December 2, 2008
Ray Stevens souvenir book
This is the 1977 souvenir book that was issued on Ray while he was on tour in England. The book offers a lot of pictures and some editorial commentary from the authors of the book. The book also contains some information that even long time fans, myself included, weren't aware of. In a previous blog entry I made reference to Ray's 1968 pop hit "Mr. Businessman" being banned by several radio stations because of the potential message it may send to the audience Top-40 radio targeted. I also didn't know that Ray was involved in writing a play, Johnny Appleseed. I do not know if it is an error, though. Tour books often print things without double checking a lot of time. I know Roger Miller was involved with Big River...in 1985...but this book is from 1977...the passage that refers to the play is as follows:
"Ray Stevens, the easy-going soft-spoken gentleman from Nashville is a singer, composer, comedian, impressionist, and Lord knows what else but like anyone who started out in music, melody is his bag." Ray says "If anybody ever remembers me in the long run, I'd like them to remember me for some music i've written.". It's possible, maybe even probable. Already Stevens has had several major hits, including his 'Everything is Beautiful', which just may end up as a standard. He's written more than 600 published songs, the book and score for a musical play Johnny Appleseed, and his records are selling hugely".
I'll do some searching around and see what this book is making a reference to...even I was unaware of a Johnny Appleseed connection.