April 20, 2015

Ray Stevens: The Taylor Swift Music Video, entry Eleven...

Hello all...it's a very early Monday morning but I felt like getting the week started with a blog entry featuring some updates on the current music video from Ray Stevens, "Taylor Swift is Stalking Me". As of this moment the video's gotten 136,300 unique views...this is a pick-up of 9,737 additional discoveries since my previous posting of the numbers. 

As I mentioned in my previous blog post Ray performed the song at the Opry this past Saturday night along with "Hearts Made of Stone" (it's the second time he performed the Taylor song). Each of those songs are on his current comedy CD, Here We Go Again!, and that particular release can be purchased through various on-line stores such as AMAZON. That link takes you to the CD's product page.

In the meantime how many people out there have a lot of Ray Stevens in your personal collections? I have a lot of his songs in one format or another (LP's, 45's, cassettes, CD's, and Mp3) and I've got several magazines that either have articles about him or feature interviews with him...some of those magazines have Ray on the cover which is an added plus. I have VHS tapes and DVDs of his music videos and I have some of his television appearances from The Nashville Network on VHS (appearances from the mid-late 1990s). A long held desire of mine had been to gain possession of every television appearance/performance Ray Stevens ever did. That happened to be a goal of mine during my teen years...as I've long since been an adult I've realized such a goal is highly unobtainable but at least I can say I have all of Ray's studio albums in one format or another. Starting with the release of 1,837 Seconds of Humor in 1962 and ending, for the moment, with the 2015 release of Here We Go Again!.

The one format that I don't have any of Ray's songs is 8-track...I don't even have any 8-track cartridges anymore nor do I possess an 8-track player. I've posted about 8-tracks before and the nostalgia factor that accompanies them but I don't think I'd enjoy listening to an 8-track nowadays...a lot of the ones my grandparent's had featured songs broken in multiple parts (lots of fade in and fade outs). I've become too accustomed to hearing songs in their entirety with no interruption...there's also the fact that an 8-track can malfunction easier than a cassette. 

Any mechanism that has a reel of tape is vulnerable to technical glitches but through experience the 8-track seemed to be more vulnerable to the reel of tape being ate...and pulling an 8-track out of it's slot after something like that happens can damage the actual player. In the meantime check out Here We Go Again! from Ray Stevens...the latest offering from the Clown Prince of Country Music...

April 19, 2015

Ray Stevens: April 18th Opry re-cap...

Hello once more...as promised in my previous blog entry here's a brief re-cap of the Ray Stevens guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry yesterday evening. In my blog entry from yesterday I erroneously stated that the Opry's host during Ray's appearance was going to be Jim Ed Brown. Unless I had been thinking of him earlier in the day or happened to see a picture of him, or, had actually seen his name listed in close proximity to Ray's I never would've posted the wrong information but something told my brain to type Jim Ed and that's what I happened to do but in actuality the host of the Opry segment that Ray appeared on happened to be the family group, The Whites. The half hour segment featured songs by them and a couple of songs by a gospel artist named Chris August...and then it came time for Ray Stevens!

Ray came out and spoke about his current Here We Go Again! comedy CD. He mentioned that his previous guest appearance at the Opry took place only a couple of weeks ago and that he performed a certain song that night...and due to demand he performed it once more...the song being "Taylor Swift is Stalkin' Me". He followed-up the performance with "Hearts Made of Stone" (!).
The live performance doesn't have the echo effect that the studio recording has and I was completely surprised that he chose that particular song to spotlight considering some of the other songs on the CD have more of a country flavor but I'm glad he performed the song, though. At least I can say I heard him perform the song in case he never performs it again. In case you missed the April 18th performance you can check the Opry's Archive page. At the moment the page is updated through April 14th (this past Tuesday Night Opry broadcast). You'll have to periodically keep checking the Opry Archive Page to see when they upload the April 18th broadcast. I'll also do the same and of course I'll post a link to the April 18th broadcast in a future blog post. Remember, though, the link I'll be posting in a future blog is for the complete broadcast...it isn't going to be a link to only the segment Ray Stevens appears on. The first segment is hosted by Jeannie Seely. 

April 18, 2015

Ray Stevens: April 18th...Opry Guest Appearance...

Good late afternoon, early evening!! Ray Stevens is scheduled to make a guest appearance on the Opry tonight at 7:30pm Central, 8:30pm Eastern. This is a rather quick follow-up guest appearance for Ray...he appeared on the Opry last month (in a segment hosted by Larry Gatlin) and performed his current hit, "Taylor Swift is Stalkin' Me", for the first time.

On tonight's Opry Ray is going to appear in the segment hosted by Jim Ed Brown. He may perform the Taylor song again or he may spotlight something completely different. You can listen to the Opry performance by clicking HERE and then clicking the appropriate listening options once the page opens. I'll post a re-cap either later tonight or tomorrow about Ray's Opry segment.

The music video for Ray's current hit has obtained 134,093 unique views so far.

I came across a recent interview of Ray Stevens...this one appeared on YouTube today and it's conducted by an interviewer named Rabbi Sol Solomon. It appears as part of an internet series called Dave's Gone By. You can hear the interview HERE. I happened to like it...Ray gets a lot of time to discuss various aspects of his career and those he's worked with in the music industry. Near the end the host brings up Ray's 9-CD box set, The Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music. Some of the other subjects discussed include his current CD, Here We Go Again!, the Ray Stevens' Nashville memoir, political comedy, and the dramatic changes in the music industry and the impact of social media.