January 22, 2010

Ray Stevens: Osama Yo' Mama

One of the interesting things that has taken place since the release of "We The People" late in 2009 are those who either weren't aware of "Osama Yo' Mama" in 2002 or those who simply forgot about it's existence. The song is an expression of anger and patriotism dressed up as a comedy/novelty song. It's something that Ray has often done throughout his career to hammer home a point or an idea. The reason why I say it's interesting that people are quick to forget this recording is because in it's day it was a huge recording...one of, if not the only, major hit recording pointed directly at terrorist Osama bin Laden. I have heard a lot of comical songs about bin Laden but Ray's is by far the best lyrically, comically, musically, and verbally sounding recording to skewer the terrorist. The single itself remained a top seller for months. I do not have the official chart run that it enjoyed but it was a Gold selling single and a #1 sales hit in early 2002. Throughout 2002 it remained one of the nation's top two country singles, in terms of sales, according to Billboard magazine.

As far as airplay is concerned the single reached the Top-50 on the country charts. An album of the same name was issued in 2002 as well and it reached the country Top-30. The thing that was remarkable about all of this is Ray achieved a lot of the sales success from word-of-mouth and internet advertising/publicity. This is mainly why on country radio the single soared into the Top-50 but was off the airplay charts just as quick.

Another reason why I say it's interesting that a lot of people have seemed to forget this song is because of the backlash in some circles over Ray's current hit, "We The People". I'm highlighting "Osama Yo' Mama" to hopefully show critics that "We The People" isn't the first song Ray has ever recorded with a political overtone. If the critics cared to really research his career they would see that Ray has always recorded songs with political overtones. It isn't his fault that "We The People" struck a nerve with people.

There is a b-side to "Osama Yo' Mama" and it's his take on "United We Stand", a song that was a hit during the time Ray had out "Everything Is Beautiful". The image you see in this blog entry is of Osama Yo' Mama: The Album. It is called this because the CD single features the same cover design and to distinguish each one from the other, without having to look up the song selections, a consumer would be able to see The Album written underneath his name. The music video can be viewed on You Tube. There was a sequel that was released called "Hello Mama" and it, too, was made into a music video. The music video of that song was once available on-line but it's since been taken down. The video is featured on a 2-set DVD release called The Complete Comedy Video Collection that you can find at Ray's on-line shopping store at his web-site.

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