Heaven and earth battle it out in the music of Ray Charles, who combined gospel with the best of secular music and helped give birth to soul, rock, and hard bop. His early work showed the silky influences of the Nat "King" Cole trio and the piano blues great Charles Brown. Charles combined their sophisticated styles with R&B and gritty gospel to create his signature sound: hard, snappy piano combined with exquisite vocals that fall somewhere between a preacher gone bad and a yearning romantic balladeer. Charles absorbed styles like a sponge: big band jazz, country and pop were all added to his musical arsenal, and he built up a musical empire that kept him in the public eye for decades up until his untimely death, at the age of 73, in June 2004. Just prior to his passing, Charles cut his first duets record with such fans as Norah Jones, Willie Nelson, and Elton John, which illustrates a multi-generational sampling of the artists who list him as a prime influence. An American institution, Ray Charles' rendition of "Georgia on My Mind" has even become that state's anthem. If only the other 49 states could be as fortunate.
Ray Charles Concert Films
Live At Montreux
Runtime: 1 hr 12 minRay Charles was one of the true pioneers of soul music. Born in Georgia in 1930 he was one of the first performers to mix gospel, R & B and jazz to create a new form of black pop music that would come to be known as soul. His voice and delivery were strikingly different and instantly recognizable. He had his first hits in the early 50’s and was still hitting the charts into the 21st century. His death in June 2004 from liver disease was front-page news around the world. This concert was filmed at the Montreux Jazz Festival
on July 19, 1997 and features Ray Charles and his orchestra, led by sax player Al Jackson, and of course The Raelettes. The set includes many of his most popular tracks such as Shadows Of My Mind, Georgia On My Mind, and the No.1 hit I Can’t Stop Loving You.
Live in France 1961: Antibes Jazz Festival
Runtime: 1 hr 28 minBy 1961 Ray Charles had established himself at the forefront of popular music. He had several R&B hit singles on Atlantic Records in the fifties and crossed over into the mainstream with his hit “What’d I Say” in 1959. He then moved from Atlantic Records to ABC and had further success throughout the sixties. The concert was filmed at the Antibes Jazz Festival in July of 1961 when Ray Charles was at the peak of his powers.
Ray Charles Top Tracks
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 59 minFor more than forty years the temptations have been wooing audiences around the globe and selling millions of records in the process
A collection of 16 classic songs by the soul band that has been going strong for over forty years. Includes hits such as 'My Girl', 'The Way You Do The Things You Do' and 'Papa Was a Rolling Stone'.
Adventures in the Kingdom of Swing
Runtime: 1 hr 2 minThis biography of musical legend Benny Goodman contains testimonials from various contemporaries and scholars, and offers several clips of the man in performance. Nearly two-dozen songs can be heard including "California, Here I Come," "A Fine Romance," "Why Don't You Do Right," "I've Got a Heart Full of Music," and "Bugle Cal Rag."
Runtime: 1 hr 16 minStill Bill is an intimate portrait of soul legend Bill Withers, best known for his classics "Ain't No Sunshine," "Lean On Me," "Lovely Day," "Grandma's Hands," and "Just the Two of Us." With his soulful delivery and warm, heartfelt sincerity, Withers has written the songs that continue to resonate deeply within the fabric of our times. Filmmakers Damani Baker and Alex Vlack follow Withers and offer a unique and rare look inside the world of this fascinating man. Through concert footage, journeys to his birthplace and interviews with music and sports legends, his family and closest friends, STILL BILL presents the story of an artist who has written some of the most beloved songs of our time and who truly understands the heart and soul of a man.
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 42 minSelling over 100 million records worldwide over 6 decades, with hits such as "hey good looking" and "papa loves mambo" both performed here in front of the cameras and presented on this fabulous dvd compilation
75th Birthday Anniversary: Live at Montreux
Runtime: 2 hr 36 minWhen an artist of the stature of Quincy Jones celebrates his 75th birthday you can be sure its going to be quite a party. The show took place on July 14th 2008 at the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival, an event with which Quincy Jones has a long and rich history, and the cream of musical talent turned up to serenade Q on this very special occasion. The main concert lasted over two and a half hours and the musicians then spilled out into the bars and cafes of Montreux with the music still going strong as the sun was coming up the next morning!
