To my loyal readers and newcomers, if you haven't scrolled to the bottom of this blog give yourself a treat. There is a YouTube video posted there of Ray Charles, the Raelets and Leroy Cooper leading the orchestra. Listen for Joe Adams to make the introductions. Leroy is the large man all the way on the right with the 'big' saxophone and the smile.
The Deacon, the keyboard player with the large Afro, is Ernest Vantrease. 'Trease is the single person who played with Ray Charles longer than any other musician, 30 years, right up until Ray's deah five years ago. Fortunately, Ernest Vantrease has found a new gig playing keyboards with B.B. King. Did you know that B.B. King and his band travel by bus all over the country? Of course, on this recent trip to Germany, they relented and flew across the pond.