October 9, 2010

Let's Discuss Ray Stevens, Part Thirteen...

For whatever reason, it may simply have to do with the CD's title, but there are people out there who think that the Ray Stevens CD, entitled Classic Ray Stevens, is filled with songs from his past. I've come across reviews where people genuinely think that Ray's updated songs from his past and therefore titled the CD Classic Ray Stevens. This misunderstanding can still pop up every so often...but to set the record straight the reason the CD has that title is simply to tie in with the spoof of Beethovan. Ray's face appears on the bust situated near a rose and a sheet of music for an imaginary song called Concerto for Cornball. The CD was released in 1993 on Curb Records and it's on this CD where "If 10% Is Good Enough For Jesus" originated. Ray re-recorded the song in 2009...some have said he was testing the waters to see if there was an appetite/audience for politically-driven humor and given the times we're living in the song fits the general mood about politics in 2009/2010 more than it did back in 1993. Ray himself said as much when being interviewed on a conservative radio show. He'd perform the song on an episode of Huckabee on the Fox News Channel last year and it's been on You Tube ever since...

The 2009 recording is available on the We The People CD by the way...and the 1993 original can always be purchased as well. Ray debuted the song originally on a 1993 edition of the Music City News country awards. Ricky Van Shelton was one of the artists who introduced Ray to the audience. Upon concluding the song to a rousing audience he remained off in the wings as the Comedian of the Year category was being announced. Ray won for the eighth straight time and so he walked back on stage to accept the fan-voted trophy. Classic Ray Stevens features 10 brand new songs...well, brand new in 1993...but it does include a cover song. "The Bricklayer's Song" goes back several years and on this album he performs the song in front of an audience at his Branson, Missouri theater I assume??

Ray got a lot of mileage out of this particular CD because at the time of it's release he was in the midst of his home video reign and his successful run in Branson, Missouri. This CD would also be his final one for a period of years as he concentrated more on Get Serious!, an up-coming direct-to-home video movie. Whenever Ray would appear on television throughout 1993 and into as late as 1995 he'd promote Classic Ray Stevens due to it being the most recent audio recording available. Ray wouldn't put out another CD until 1997's Hum It which he recorded for MCA Records. Ray had parted company with Curb Records in 1996 and he re-joined MCA but it was for an all too brief reunion, 1996-1998. He signed himself to his own label, Clyde, in 1998 and remained on his own label until re-joined Curb again in 2001. Since that point in time Curb has usually been the label that has kept Ray's music in-print even though he remains on his own label. Ironically, though, his current We The People CD is not distributed by Curb Records...nor were a few of his previous CD's...so his association with Curb may have ended around 2007 or 2008...but I don't have any definitive information to provide.

Those interested in purchasing Classic Ray Stevens for your own listening pleasure can visit Amazon and other on-line music stores. The CD contains the following songs...

1. If 10% Is Good Enough for Jesus***
2. The Higher Education of Ole Blue
3. The Bricklayer's Song*
4. Little League
5. Meanwhile**
6. Super Cop
7. If You and Yo' Folks Like Me and My Folks
8. All-American Two Week Summer Family Vacation
9. The Ballad of Jake McClusky
10. The Motel Song

"Meanwhile" was written by fellow country singer, Billy Dean, along with Gerry House and Devon O'Day. "The Bricklayer's Song" was written by Noel Murphy. Hal Coleman, Ken Gibbons, and Roger Searcy wrote "If 10% Is Good Enough for Jesus".

Don't forget...the physical copy of the CD features the spoof of Beethovan as the CD's picture sleeve....


  1. If I may quote you: "some have said he was testing the waters to see if there was an appetite/audience for politically-driven humor" Sounds to me like you think his act is political, too.

  2. Yes, it can be taken political of course. It depends on the perspective. What's politically-driven can also be patriotic if there's a Pro-America sentiment throughout the song. I believe that's what I said or tried to say on your blog page. In spite of the overtone of politics there's a Pro-America message which makes it patriotic in my opinion and apparently Ray feels that same way, too.


Show your appreciation for the music of Ray Stevens...leave a comment...