October 23, 2010

My 300th Ray Stevens blog entry!!

I wrote about this particular souvenir item several blogs ago. I can't really recall when...but I know I touched upon this item. This is one of those road books, some refer to them as tour books, where an artist is highlighted with pictures often taken of the singer in concert or in a concert setting. Although this is officially billed as a "programme", note the British-style of spelling, it serves the same function as a road book in that it hypes the artist. Actually, another artist, in addition to Ray Stevens, is hyped in this booklet. Del Shannon is the other artist written about...he was appearing with Ray at a venue in England in 1977. Their appearance obviously was the reason behind this souvenir booklet. There are several obscure pictures of Ray throughout the booklet and it even has reference to his aspirations of being a playwright with an adaptation of Johnny Appleseed.

The back of the booklet is a picture of Ray that was used for his 1976 album, Just For the Record. I came across this booklet on eBay several years ago and I bought it...and if any of you want a chance at owning this same booklet I suggest you go to eBay. There is an eBay member from Ireland currently selling a copy of the booklet...it'll be posted for just four more days...so anyone seriously wanting a copy of this 1977 booklet that you see me hilariously showing-off now would be your opportunity!! When I bought my copy I had to send an International money order to the seller as he lived in England somewhere. Unfortunately eBay doesn't offer a check/money order option and everything's PayPal whether you want to use your credit/debit card or not!!

What could I possibly be looking at?? Hmmm, is there an image of a female streaker in the booklet? Now, of course there isn't such a thing!! But what in the world could I possibly be looking at? Okay...I'll give a hint...it has something to do with Ray Stevens. Does that narrow it down for anybody? Okay, here's a better hint...1970. That's my last hint. It could be anything from 1970...lots of things were happening in Ray's career in 1970...but yes, 1970, is the best hint I can give without giving away what's hiding in the center of the booklet. All in all the booklet/program/programme is great although I did wince at the swipe at Hee-Haw, though. It wasn't a vicious remark or anything but it did carry a condescending tone, based upon the words being used, as if the writer was irritated that the show was still on the air. I'm not going to expect the impossible and hope that one day the show will get respect universally...no one person can be hopeful that long. Anyway...9 times out of 10 those who make fun of the show only do so because they feel it's a hip thing to do or worse yet all they've really known is to make fun of the show...whether they've actually seen a complete episode or not.

As you can tell from the title of this particular installment of the blog this is my 300th Ray Stevens Music Journey post. This blog started toward the end of 2008...and here we are toward the end of 2010...only a couple more months left. I could've written 100 blog entries a year to reach the 300th right now. 100 in 2008, 100 in 2009, and 100 in 2010...but that isn't exactly the way it happened. As you all can see from the archive totals: 43 in 2008, 79 in 2009, and a whopping 178 in 2010!! Ray wraps up his concert series in Branson, Missouri tonight...this is also the day he appears at a local Tea Party rally in Branson! His You Tube music videos continue to gain hits...with his latest, "God Save Arizona", sitting at 481,898 hits. "Caribou Barbie", the song about Sarah Palin, is at long last getting close to 300,000 hits! I refer to this and "The Global Warming Song" as the forgotten music videos! You would think a music video centering around Sarah Palin would've gotten half a million or more hits within a month or two but after 7 months on-line the total is 291,174. This is still a good, healthy response but for those who had higher expectations, given the subject matter, you can't help but wonder what happened??

"The Global Warming Song" I don't think was meant to be a major music video upload given the lack of publicity and attention it didn't get. The song is cute but perhaps it only gains appreciation from those who are into ecology and the climate? Maybe the topic isn't a hot button issue...that could always be the case. That particular music video has gotten 60,200 hits. It was uploaded 3 months ago. My guess is the video was simply over-shadowed by it's predecessor: "Come to the USA" which is currently sitting pretty with 4,220,021 hits! "Caribou Barbie", uploaded on March 11, was over-shadowed by the video that followed it less than a week later on March 22: "Throw the Bums Out!". That music video has gotten 561,910 hits so far. So, here you have a case where two music videos are over-shadowed by other releases...usually over the course of time a forgotten video will ignite and find it's audience and that may be what ends up happening with "The Global Warming Song". The global warming video is sandwiched between "Come to the USA" and "God Save Arizona" and in music industry jargon the video of "The Global Warming Song" simply got lost in the shuffle.

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