September 4, 2011

Ray Stevens in September...

In this first blog entry of September it's with wonderful elation that I share three Ray Stevens music videos with you all. These music videos were put together by Ray back in 2000 but they hadn't been officially uploaded onto You Tube until a few days ago. The upload dates show May 25, 2011 but these were not available for viewing back then or I would've made mention of them at the time. "Virgil and the Moonshot" and "Gitarzan" were uploaded by Ray in May. Perhaps the three music videos located below were intended for the same release date but at the last minute were put on hold. Whatever the story is behind why these three videos have an upload date of a few months ago when they weren't available for viewing until a few days ago will probably remain a mystery...but enjoy them nonetheless...

First up is 2002's "Hello Mama", the sequel to "Osama Yo' Mama". The sequel was released as a promo single only and was often available on eBay. The music video came along in 2003. Musically it carries the exact same melody as "Osama Yo' Mama" but it differs greatly with the lyrics. In the sequel we get to hear Ray as bin Laden and George W. Bush but, of course, we get to hear Ray as Mama...and the music video is hilarious.

The second music video is "Freddie Feelgood and His Funky Little Five Piece Band". The song originally was released as a single in 1966! Ray did this music video decades later in 2000 on a home video titled Funniest Video Characters. This is the song where Ray gets to show off his scat-singing prowess by vocally mimicking a range of instruments.

The third music video is "Juanita and the Kids", also from his 2000 home video. The song was originally recorded by Ray in 1991 so it wasn't decades old by the time a music video came along. The video is wickedly funny. The song is all about the IRS.

In the obscure trivia department: 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of Ray's first Grammy win. In early 1971 he won for "Everything Is Beautiful". He won in the Best Male Pop Vocal category. The song was nominated in four other categories for Ray and in one category for Jake Hess. So, in total, the song received 6 nominations and won in 2 of the categories. As mentioned, Ray won for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance while Jake Hess won for Best Sacred Performance. A year earlier Ray's "Gitarzan" was nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. "Love Lifted Me" was nominated in 1973 in the Best Inspirational category while in 1976 he received 2 nominations for "Misty" (winning the Best Arrangement category). Ray would receive 2 more nominations in the years that followed. A 1980 nomination for Best Comedy Recording for "I Need Your Help, Barry Manilow" and a 1988 nomination in the same category for "Would Jesus Wear a Rolex?". In total Ray had 11 nominations and 2 wins.

A video clip that goes back to 1970, right around that "Everything Is Beautiful" era, appeared on You Tube a few days ago. It's a video of Ray Stevens and Tom Jones singing a medley of Ray Charles songs. It's a classic...showing Ray and Tom bantering and trading verses.

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