Los Angeles Celebrates “RAY 80″ Week
On Tuesday, September 21st, The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live presents “The Drop: Rare Genius: The Undiscovered Masters of Ray Charles,” a discussion with friends of Ray Charles about the never-before-heard tracks scheduled for release on October 26th on Concord Records. John Burk (Chief Creative Officer, Concord Music Group), Valerie Ervin (President, The Ray Charles Foundation), Tony Gumina (President, Ray Charles Marketing Group) and legendary media pioneer Norman Lear form the panel, moderated by Grammy Museum Executive Director Robert Santelli. They will discuss the process Burk went through to gather tracks from four decades of previously unissued material housed at Charles’ RPM International Studios in Los Angeles, CA. What resulted is an album of recordings from the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s that reaffirm Charles’ undeniable talent including the highly anticipated unreleased duet of Charles and Johnny Cash singing Kris Kristofferson’s Why Me Lord?
The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live will also host a private advance screening of the BIO Channel’s upcoming documentary, “Ray Charles America.” This absorbing documentary examines the social and political context of Ray Charles work, and how his unique approach to music, and his ability to transcend racial barriers changed the cultural landscape as we know it. Containing unreleased music, and never-before-seen footage, this program chronicles Ray Charles impact in broader stories of love, politics, art and business. “Ray Charles America” will be broadcast this Fall on the BIO Channel. Check your local listings for broadcast date and time.
In addition to the private screening, the Woodstock Film Festival will host the World Premiere of “Ray Charles America” on October 3, 2010. Ticket information is available on the film festival’s website: http://www.woodstockfilmfestival.com/festival2010/details.php?id=17683
The Ray Charles Memorial Library will officially open on September 23, 2010, the 80th anniversary of the birth of the iconic American entertainer. The Library is located at 2107 West Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles on the ground floor of the historic landmark building which Mr. Charles designed for his offices and recording studio in 1965. Today, the building’s second floor continues to house the operations of The Ray Charles Foundation. (www.theraycharlesfoundation.org)
In the first few months of operation, The Ray Charles Memorial Library will be open exclusively to school groups by invitation only, with plans to extend access to the general public later in 2011.
For nearly a quarter century, The Ray Charles Foundation has supported a broad range of educational institutions and organizations that extend greater opportunities to underprivileged American youth. The Foundation has also been involved in funding projects to assist the hearing-impaired, since Mr. Charles considered the inability to hear music a far greater disadvantage than blindness.