This weekend: Ray Charles comes alive through Tower of Power's Ellis Hall
Ellis Hall seems to have been destined to pay tribute to Ray Charles. Like Charles, Hall is blind. Both men were born in Georgia, and both became singers. The two met and were friends for several years before the legendary Brother Ray died in 2004.
This weekend, Hall will be performing Hit the Road Jack, I Can’t Stop Loving You, Georgia on My Mind and other Charles standards with the Florida Orchestra. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday at the Straz Center in Tampa, 8 p.m. Saturday at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. Tickets are $20-$67; click here for details.
Although Hall has performed his Charles show with orchestras from the Kennedy Center to the Hollywood Bowl, he also is known for having been the lead singer with Tower of Power and one of the vocalists for the animated California Raisins in TV commercials . In movies, he played organ and sang gospel in Big Momma’s House, was the voice of a singing rooster in Chicken Run and performed in Catch Me If You Can. He has released three albums of his own.
For more on the show, click here for John Fleming's story.