Ray Charles: In Person


MAY 1960 (52 YEARS AGO)
Ray Charles: In Person is released
# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 5/5
# Allmusic 5/5 stars
In Person is a live album recorded by Ray Charles on May 28, 1959 on a rainy night in Atlanta, Georgia at Morris Brown College’s Herndon Stadium. It was released in May, 1960 and peaked at #13 on the Billboard chart.
 It was recorded by the concert sponsor, radio station WAOK. The station’s lead disk jockey, Zenas “Daddy” Sears, recorded the album from the audience using a single microphone. The album is noted for its technical excellence in balancing band, singer, and audience, and also for its documentation of the jazzy R&B Ray Charles sound prior to his great crossover success.
There are plenty of live Ray Charles recordings available, all supporting the theory that the man never gave a bad performance, but this one is something special. Recorded in 1959 (prime time in the Charles timeline), this album fully captures the fire and fury of Charles’ Gospel/blues/jazz/R&B amalgam in all its churning, gut-punching glory.  Hits such as “I Got a Woman” and What’d I Say” are presented in near-definitive versions, complete with Brother Ray’s lascivious call-and-response with his indefatigable Raelets. A key moment occurs in “Drown in My Own Tears,” when Charles, testifying like an ecstatic preacher over the Raylettes’ backing, finds the exact meeting place of emotional turmoil and very visceral catharsis. In short, this is the live Ray Charles album to get.
REVIEW
by William Ruhlmann, allmusic
At a concert held at Herndon Stadium in Atlanta on May 28, 1959, Ray Charles turns in a blistering version of “What’d I Say” and takes on the big-band era with versions of Tommy Dorsey’s “Yes Indeed!” and Artie Shaw’s “Frenesi,” not to mention performances of “The Right Time” and “Tell the Truth.” [This album was reissued in 1973 as a part of a two-record set, packaged with Ray Charles at Newport under the title Ray Charles Live (Atlantic 503)].
TRACKS:
“The Right Time”
“What’d I Say”
“Yes, Indeed”
“The Spirit Feel”
“Frenesi”
“Drown In My Own Tears”
“Tell The Truth”
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