February 23, 2012

Ray Stevens 9-CD box set...

Good Thursday morning!! It's going to be a Ray Stevens fan-fest for the next several days. Ray is wrapping up his three city tour stop in Florida tonight. On the 21st he performed in Daytona Beach...yesterday afternoon and night he performed two shows in Lakeland...and tonight he'll be in Melbourne, Florida at the King Center.

Ray gave an interview for G-A-C, the country music channel. The interview runs anywhere between 7 to 8 minutes on the series called On The Streets. The show has aired multiple times since February 21st. You have two more chances to catch the show as it airs later today at 4:30pm and then on Saturday at 10am. Ray's segment starts up 18 minutes into the half hour show and it starts with a short clip of his "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" music video from 1992. The purpose of the interview was to promote the upcoming Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music that Ray's set to release on February 28th...this coming Tuesday!!

The songs will be in alphabetical order on 8 CD's. The 9th CD features newer recordings from the last few years that Ray's featured on some of his previously released CD's. Some of the songs that Ray's brought back to life are "The Thing", originally a big novelty hit for Phil Harris. There's "Three Little Fishes" that I'd never heard of but research shows it was a big hit during the '40s by Kay Kyser's group. Ray covers a lot of ground on this collection as you can imagine. We also get to hear his take on several songs that had erroneously been credited to him by a whole host of people down through the years: "Witch Doctor" and "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer". The original recordings were done by David Seville (the "Witch Doctor" hit) and Elmo and Patsy (the "Grandma..." hit). Some of the other songs that Ray revives are "My Old Flame", "Open the Door, Richard", and "Mairzy Doates". In "My Old Flame", the original recording from Spike Jones featured voice actor Paul Frees as the Peter Lorre sound-a-like. I don't know if Ray's version will feature a Peter Lorre impression or not.

Now, in addition to On The Streets, Ray Stevens will be a featured guest on this weekend's American Country Cowndown with Kix Brooks. The countdown airs on hundreds of radio stations usually on Saturday evenings or Sunday mornings depending on the station that airs it. You can find the radio station in your area by visiting their web-site and looking up the radio station list. Click your state and a list of stations will appear.

Ray will also be making appearances very soon on a couple of RFD-TV programs. He'll appear on Larry's Country Diner as well as Crook and Chase. In addition to this, Country Weekly will run a story about Ray in their March 5th issue, which is scheduled to hit store shelves this weekend. I'll be on the lookout for that particular issue of course!

Here's a look at what the Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music lettering looks like, click the link:

Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music

The actual box set will be rectangle in shape and feature a laughing mask on the front. The picture of Ray will be somewhere in the box set...either inside the booklet that accompanies the collection or on the back of the box. Once I get a copy of the box set I'll dissect it, analyze it, listen to it, review it, and post my thoughts here on the blog page. Since the collection contains 9 CD's it'll be a longer analytical essay once it's all said and done.


  1. I just saw a track listing. He went a little too heavy on his own songs. Out of 96 songs, 29 are songs he's already done. That doesn't inlcude the "bonus" disk of just his material. I will still buy it..but a little disappointed. Any word on price yet?

  2. I have no idea about the price but I doubt that it'll be in the super expensive range. Everyone's idea of expensive is different, though. It'll be a collection that I'll definitely be purchasing on Tuesday. I'm sure the only place it'll be available for now is Ray's web-store.

    As you counted up the selections that's a different of 67 songs that will be brand new to his career so in effect that's 6 CD's worth of songs that were hits for other acts that Ray's covered on this project. I'm not that disappointed because I knew that he'd be including a good dose of his own songs because he's said so in just about all of his interviews.

    I was a bit more disappointed in the release called BOX SET that came along in 2005...where all the 'hits' were re-recordings from the 1990's. I bought the BOX SET just to have it since I'm something of a completest but by comparison this new project is going to be leaps and bounds better judging by the things I've read and heard from Ray's interviews.

    As far as the new project I like how the songs will go in alphabetical order so to not have any particular CD be too heavy on Ray's previous work and at the very least the songs that are already a part of his career are sprinkled throughout the 8 CD's. The 9th CD I don't count because it's a bonus disc.


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