November 7, 2008

Ray Stevens: I Saw Elvis!

In the above picture, Ray is singing "I Saw Elvis In a UFO" at his Branson, Missouri theater. The song originated from 1989 on the Beside Myself album. The song deals with the tabloid stories that have often appeared proclaiming that Elvis was spotted at Burger King restaurants and at all other places around the world. What about in a UFO? It can happen if you have the imagination to think up a song...not only is Elvis up in the UFO but there's seats reserved for Col Parker, Liberace, Howard Hughes, and Jimmy Hoffa. The melody of the song is a broad interpretation of the Bob Seeger pop hit "Old Time Rock and Roll", explaining why Ray vocally delivers this song in a certain kind of way. The song starts out innocently...the Evening News signs on with the announcement that we're being taken to a field, where reporter Renaldo Rivera is on the scene. Renaldo interviews a man who claims to have seen a UFO...not only that, he claims Elvis was up in the UFO...and the man bursts into song. As the song progresses we get to hear the chipmunk flavored sing-a-longs from pink aliens and UFO sound effects. As the song ends it's easy to tell we're dealing with a nut-case because the man being interviewed has assumed the identity of Elvis, demanding that he be taken on a UFO.

An early pop novelty recording from Ray called "The Rock and Roll Show" featured an Elvis-type act named Tommy Jimmy.

On 1987's Greatest Hits, Volume Two Ray debuted "Mama's in the Sky With Elvis" about a couple who are separated because of tragedy. The man's wife, a big Elvis fan, falls to her death over a balcony while dancing with her Elvis doll, giving literal meaning for mama being up in the sky with Elvis. I love the song.

Another Elvis song came along in 1989, the previously mentioned "I Saw Elvis in a UFO". In 1997 Elvis made another comeback reference on a Ray Stevens album. Hum It, which featured "Virgil and the Moonshot", "Mama Sang Bass", as well as "Too Drunk To Fish" also featured "She Loves Elvis Better Than Me". In that Elvis song, Ray bemoans the fact that his wife loves Elvis more and tells us that he's attempted Elvis moves, such as doing karate kicks and shooting TV sets, but she still prefers the King.

The below image is of the Elvis single, "Way Down", released in 1977. Ray's publishing company published the song. It was the last commercial single released during Elvis' lifetime. Ray's publishing company is listed up underneath where it says Victor if you've got good eyes. I think you may be able to click the picture for a better view.

Ray was not done with the King of Rock and Roll...another Elvis song from Ray hit in 2000. "The King of Christmas" tells the funny story of Elvis as Santa Claus. The song can be found on the 2000 album Ear Candy and the 3-CD collection from 2005, Box Set.

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