October 19, 2014

Ray Stevens Gospel Collection, Part 6...

Hello Ray Stevens fans!! It's 6am on a Sunday morning as I begin this latest fan-created blog entry. I started the day doing a search on social media sites of any articles pertaining to Ray Stevens. I came across a link to a site named Hallels.com and there's a new publicity piece for Volume One of the Ray Stevens Gospel Collection.

If that site's name sounds familiar you must have a sharp memory. The site featured a much earlier promo piece (posted August 8th) for the gospel collection CD. The August 8th promo and the one posted today are by the same author. I posted a link to the earlier article back in August.

You can see the latest promo piece for the gospel collection HERE.

Once there be on the lookout for a link to that August 8th publicity article. It can be found at the end of the article before you get to the comments area. The August posting contains a track list for the CD, too. The CD's been available since August 19th and it can be purchased HERE. If you purchase digital music/Mp3's there's a link to the Mp3 format on the CD's product page.

YouTube corner...the two concurrent music videos from Ray Stevens have the following unique views as of 6:42am Eastern time...

1. If You Like Your Plan: 30,572 (uploaded September 22, 2014; view HERE).

2. Nero Fiddled: 14,702 (uploaded October 10, 2014; view HERE).

And so...after searching several social media sites and Google for Ray Stevens happenings, I did an eBay search...and on page 1 at the moment there's an item being offered of a rare magazine publicity ad. The promo ad originated 45 years ago...right around this time of the year...back in 1969. No, no...for those that might be thinking "Gitarzan", it isn't the promo ad for that single (that hit came earlier in 1969). In the latter part of 1969 Ray had returned to his more serious side again and Monument Records began publicizing the latest single release, "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down". The eBay listing for the magazine promo ad for that single can be seen HERE. There have been thumbnail images of this ad that have surfaced in several CD compilation projects over the years.

I used to think Ray had a beard in that photo whenever I'd see the small, thumbnail replica. The reason being is the copy of the photo that appears in the fold-out cover of a 1998 compilation CD is so small and the lighting on the picture not so great that, to my eyes, it looked as if he had a beard. I've long since seen a bigger image of the promo ad and seen for myself he's clean shaven. Those interested in seeing/purchasing the promo ad can click the above link.

October 16, 2014

Ray Stevens: Nero Fiddled, blog entry 2...

Hello all...it's been almost a week since my previous blog entry. I've had a busy work week as to the reason I haven't had the time to put together a blog post since the 10th of October.

The main subject at hand..."Nero Fiddled"! That's one of two current music videos from Ray Stevens being discovered on YouTube at the moment. The video's gotten more than 10,000 unique views over the course of the last six days. The total as of this writing is 12,863. Back on October 10th during the video's first hours of availability I reported that it had amassed 68 unique views.

The fact that the video's been seen by more than 12,000 is a good sign...but there's not been any publicity of it's existence (beyond my blog posts and the Facebook post on Ray's official page over there).

On my YouTube home page it lists the 'most recent uploads' from my subscriptions...curiously it lists 2 uploads of Rayality TV (episodes 24 and 25) as the 'most recent uploads' from Ray. Those videos happened to have been uploaded several weeks ago and therefore are NOT the most recent video uploads from Ray's channel...there's no reference to "Nero Fiddled" (uploaded on October 10th) or "If You Like Your Plan" (uploaded September 22) as being Ray's most recent video uploads. Something else I noticed is there's no video embed of either clip on Ray's official website.

It used to be you could visit Ray's website and whatever the latest YouTube video from Ray happened to be it could be watched on his website on the home page.

The home page of Ray's official website, as of this writing, contains links to purchase his Nashville memoir and his Gospel Collection CD. There's a link to Ray's "If You Like Your Plan" video (the link posted in a promo piece back on September 22) but it's not an embed video. It may not seem like much but if there's an embedded video located on a website, as opposed to a video's link, chances are pretty high the video's going to be seen a lot more simply due to the fact that the video box is visible on the page and all a person has to do is click the play button.

This is only my opinion but I happen to feel that an even bigger audience for either of Ray's current music videos can be obtained by simply embedding either of those videos on the official website. There's a lot of people that visit Ray's official site that never even think to visit his YouTube channel to see whatever latest music video from him there might be.

Speaking of "If You Like Your Plan", it's gotten 29,822 unique views since it's late September arrival. It could break the 30,000 plateau tomorrow!

A couple of days ago Ray taped his segments of an upcoming television program, The Music City Show. This program airs on RFD-TV. I used to have that channel. It's part of a premium bundle of channels offered by my cable provider but the monthly cable bill had become too costly and so the added expense of having those channels on the line-up required the decision to remove that particular bundle of channels (and the added expense). I'm hoping clips of his upcoming television performance appear on-line at some point...if they do I'll make mention of it. I had read about his participation and it's going to focus on the music from his Gospel Collection CD. You can purchase the gospel CD HERE. The CD's been a success but there's been no indication of a possible follow-up. The songs have already been recorded...in some of his interviews he's mentioned that he recorded 24 songs for the project. 12 are on Volume One and the second 12 are to be available on a possible Volume Two.

As a reminder...less than a month from today on November 13th Ray Stevens is to co-host the 20th annual Inspirational Country Music Awards. His co-host is Megan Alexander (from Inside Edition). As you could guess, Ray is to perform some songs from his gospel music CD. 

Since everything is subject to change I hadn't written much about an upcoming event that Ray is to take part in. On December 7th Ray is to appear at The Ryman Auditorium in a special series called Sam's Place-Music for the Spirit. The series is hosted by gospel performer Steven Curtis Chapman. Ray is one of 2 guests that night and you can read more about it HERE.

October 10, 2014

Ray Stevens: Nero Fiddled...

Hot off the presses...yes, I know that's a term meant for newspaper and magazine publishing...but this music video from Ray Stevens is brand spanking new...uploaded onto YouTube within the last half hour...it's called "Nero Fiddled" and it's absolutely powerful in my opinion. It's not a comedy video...this one is a return to a more serious delivery...and the video opens up with a Viewer Discretion disclaimer...

I'll give you all time to let the hair settle down on the backs of your necks and the goosebumps to vanish from your body after seeing the video and hearing the in your face lyrical commentary. Isn't it phenomenal?? Yes, that's Ray playing the role of Nero with his back to the camera. In this early stage the video's gotten 68 unique views.