Congratulations! For the second time, Ray Stevens has enjoyed a You Tube music video surpassing the 4 million mark. "Come to the USA" pushed past 4 million hits several months ago and it's still going strong with 4.6 million hits to date. The latest video upload to surpass 4 million hits is "We The People", the video about Obamacare that started it all. The play count for the video is 4,002,094. A few days ago the video was sitting at 3,991,212 hits and now it's moved beyond the four million mark. "We The People" set in motion the You Tube era in Ray's career...prior to this music video Ray had uploaded a few music videos from his various home video/DVD collections onto You Tube. "We The People" marked the point in time where Ray began to release new music, in the form of on-line music videos, and reach hundreds of thousands of people in a rather short amount of time...often in a matter of hours...which is something radio airplay can also do but on a much more stricter scale.
The You Tube method of getting music exposed to the masses isn't anything new but it's especially useful to those artists who have a difficult time getting their products exposed to the masses in a more conventional way: radio airplay. As Ray remarked in recent interviews he feels that his politically themed music videos of late, which have gotten hundreds of thousands and in some cases millions of You Tube hits, is a big reason why his recent concert appearances have attracted an even more diverse audience than usual. A typical Ray Stevens concert has an audience make-up of parents and their kids plus in some markets you'll find teenagers and younger adults as well as the older audience that probably have followed Ray's career for decades...an audience who vividly recalls 1970 and his summer TV show and the massive #1 success of "Everything Is Beautiful".
Those who want to join Ray's Facebook page need to look no further than this Facebook link. He's got over 7,000 followers so far.
The souvenir book I included in this blog entry is from 1970...it's a booklet filled with song lyrics in addition to the actual sheet music of those songs. There is also a mini-biography of sorts and quite a few pictures. I've scanned a lot of pictures from that booklet and they're on my computer. I haven't added too many of those picture scans to my blogs because I've always felt that the contents inside the booklet should remain exclusive to those who actually own a copy of the booklet. But...I also realize that it's a 40 year old publication and the chances of a modern-day consumer lucking out and getting a copy on eBay or any other on-line music shop is 1 in a billion. I happened to be one of those who did in fact luck out and I purchased my copy on-line several years ago.
The asking price for the booklet in 1970 was $2.50! If this booklet were released with 2010 prices the selling price would no doubt be close to $10.00 or more. I'm sure $2.50 was a hefty price in 1970...I think TV Guide was less than sixty cents in 1970? Of course, today, most people wouldn't complain at paying just $2.50 for a booklet of this size and depth.