March 5, 2010

Ray Stevens on Larry's Country Diner

Howdy there all you fans of Ray Stevens! Well, I didn't have any advanced warning to promote an upcoming Ray Stevens appearance because I found out about it at the last minute. Ray appeared on the RFD-TV program, Larry's Country Diner, a program hosted by Larry Black. It's set inside a diner and it has a reality feel to it. Throughout an episode people walk around and cut in front of the camera, etc etc. It has an intimate feeling at the same time. Keith Bilbrey is the show's announcer and he remains on-camera throughout. A regular character is a woman named Nadine. Her appearances and interactions made the scene come off like a Hee-Haw sketch.

On Thursday's episode with Ray Stevens, the first episode of Season Two, it featured a couple of long-time friends and associates of Ray's who were seated at the same table in the diner. The two men were songwriter/record producer Norro Wilson and Ray's long-time songwriting and business partner, Buddy Kalb. The three of them sat at a table eating and conversing back and fourth with Larry and Keith for much of the show's first 3 or 4 minutes. Larry did a short interview with Buddy and Norro prior to turning the focus on Ray. Larry mentioned that he loved the song about the Squirrel going berserk in the church and for laughs he praised Buddy for using the town 'Spartanburg' in the song. Buddy said it was 'Pascagoula' and Ray quickly shot back that Buddy used the name of the town because it was the only thing that rhymed with 'hallelujah!' and everyone laughed.

After this segment, Ray sings "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" at the keyboard. Larry and Ray talk about "Sgt. Preston the Yukon" and Ray talks about the story behind that song. Elsewhere in the episode Larry plays a vintage clip of Minnie Pearl and Rod Brasfield. Ray remarks that he once produced a recording on Minnie but the record label was too afraid to release it. The recording was of Minnie singing "Tutti Frutti". Ray performs the song, "Safe at Home". Elsewhere, Larry recites the opening verse of "Mr. Businessman" and Ray talks a little bit about the song and how it took him an hour to write it because the lyrics came flowing out of him real quick. He doesn't perform the song, though. Throughout the episode Larry often named off his favorite Ray Stevens songs. Ray told the story about "Misty" and Larry mentioned that it won an award. Ray specifies that it won a Grammy for Best Arrangement. The regular character, Nadine, becomes a factor in the episode and she gushes over Ray and gets a hug out of him as well. She mentions "We The People". He mentions O'Reilly's program and mentions that the music video is usually what gets played in bits and pieces on talk-shows that he's appeared on. He apologized at the start of the song in case he messes up the lyrics since he'd never sang it live before. He sang the opening verse and the chorus.

He remarked that he'd be appearing at a Tea Party later in Nashville in which he'd be singing the song in it's entirety and he thanked Larry for allowing him to use the opportunity to rehearse part of the song prior to the National Tea Party convention. The convention took place during the first weekend in February and so this episode had to have been taped at some point in late January because on the 15th of January that's when Ray appeared on The O'Reilly Factor. Larry brought up Get Serious, the direct-to-video movie that Ray starred in. Larry played the part of Virgil Dooright in the music video, "The Dooright Family". Larry asked Ray to sing "Turn Your Radio On". Ray and Larry discuss Ray's web-page and they talk about the backstage portion, simply called RayStevensBackstage.

All in all it was a wonderful appearance and I loved that Ray was featured off and on throughout the entire hour. If you all want to know more about Larry's show you can check out his web-site or his Facebook page. Search: Larry's Country Diner on the internet and you're bound to find the web-page.

Ray performed the following songs:

1. Mississippi Squirrel Revival
2. Safe at Home
3. We The People {partial performance}
4. Turn Your Radio On

If I'm not mistaken this episode will repeat Saturday night, March 6th, at 11pm Eastern time on RFD-TV.

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