Now this is a bizarre release. I never knew Ray Charles made a film, let alone one in mid-sixties London. But Ballad In Blue exists and it’s coming out via Network this year.
It’s already available for pre-order on both DVD and Blu-ray, although the extras seem pretty much the same – just an image gallery according to Network. As for the film, it’s described thus:
Ray Charles helps transform the lives of a blind boy and his widowed mother in this poignant, uplifting film drama set in mid-1960s London. Presented in a brand-new transfer from the original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio, Ballad in Blue sees Charles – who had lost his sight completely by the age of eight – performing some of his best-loved songs, including I Got a Woman, Hit the Road, Jack and Busted.
During a performance for blind children, global star Ray Charles befriends David, a young boy who has recently lost his sight, and tries to help him come to terms with his condition. Then, during a world tour, Charles finds himself in Paris, where a surgeon is pioneering a radical procedure that could restore David’s sight; he sets out not only to convince David’s over-protective mother to allow her son to undergo the surgery, but also to reconcile her with her boyfriend, a struggling composer who seeks solace in alcohol.
I know, sounds like one to tug at the hurt strings potentially. But I’m still keen to see Ray hammering out some of his finest tracks in the capital back in the day.
It’s out on 12th May 2014, with Amazon.co.uk doing pre-orders for £8.33 and £14.99 respectively. Details are also on the Network website.