December 19, 2009

Ray Stevens: Blue Christmas novelty, Part 2!

Several blogs ago I was promoting the comical version of "Blue Christmas" that Ray Stevens recorded. At the time, the recording was available as an EP at Ray's web-site store. I still suggest those who just want a sampling of his holiday songs to purchase the EP. If you're like me and already have three of the four songs that are available on the EP single and are just wanting a copy of "Blue Christmas", as of now look no further than Itunes. If you are a member of that web-site/music store all you'll need to do is search for the EP and then it gives you the option to buy the EP or buy each individual song for 99 cents. The EP consists of four songs: "White Christmas", "Deck The Halls With Teardrops", "Nightmare Before Christmas", and this comical version of "Blue Christmas". As you can probably guess, I went ahead and purchased the comical version of "Blue Christmas" and I listened to it a few hours ago. It's certainly one of his more bizarre ranks right up there with his lisping version of the romantic ballad "Hey There" from 1980 and the chicken-clucking instrumentals released as the Hen House Five Plus Too.

If you're familiar with the Seymour Swine and the Squealers name then you'll no doubt be very familiar with the original stuttering version of "Blue Christmas". Some credit the song to the Warner Brothers character, Porky Pig, by mistake. Prior to purchase I had assumed that Ray would have done a carbon copy of the original but this is not the case. The music sounds lush and traditionally Christmas and then we hear Ray begin to stutter the lyrics. If you're not familiar at all with Seymour Swine, you won't have anything to compare and contrast Ray's rendition to. Ray doesn't speed up his voice, he uses his natural voice, in case anyone's wondering if he used any studio tricks or vocal gimmicks.

Shedding the spotlight on a compilation CD that isn't widely known is "A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Church". This CD features religious-oriented songs that Ray has recorded through the years. The picture of Ray on the CD's cover comes straight from his 1992 music video of 1984's "Mississippi Squirrel Revival". You can find the collection in his on-line music store at his official web-site.

The Mississippi Squirrel Revival

Sittin' Up With The Dead

Smokey Mountain Rattlesnake Retreat

Sunday Morning

The Dooright Family

Right Reverend Roadhog McGraw; 2009 from "One for
the Road

Turn Your Radio On

Everything Is Beautiful

Mama Sang Bass

When The Saints Go Marching In; 2007 from "New Orleans Moon"

St James Infirmary/Just A Closer Walk With Thee; 2007 from "New Orleans Moon"

If Ten Percent Is Good Enough For Jesus

In closing I'll leave you with an image of the promo copy of "Can He Love You Half as Much as I?", a comical love ballad from 1986...


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