Good Friday mid-morning to all Ray Stevens fans out there. Today I felt like playing rewind and fast-forward. As a child of the '80s I'm all too familiar with cassette tape...although CD's also have a rewind and fast-forward feature, no two words, specifically "rewind" and "fast-forward", had ever caused so much annoyance...that is, if it pertained to a cassette tape. I remember many times rewinding and fast-forwarding various cassette tapes, pausing ever so often, and writing down the words. Way back in the old days for me that was how I could remember song lyrics...I'd write them out on a piece of paper. As time went by I learned to remember lyrics through repetitious playing of the songs. Even though I don't memorize songs anymore I still remember the lyrics to all of the Ray Stevens songs that I learned...but nowadays it isn't something that I do. Admittedly, though, as an adult I simply don't have the time or desire to consume myself with songs over and over...it's something most kids and teenagers participate in still...but I've passed that stage. When it comes to Ray Stevens, though, I find myself remembering lyrics here and there of his modern material but as far as knowing lyrics word for word it doesn't come as easy.
Let's rewind now...I know all of the lyrics to the songs on the above Collectors Series release. I happened to obtain this collection while I was a teenager in the early '90s. The songs on this collection all come from RCA Records...the label Ray recorded for during the early '80s. This is still the only compilation release featuring exclusively RCA material. His RCA albums have yet to be re-issued in CD or Mp3 format and if you come across a CD version of this grab it! The collection was originally released in 1985 and then it was re-issued in 1987 which is what you see here. As I mentioned in previous blog entries the only difference between the 1985 and 1987 versions is "One More Last Chance" is featured in the 1985 release while "Put It In Your Ear" takes it's place in the 1987 re-issue.
Let's fast-forward now...over 20 years later...2010 marks the year that Ray returns to Branson, Missouri. This time around, as I mentioned in a previous blog, he's the headliner at The Welk Theater for a month of concerts starting on September 15th and running almost non-stop through October 23rd. He'll have some breathers, of course...there's a couple of times where he isn't in concert there for 4 days and then there's another stretch where he takes almost a week off...so there will be plenty of days off...but for the most part he'll be busy as ever as he gets back into the routine of stage shows once again. Also, 12 of the concert dates will feature two shows...there will be a 2pm concert and an 8pm concert. The other 12 concerts will start up at 8pm. Below is a You Tube commercial promoting the concert series...
A few months ago there was another video commercial promoting Ray's upcoming concerts but in that commercial it used audio clips and other related material. In this commercial, as you can see, Ray participated in it. For those who don't know...the name of Welk carries a certain, distinct image for a lot of the older age bracket and so in the commercial Ray plays up that upper-crest/affluent image. A lot of the younger people may not know of Lawrence Welk and so it helps to know that bit of information when you watch the commercial. I shouldn't know who Lawrence Welk was...given my age...but I'm a nostalgia nut and that explains that.