August 22, 2015

Ray Stevens in Boomer Magazine...

As I often do I'm frequently on the lookout for anything about Ray Stevens I can find. Doing a routine on-line search Friday afternoon I came across a site called Boomer Magazine. The link I accessed took me to an article/interview that must have taken place at some point in April or late March...there is no date indicated on the website. The reason I say that is because the author refers to his current project as a "just released CD" and so that could mean the article originated anywhere from late March into April. I don't know anything about the publication that the article appears in and so I don't know the circulation procedure. A little further research led me to learn that the article also appears in hard-copy form in the issue dated April-May 2015 of Boomer Magazine. By mentioning I had no idea about the circulation procedure of the publication I happen to be referring to the magazine's actual month of release. Did the April-May issue hit the market in the month of April or did it arrive in May...or did it arrive in June but feature articles compiled during the months of April and May?

You can access the on-line copy of the article by clicking HERE.

As I looked through some of my blog entries from earlier this year I came across one I wrote in April about a certain music video from Ray Stevens called "If You Like Your Plan". The video debuted almost a year ago to the day on September 22, 2014. In the April 2015 blog entry I highlighted the fact that the video happened to be approaching 90,000 unique views. The totals I reported in the April 5, 2015 blog entry were 88,225. Today, a little over four months later, the video's sitting at 118,017. This is a pickup of 29,472 audience captures and those come from video sharing because there's been zero publicity for the video's existence by Ray on any high profile news or entertainment program.

The reason for the lack of heavy publicity for the video is because a couple of other releases in 2014 (a memoir and a gospel CD) took major precedence. In fact the memoir, titled Ray Stevens' Nashville, sold out in paperback form on Amazon in less than 6 months.

If you visit it's AMAZON PAGE it still has the paperback unavailable. The hardcover and of course, the Kindle e-book version, are available for purchase. I purchased my copy the moment I heard of it's availability and I posted a review of it in April 2014.

The gospel CD, in the meantime, arrived right around this time last year. The actual day of release happened to be August 19, 2014. Titled The Ray Stevens Gospel Collection, Volume One it became heavily promoted on southern Gospel music outlets and Ray appeared on several Gospel flavored music programs both locally and nationally. Given that it's been one whole year since VOLUME ONE'S release...isn't it about time for the long-awaited Volume 2...hopefully the second Volume comes along by calendar's end!!

Time's running out to place your order for Ray's Such a Night DVD. The sale ends on September 1st and here's the PRODUCT PAGE. The price of the DVD is ordinarily $24.95 but the sale, which begun at the start of August, has the DVD marked down to $12.50. The concert comes from one of his sold-out performances in Branson, Missouri at The Welk Theatre in 2010 and it's the first half of his concert. The second half, politically oriented and released on DVD as Patriots and Politics, is also on DVD but it isn't on sale. The price has always been less than $20.00...currently sitting at $16.95.

I happened to be too busy yesterday to put much effort/concentration into a blog entry but I came across a Facebook posting by a user named Where Have All The Pop Stars Gone? featuring a post about Ray Stevens. I'm familiar with their FACEBOOK PAGE and I reply to posts that contain a Ray Stevens mention of some kind. One of their posts yesterday pointed out that on August 21, 1961 Ray's single "Jeremiah Peabody's Polyunsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green and Purple Pills" made it's debut on Billboard's pop music chart and eventually peaked just inside the Top-40. The song became his first nationally recognized hit recording (a series of singles from Ray dating back to 1957 made local/regional impact prior to Jeremiah Peabody hitting nationally in 1961). Even though it's his first Top-40 pop hit it's not exactly his breakthrough hit...that didn't come until 1962...but here's one of the vinyl single releases of his 1961 recording...

August 15, 2015

Ray Stevens: Additional Concert Dates Announced...

Hello fans of Ray Stevens!

