For Ray Charles, the 1950s were icon-making years. In a near decade-long partnership with Atlantic Records, he released such classics as "Mess Around," "What I'd Say," "It Should've Been Me" and "I've Got A Woman," before moving further into the jazz space towards the end of the decade, playing at Carnegie Hall, Newport Jazz and hiring a singing group called The Cookies to tour with him. For this concert he was joined by the same group, who had been renamed The Raelettes.
By 1962 Ray was a musical hero of the younger generations, even in Europe. Style and charisma, suggestive lyrics, a mix of gospel and rock 'n' roll that signalled the advent of soul .. he had the full package. Once "Georgia On My Mind" was released, only a year or so before this concert, Ray had fixed his place as one of the flag-bearers of an exciting emerging sound. "Georgia On My Mind" is one of the songs played during this show on the French Riviera and Ray commands the stage with grace and charm throughout. His voice is quite astonishing, as if we needed reminding, and the addition of raspy, soulful backing singers adds a beautiful touch to well-loved songs. There was no one who did it quite like Ray.