August 22, 2010

One of those comical love songs from Ray Stevens...

One of my favorite Ray Stevens songs is this one from's a comedy love ballad. "Can He Love You Half as Much as I?" is performed as a legitimate love ballad with a few comical twists added in. The verses of the song are pretty much straight forward while the chorus of the song allows some comedy to shine through. In the song Ray plays the part of a man wondering why his girlfriend has left him and questions if this new person in her life is able to show her the same affection. This all may sound kind of deep...but the mood is light thanks to the tempo of the song and Ray's performance. In case any of you can't read the small print on the single, Ray's long-time songwriting friend, C.W. Kalb, Jr., wrote the song. Long time fans of Ray are aware that C.W. is referred to as "Buddy". I saw Ray perform this song on television several times and when I saw him in concert he performed the song. It's one of the mainstays in his concerts...usually it's one of the first songs he performs. He made a music video of the song...twice! The first music video came along in 1995 as part of his direct-to-video movie, Get Serious! The second music video came along in was of the animated variety...and it can now be found on the Cartoon Carnival, Volume One DVD. The animated music video was originally released on the DVD collection titled Teenage Mutant Kung Fu Chickens. The song itself can be found on several compilations.

The original recording can be found on 1986's Surely You Joust album as well as 1987's Greatest Hits, Volume Two and Get The Best of Ray Stevens. On his 1993 home video, Ray Stevens Live!, he performs this song and the audio made it's way to the 1995 CD soundtrack. One of the peculiar things that has taken place throughout Ray's career are songs that appear on greatest hits albums that never actually appeared on the weekly music charts and therefore were never officially recognized as a 'hit song'. This is one of those examples. Although the song was commercially released as a single it didn't make the spite of the various television performances of the song Ray delivered during that 1986/1987 era. I believe there were two separate Hee-Haw episodes where he performed this addition to the performances on Nashville Now. That's how heavily he promoted it. The songs from Ray in 1986 that actually made the country music charts were a pair of long comedy recordings: "Southern Air" and "The People's Court". "Can He Love You Half as Much as I?" is definitely a crowd favorite, though, and it's one of the several songs in his career that come to define the phrase: un-charted hit. As you can see from reading the front of the cassette version of Surely You Joust, "Can He Love You Half as Much as I?" was definitely one of the songs considered a potential single when the album was released.

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