In case you hadn't taken a look at the Ray Stevens tour page yet or hadn't seen his most recent Facebook post there have some additions to his Here We Go Again Tour. The tour date I previously mentioned for Ontario, Canada at the Casino Rama on October 9th is on his tour page now. A couple of other dates have also been added...first off on November 14th he'll mark his return to the Renfro Valley Barn in Mount Vernon, Kentucky. The other additions are far off in the future: a concert date scheduled in Bremen, Georgia for April 16, 2016 at the Mill Town Music Hall and a concert at the Blue Gate Theater in Shipshewana, Indiana on May 21, 2016.

You can read all about those additions and other concerts previously announced by going to Ray's EVENTS page at his official website. His next concert takes place on September 12th in Branson, Missouri. I've been thinking of what song from Ray's current CD could make for a comical music video and I've decided on "There Must Be a Pill For This". I also thought of Ray, in chicken costume, acting out "Pickin' on the Chicken" in video form. That one could also be rather amusing.


August 9, 2015

Ray Stevens: YouTube Top-15...

In a night time blog entry I've decided to post the Top-15 YouTube music videos from Ray Stevens based upon unique views. I often do this once in awhile just to periodically check up on older music videos that continue to gather an audience but aren't the most recent uploads. In reverse order here are the Top-15 videos including the most recent capture of unique view totals...

15. Grandpa Voted Democrat: 650,783
14. Santa Claus is Watching You: 793,599
13. Sittin' Up with the Dead: 848,147
12. Everything is Beautiful: 946,509
11. Shriner's Convention: 1,023,848

10. God Save Arizona: 1,055,828
9. Throw the Bums Out!: 1,144,690
8. Obama Nation: 1,227,347
7. It's Me Again, Margaret: 1,511,117
6. Mr. President - Mr. President: 1,648,984

5. Obama Budget Plan: 3,910,972
4. The Streak: 4,852,790
3. Mississippi Squirrel Revival: 5,228,877
2. We The People: 5,286,198
1. Come to the USA: 9,170,419

For those curious his version of "Help Me Make It Through The Night" ranks at #19 with a current total of 557,348 unique views. The music video for "Ahab the Arab" ranks at #17 with 597,766. Unfortunately there had been an unofficial upload of "Ahab the Arab" on YouTube for several years prior to Ray's YouTube channel coming into existence. The unofficial upload has more than a million unique views due to it being available longer...much of the video's impact happened during the first several months of it's unofficial release. Once Ray uploaded the video onto YouTube via his channel, though, I happen to believe that it grabbed a lot of views that would've gone to the unofficial upload instead.

On a related note...the music video for "Too Drunk to Fish" that I posted about in my previous blog entry has indeed gone past the one million mark. Since it isn't part of the RayStevensMusic channel on YouTube it isn't being counted as an official video release on the video hosting site but as of this writing the unique view total is 1,000,253.

A year ago this month Ray Stevens released The Gospel Collection, Volume One. The release is associated with the Gaither Gospel Series and the marketing fell in the hands of the Gaither organization instead of it being under Ray's control. On the back of the CD and on the CD itself there are imprints of the various logos of production companies: Gaither Music Group, Clyde Records, Gaither Gospel Series, and Spring House Productions.

For a period of time Ray made the rounds of various country-gospel outlets and even appeared on the Praise the Lord series on the Trinity Broadcasting Network during the initial publicity for the CD and the main single, "If Jesus is a Stranger". In a video clip from the program, Larry's Country Diner, Ray performs "If Jesus is a Stranger"...

The clip begins in the midst of Ray speaking the opening to the song but that doesn't take away from the overall performance...

A couple of other uploads of Ray performing songs from the gospel CD are next...

Although the version of "Turn Your Radio On" on the gospel CD features the original lyrics from the late 1930s this performance includes the lyrics most commonly associated with the Ray Stevens version...

And "Amazing Grace"...the guitar player is Jimmy Capps (a regular on Larry's series playing the part of a Sheriff but in reality Capps is a legendary session musician).