A Tune Titled Tina, And More, From A 1963 Review Of A Ray Charles Concert
Concert reviews from the 60s that went beyond the message that Ray Charles had been in town were very rare. An interesting exception is the article below, by Norval Perkins, as it appeared in the Washington Afro-American on 12 November 1963, about a show that had taken place the week before at the University’s Gymnasium in Georgetown.
It not only had some appreciative paragraphs about the Ray Charles Orchestra and some of its excellent musicians, but also specified the titles of a few tunes that I don’t know from any of Charles’ recordings: Ghana, Julia, “Teena”, and “Rem[em]ber April”.
Teena must be a misspelling of Tina and was no doubt named after, and possibly composed by, Tina (Harold Floyd) Brooks (1932 – 1974), the sensational tenorist who joined the band for a short period in 1963. (Read this article about Tina’s dramatic life and career).
Ghana (also mentioned in this contemporary review of an RC concert, specifying a solo on flute by David Newman) was a tune penned by Ernie Wilkins; it was among the many arrangements that Quincy Jones had written for his own big band that he gave to Ray in 1961*. Remember April is probably the same as the (now) classic tune I’ll Remember April.
* Information kindly provided by Joël Dufour.
The other (Quincy Jones) tune that Perkins mentioned, Birth Of A Band, was also on the orchestra’s setlist 6 weeks before, at the O Gênio TV gig on 19 September in São Paulo, with a shared solo part by Tina Brooks and David Fathead Newman. In Georgetown it probably also sounded like this: