeles, kicking off the city’s African American Heritage Month festivities; the mayor also announced that the area in central Los Angeles where Charles built his offices and studios in 1960, will be renamed Ray Charles Square.

21 or 22 February 2004

Interviewed in Waiting In The Wings: African Americans In Country Music (air date). See this.

24 February 2004

Recording with Johnny Mathis, at RPM.

25 February 2004

Press release:

“Ray Charles was hoping to get back on the road next week but his aching body spoke louder than his urge to tour. Charles who underwent hip replacement surgery has had to cancel his comeback concert in New York next Tuesday. The legendary singer has also canceled all shows until mid June. Charles says he’s not recovering as fast as he had hoped.”

2 March 2004

Lincoln Center, New York – canceled.

3 March 2016
Hearing Is Believing is a documentary  about the life of Rachel Flowers, a blind keyboardist/composer, performing and writing both classical music and jazz.
On March 3, 2004, just 3 months before he died, she met and played for Ray Charles at his RPM studio in Los Angeles. The film, produced and directed by Lorenzo DeStefano, premiered in June 2017 in theatres in California.

6 March 2004

Inducted into the NAACP Image Awards’ Hall of Fame at a ceremony televised from the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City, Hollywood. See this.
Photos by Frank Micelotta and Kevin Winter:

12 and 13 March 2004

Booked for Pacific Symphony Orchestra Pops series at Orange County Performing Arts Center – canceled.

9 and 10 April 2004

Pacific Symphony Pops, Orange County – canceled.

25 April 2004

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – canceled.

30 April 2004

Last public appearance at RPM: Los Angeles grants RPM landmark status. See this.

10 June 2004

Photo: Rick Francis. I think this pic was shot in 2004 [BS].

Passes away at his home in Beverly Hills, California. See this.

First time in the history of Le Monde that they opened with an obituary on a not-politician.
Also see these U.S. front pages.

18 June 2004

Funeral services at the First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles; laid to rest at Inglewood Park Cemetery. See this

27 or 28 June 2004

Freihofer’s Jazz festival at Saratoga Performing Arts Center… canceled.

August 2004 

Release of album Genius Loves Company. See this.


September 2004

Release of Ray Charles Celebrates A Gospel Christmas. See this.

19 October 2004

Hollywood premiere of Ray. Seethis.



22 October 2004

Ray – Genius: A Night For Ray Charles; A Tribute Concert (air date). Seethis

29 October 2004

Release of soundtrack Ray. Seethis. For additional track see this.

1 November 2004

Charles’ children bring out story that Ray gave them $ 1 million each in 2002. Read this.

December 2004

60 Minutes – Remembering Ray Charles. See this


Genius & Friends peaks at #36, and Ray Charles Celebrates A Gospel Christmas at #144 on Pop Album Chart.

Ray Charles Narrates Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (release date). Seethis

Subject of yet unfinalized documentary, Ray Charles – Genius At Work. See this

20 January 2005

Benaroya Hall, Seattle… canceled.

25 February 2005

Concert with Omaha Symphony… canceled.

7 May 2005

The Birth Of Soul (Pt 1 Of Soul Deep: The Story Of Black Popular Music; release date). See this

4 August 2005

Some big bands have survived after their founder died. You can replace a founding pianist with another pianist, and still, more or less, sound the same. But a Ray Charles Orchestra without Ray Charles is a very odd concept. 

Joe Adams nevertheless tried it out in 2005. On August 4th he gathered a group of musicians (none of whom had ever played with Ray, except for Craig Bailey, who acted as the band’s leader), a few girls acting as Raelettes, and Billy Osborne as the singer, in the Blue Note, in New York.

  The Raelettes in the photos are Andromeda Turre (who was hired in 2003, when concerts started to be canceled and therefore never performed live with Ray), Joy Styles and Shalaine Adams.   

Adams invited some booking agents from abroad and some journalists. But nobody booked the act, and nobody wrote about it…
This sad documentary footage popped up on YouTube, in April 2013.

September 2005

Release of album Genius And Friends. See this. Will peak at #36 on Pop Album Chart. 


Release of Ray Sings, Basie Swings. Seethis. Will peak at #23 on Pop Album Chart.

28 June 2006
American Routes broadcasts Visions of Genius: Remembering Ray Charles. Seethis.

October 2009

Web documentary series: Ray Charles, Genius. Seethis.

20 October 2010

First broadcast of Ray Charles America, on BIO. See this.

26 October 2010
Release of album Rare Genius – The Undiscovered Masters.

April 2011
Release of the extended edition of Ray Charles Live In Concert. See this.

25 October 2011
Release of the DVD Ray Charles – Live in France 1961. See this.

15 November 2011
Release of the ABC singles box set Singular Genius. See this.

23 September 2013
Induction into the Music Icons Forever Stamp Series by U.S. Postal Service (combined in several packages with a CD/DVD release carrying the same title).

Design by Ethel Kessler and Neal Ashby, based on photo by Yves Carrère. 

7 July 2018
Joe Adams dies.


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