June 26, 2010

Ray Stevens hits the Top-5...

Last week Ray Stevens' latest CD, We The People, made it's debut in the Top-10 on Billboard's Comedy Album chart. This week the CD moved upward and is now among the Top-5 most popular comedy CD's in the country. This week also marked the CD's debut on Billboard's Top Country Albums list. The CD charted more modestly on the country album list due, perhaps, to it being a comedy CD but more importantly due to it being overly political and not hyped much among country music circles. It also charted lower on the country album list simply because of it's sales that week in comparison to the other CD's in the country Top-75. Whatever the reason for it's modest country album debut the CD's appearance in the Top-10 and then the Top-5 on the Comedy Album chart allows Ray to lay claim to having Top-10 success in six decades: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, 00's, and now this decade. What was his Top-10 success last decade you all may be wondering? It was the success during 2002-2003 of his single, "Osama Yo' Mama". The single became a big selling hit and remained on Billboard's Country Single Sales list for almost a year, usually charting in the Top-3, and sold half a million copies. This particular chart was discontinued in 2005 due to the lack of commercial singles being manufactured.

The single didn't cross over into the mainstream and so the public at large was largely unaware of it's existence. The album that Curb Records released in 2002 on Ray, titled Osama Yo' Mama, became a Top-30 hit on the Country Album chart, his highest charted audio album since 1987. Ray's Top-10 success during the '90s had to do with his home video releases. Comedy Video Classics and Ray Stevens Live! became million selling Top-5 home videos in the early '90s, specifically during the years of 1993-1995. Comedy Video Classics went on to sell over two million copies after having sold over a million copies through mail-order in 1992. Obviously, Billboard named that home video it's Video of the Year in their year-end rankings. His other major home video release that decade, Get Serious, remained on Billboard's Top Video chart for nearly half a year reaching the Top-5 in early 1997. So, there you have it. If anyone out there may have been wondering what Ray's successes were during the '90s and last decade now you know. I also supply this information for those who still think Ray hadn't been active since the 1980's. The time-line on the right side of the page gives an almost year by year breakdown of Ray's activity since the late 1950's. Some years aren't mentioned simply because Ray didn't release any music or any project those years.

You Tube update! "Come to the USA" has continued to obtain strong hits and as of this writing the music video has obtained 2,657,847 hits. The video was uploaded on May 13th and so in a couple of weeks it'll be two months old. The illegal immigration battle continues to rage on even though a couple of other news items have replaced it as a top headliner but nevertheless it's still a hot topic.

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