Live at Montreux
Runtime: 1 hr 39 minMarvin Gaye blazed the trail for the continued evolution of popular black music moving from lean, powerful R&B to stylish, sophisticated soul to finally arrive at an intensely political and personal form of artistic self-expression. His work not only redefined soul music as a creative force but also expanded its impact as an agent for social change. Marvin Gaye recorded at the Montreux Casino on July 7, 1980, during the Montreux Jazz Festival.
Live at Montreux 1976
Runtime: 1 hr 12 minNina Simone one of the great female vocalists of the 20th Century, made four appearances at the Montreux Festival between 1968 and 1990. This film features the whole of the performance from 1976 as the main item, which is supplemented as bonus features by two tracks from her concert in 1987 and four from her final show in 1990. This is the definitive Nina Simone live film.
Life of Riley
Runtime: 1 hr 59 min"The Life of Riley" narrated by Morgan Freeman and joined by Bono, Bill Cosby, Eric Clapton, Bill Cosby, Dr. John, Bruce Willis and 20+ other heavyweight contributors including appearances by Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and President Obama. BB King opens his heart and tells the story of how an oppressed and orphaned young man came to influence and earn the unmitigated praise of the music industry and its following, to carry the title: 'KING OF THE BLUES'. Filmed on location all over America as well as in the United Kingdom, this picture brings to life the heat and gin-soaked plantations where it all began. With the full cooperation of the BB King Museum, owners of vaults and archives so precious and immense, that several trips had to be made to America to revisit the collection and partake of its many gems. Prejudice and segregation has stained the lives of countless black person and BB 'Riley' King made sure that through his music, he never allowed it to mar his spirit. This is the essence of the story that makes an astoundingly beautiful film; extremely informative and visually captivating.
Mr. Dynamite: The Rise Of James Brown
Runtime: 1 hr 60 minDirected by Oscar and Emmy winner Alex Gibney, and co-produced by Mick Jagger, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise Of James Brown digs into the career of one of music and culture's towering figures, using fresh interviews with band members and contemporaries, extraordinary historical interview footage, and rare archival. Film running time is 120 minutes. Bonus features include an essay by Mick Jagger, 27 minutes of additional interviews, commentary, photo gallery and Soul Train performances.
Live at Montreux 1993
Runtime: 1 hr 4 minIn the words of Ben Fong-Torres:
Etta James, who passed away in 2012, was such a magnetic singer and presence that she was a semi-regular at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, which is pretty selective about its bills. After her crack band opens with a couple, including “Hold On, I’m Coming,” James kills on “I’d Rather Go Blind,” “I Just Wanna Make Love to You,” and several more. “Come to Mama,” indeed!
Etta James made many appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival across her long and distinguished career from her first concert in 1975 through to her last in 2008. This film focuses on the concert from 1993 when she was at her absolute peak and complements it with selected tracks from many other Montreux appearances. It features many of her best loved tracks and songs that she is particularly associated with. Etta James was one of the most respected performers of her generation. In a career stretching over 60 years she was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame and the Blues Hall Of Fame, won 3 Grammys and received many more nominations and was named Female Blues Artist Of The Year on no less than 14 occasions. Sadly, Etta James passed away after a long illness in January 2012 and this film is a fitting tribute to one of the greatest female vocalists of the 20th century.
Live at Montreux 2006
Runtime: 1 hr 56 minSoul legend Solomon Burke delivers a twenty-song set in Montreux. He delivers renditions of such classics as "Georgia On My Mind," and "I Will Survive,", and he performs a number of medleys that include such recognizable standards as "When the Saints Go Marching In," "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," and "Tutti Frutti."
A Man and His Music Part I
Runtime: 51 minFirst broadcast by NBC on November 24, 1965, Frank Sinatra: A Man And His Music was Sinatra’s first annual one-hour television special. Broadcast at a time when television was in the process of switching to full time color programming, it is clear that television history was being made. Singing directly to the camera, Frank Sinatra makes the viewer feel as if he is telling his story directly to them.