November 28, 2011

Ray Stevens: Retrospective 42...

This is the image of Ray that appears on the Have a Little Talk With Myself album. Here it's used as a picture sleeve for an overseas release of "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", one of the singles from the 1969 album. The b-side, "The Minority", comes from Ray's 1968 album, Even Stevens. As most of Ray's fans are aware, "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" was the first single to reach the country music charts for Ray. Ray was not being marketed as a country singer at that time but starting with this single and moving forward he'd frequently have songs cross over to the country charts. It wouldn't be until the late '70s that there was ever a concentrated effort to market Ray's music to country audiences. The Have a Little Talk With Myself album features Ray's interpretations of contemporary pop songs with a few all-new songs thrown into the mix. It is on the 1969 album where Ray covers songs made popular by The Beatles, for instance, as well as songs associated with Blood, Sweat, and Tears as well as the Hair stage play. The only songs on the album that weren't cover songs are "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", "The Little Woman", and the title track, "Have a Little Talk With Myself". Johnny Cash recorded "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" a year after Ray and that's why it's technically not a cover song for those who may assume that Johnny recorded the song first. The album has never been re-issued on CD or Mp3 but selections from the album often appeared on many low-budget releases and compilations throughout the '70s and much of the '80s.

Ray, 42 years later, continues to make music and tour. As I write this I assume he and his crew are already in Canada or at least on their way. Ray appears tonight and tomorrow in Niagara Falls up in Ontario, Canada at the Scotia Bank Convention Center. He's appearing there in the Winter Festival of Lights series. The concert today will be at 2pm and then on Tuesday November 29th the concert will start at 7pm. I'll be on the look out for any reaction from those who attended the show. I don't know if he'll perform Christmas songs or his classic songs considering that the political comedy he's currently doing has what I'd consider a largely American identity and therefore an audience in Canada perhaps may not be able to relate to it or appreciate it...but for those up near that venue here's the information:

Venue: Scotia Bank Convention Center

Where: Niagara Falls Ontario, Canada

First show: November 28, 2011 2pm

Second show: November 29, 2011 7pm


  1. Way back there(67-69), Ray appeared on a Hullabaloo/Shindig type show singing Alley-Oop. Would love for that to resurface!

  2. I'd love to see that particular performance as well. There's, in reality, a lot of Ray Stevens performances from the '60s, '70s, and '80s that I bet people have somewhere on tape that have never made it to the internet, yet. I'd love to see all of his appearances on Hee-Haw as well as Nashville Now.


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