March 7, 2009

Me thinks it's a Silver Anniversary


This was the debut album for Ray Stevens on MCA Records back in 1984...if my math is correct that was 25 years ago. Of course, I know my math is correct but I felt like using that phrase. He Thinks He's Ray Stevens was a perfect name for a comedy album and it was the beginning of a long association with MCA, that lasted for five years, running up through 1989. It was on MCA that his albums started to sell even more than they had in previous points of his career and it was also a time when The Nashville Network was just an infant...and that network went a long way at continuing the exposure of a number of did the syndicated TV program, Hee-Haw. This album has since gone Platinum and like most Ray Stevens albums it contains songs that became popular over the course of time. "It's Me Again, Margaret" is the song that came to define this particular album even though "The Mississippi Squirrel Revival" was the bigger chart hit, reaching the Top-20 in early 1985. As time went on "It's Me Again, Margaret" became one of his signature songs and the title itself has often been lifted as a catch-phrase among people who speak of obscene phone can find the title on-line in web-sites that have nothing to do with Ray Stevens. Another catch-phrase from the single is "Are you naked??" but in Ray's delivery it sounds like "Are ya nekkid??" {translation: neck id}. As I previously mentioned, this single charted lower than "Mississippi Squirrel" and it goes a long way at spotlighting the fact that chart numbers do not necessarily indicate the popularity of a single...not with Ray Stevens, I should specify, since nearly all of the songs he's known for over the last decade and a half have become popular through word of mouth and consistent exposure in concerts and on compilation albums. This album set the stage for the country comedy path and it proved to be a successful turning point in his career.

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