September 12, 2010

Ray Stevens and the Armchair Quarterback...

I may have did a blog like this last year and the year before about this particular subject but it's a national holiday that rivals all holidays in the minds of millions of people. However, this holiday isn't recognized on any calendar and if companies are in business on this particular day they won't close down for it. What is the holiday?? Why, it's none other than "opening day" of the 2010 NFL season. Yes...the NFL season kicks off today...technically the first game was played the previous Thursday night...but for all intents and purposes Sunday is football day from now until early 2011 and so let the games begin!!

"Armchair Quarterback" to my knowledge is the only song Ray Stevens has recorded dealing with the subject of football. In that song the subject matter is college football...but the scenario and exaggerated situations heard about in the song can apply to NFL games just as well. The song starts off with a referee's whistle and the kind of music one might hear from a college band as the players come onto the field. It's one of my favorite Ray Stevens songs...even though it wasn't released as a single and it has never been made into a music video. The song originates from the 1985 album, I Have Returned. The song was written by Bobby Russell...a name that appears on another song Ray recorded, 1986's "Camp Werthahekahwee".

I mention this because a lot of people automatically assume Ray writes every song he performs which he doesn't. The songs that Ray doesn't write end up sounding as if he wrote them because of the personality that he puts into the songs. There have been a lot of songs written by others that Ray has recorded but since he puts so much of his arranging and production skills behind the songs he sings it's easy for some to think he writes all of them. As of this writing I Have Returned has yet to be released in digital form. You can always check eBay for cassette or vinyl versions of that 1985 album. The album is a Gold seller and hit #1 on the Country album chart in the spring of 1986.

How many out there consider themselves "Armchair Quarterback" types? I can't exactly say that I'm one of them. I happen to watch Pro-football all afternoon and evening during NFL season but I don't sit there and holler or scream at the TV screen. I simply love watching the games. I do find myself uttering bad words if a referee is whistle happy and calls obscure penalties. It's a lot like baseball umpire's having a small or wide strike zone. It's a little bit past 11:30am in the East and so it's 90 minutes from kick-off. The final month of baseball is also favorite team is play-off bound!

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