December 1, 2008
In 1970, a songbook was issued promoting Ray...tying it in with his TV show, from the summer of 1970. I wrote about his TV show last month and these are pictures from the songbook that I have. It's a rare item and the pictures show how much fun Ray was having on the TV show.
In addition to the summer TV show of 1970, Ray was a recurring cast-member of Andy Williams late '60s TV series. Andy's brother, Don, became Ray's manager. This Don Williams is not the singer known as The Gentle Giant. That guy is another Don Williams. The songbook featured lyrics to several of Ray's songs, including "Unwind", a Top-60 pop hit from 1968. Also included were the pictures you see here. There were others as well but I can only add 5 images at a time from my computer. I came across my copy of the book on eBay and I am sure it will pop up from time to time for sale on there.
I have another souvenir tour book that was issued on Ray...this one is from 1977 and it re-caps Ray's career including information post-1970 that isn't included in the book I started writing about. In the 1977 book it talks about Ray's Top-30 pop hit "Mr Businessman" being banned on several radio stations because of it's message and how playing the song "could have a demoralizing effect on the youth of America". The 1977 tour book that I have was issued internationally. The actual name of the promo book is: "Ray Stevens Souvenir Programme October 1977".
Note the spelling of the word "program". I'll talk more about the 1977 promo book in a future installment.