Written by General Jabbo
In 1961, it's safe to say Ray Charles was at the peak of his powers. His albums and tours were smash hits and he had signed a deal with ABC-Paramount that granted him 75% of his record's profits and a minimum guarantee of $50,000 per record. In addition, his former label Atlantic, which was still stinging from the loss of its big star, released a number of unreleased Ray Charles songs which when combined with the material he was doing for ABC-Paramount, made for 10 albums of new material between 1960-1961. Life was good indeed.
In 1961, he was invited to perform at the Antibes Jazz Festival in France. The festival featured a number of important acts, including Count Basie; Les McCann; and the vocal group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and became the first concerts Charles ever performed in Europe. The performances were filmed and form the basis of Ray Charles – Live in France 1961. This DVD marks the first commercial release of this material.