In my first blog entry of February I come with an additional radio station link. Ray Stevens gave an interview on a Texas radio station, KWEL, on February 2. A link to the interview can be found here. Once you open this page you will need to scroll down to where it shows Ray's name prior to the date 2-2-11. A little sideways triangle in a green shaded box is located off to the right...click that and the audio clip will start to play. There's also a download option in front of the audio clip. I downloaded the audio in addition to playing it. In the interview Ray discusses the political direction of his musical career and talks about his current recordings. The host of the show asks about the reception of his political affiliations and Ray offers some commentary about it. He comments about his various appearances on the Fox News Channel and an upcoming appearance at CPAC later this month.
"Ahab the Arab" is also brought up.
Something which has become commonplace in many interviews with Ray is the topic of political correctness and the radio host asked Ray if he felt that "Ahab the Arab" would get airplay in 2011 if released today and if the song's still being played somewhere. Ray commented that since the song was originally out in 1962 he didn't think it was still being played with any degree of regularity but he defended the song, as he should, when explaining how unfair it is that some people out there attach the politically incorrect label on practically everything they have an objection to...regardless of original intent by a singer, writer, author, etc. etc. This may have been his way of saying he doesn't think the song would have a chance of widespread radio success in 2011 as it did in 1962.
However, not everyone is thin-skinned and balks at anything remotely deemed politically incorrect...the music video of the song is still getting video play on You Tube...
The 1995 music video of the song, which Ray uploaded onto You Tube in 2009, has gotten over 100,000 hits. Another upload of the video by someone else has gotten over 650,000 hits. This upload was available nearly a year before Ray's people decided to upload it, too, which accounts for why the earlier upload by a You Tube member has way more hits than the official upload from Ray. The point is the music video's been seen by over 700,000 people when you combine both hit totals on You Tube and so even nearly 50 years after the song was released it's still getting attention from those who love the song and from those who can't stand it. The host asked him to do the camel impression and while I thought it was good Ray insisted that it was too early in the morning to sufficiently mimic a camel.
Toward the end of the interview Ray talks about his most recent release, "The Skies Just Ain't Friendly Anymore", about the TSA and airport security. He also commented about the encyclopedia of the greatest novelty songs he's been working on and offered a few examples of some of the songs that'll be on it.
In the meantime, this link provides information about a radio tour that Ray's currently embarking on. It started with KMOX, then it migrated to WICH, and yesterday he was heard on KWEL. He's scheduled to conduct interviews with a wide variety of other morning radio programs...two upcoming interviews according to the link above are The KTLF morning show and a syndicated Atlanta, Georgia program hosted by Martha Zoller. Each program will air/become available on February 7th. I'm sure Ray will be heard in interviews on other radio stations, too, as the year progresses.