Over 100 minutes of rare Ray Charles Concert footage from the legendary 1961 Antibes Jazz Festival in France will be released on DVD on October 25th, 2011. The newly discovered footage, featuring an hour and 45 minutes of performances, show Ray Charles in his prime period with the original Raeletts and his most legendary band (including David “Fathead” Newman and Hank Crawford.) These concerts were Ray’s first-ever performances in Europe and helped to cement his place one of America’s most beloved international stars.
“Seeing and hearing Ray perform so brilliantly 50 years ago in France, is an inspiration and reminds us just how gifted this man was and what an amazing and special talent he had.” says Jamie Foxx, who received the Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the 2004 feature film Ray. “This film is a fantastic way for us to continue to celebrate Ray Charles and his beautiful legacy.”
Ray Charles — Live In France 1961 features 25 songs including the timeless classics “What’d I Say,” “Georgia On My Mind,” “Hallelujah, I Love Her So” and “I Believe To My Soul.” Also included are “Doodlin’,” “One Mint Julep” & “Hornful Soul” showcasing Ray’s jazz era, as well as the country-tinged Nat King Cole composition, “With You On My Mind,” a song Ray never recorded. Also included is a 25-minute bonus section that features six additional performances from the festival.
Produced by Eagle Rock Entertainment and Reelin’ In The Years Productions with the full cooperation of The Ray Charles Foundation, the project is the first to develop from a partnership between Reelin’ In The Years Productions, the world’s largest library of music footage and France’s Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (Ina), one of Europe’s most important footage archives.
“We’ve been archiving music performances (and producing films with archival materials), for many years, and this is some of the most important music footage ever to be uncovered,” said producers David Peck, Tom Gulotta, Phil Galloway, and Steve Scoville in the Producer’s Notes. “To find true long-form concert footage from 1961 is rare enough, but when it’s Ray Charles at his peak, with his legendary band, performing for over 100 minutes, it’s a truly historic event.”
Ray Charles — Live In France 1961 will make its Hollywood (and world-wide) premiere at a special screening presented by the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles on October 20th. Tickets are available to the public for this special event, which will be followed by a moderated panel discussion that will include director David Peck, one of the film’s producers Tom Gulotta, Ray Charles catalog authority James Austin and Rob Bowman, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology at Toronto’s York University, whose incisive liner notes are part of the Ray Charles — Live In France 1961 package. For more information on the screening please visit http://www.americancinemathequecalendar.com/content/ray-charles-live-in-france-1961-0.
To pre-order the DVD now, visit http://amzn.to/nu0I8S.
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