March 18, 2012

Ray Stevens 9-CD box set, Part 10...

Click for your copy here ----> Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music

Is anyone a member of a site called Sound Cloud? Ray has several audio tracks uploaded at the Sound Cloud site. The songs come from the Encyclopedia and if you hadn't visited the site you can visit by clicking here. The audio links are to "White Lightnin", "I'm Kissin' You Goodbye", "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor?", and "Mississippi Squirrel Revival". The first and fourth song have gotten the most plays while the middle two are close in play totals. I'm not a member of this site but you don't have to be to hear the audio clips in their entirety. If you want to favorite a song or write a comment you'll have to become a member.

It's impossible for me to name a favorite from the Encyclopedia because, as I've pointed out, I like them all. There are ones that stick out more than others but that's mostly due to the production that went into them or the fact that I was a fan of the song(s) prior to Ray recording them. "The Bricklayer's Song" goes back to 1969 from the pen of Pat Cooksey. It's officially known as "The Sick Note" but it's been modified and recorded by hundreds of artists worldwide under several titles. The most used title is "The Bricklayer's Song" which Ray recorded in 1993 but re-recorded for this collection. Other titles for the song are "Paddy's Not at Work Today", "Dear Boss", and "Murphy and the Bricks". The song tells the funny story of a bricklayer who had a lot of bad luck on the job. I first heard this song by Noel Murphy...a late-night trucker's radio show played the song during a comedy break...and it wouldn't be until Ray's Classic Ray Stevens CD came along in 1993 that I heard the song once again. Meanwhile, "Little Brown Jug" is a song that I hadn't singled out yet. It's a fun sing-a-long drinking song and Ray performs it with such energy...really getting to the ha-ha-ha's. Once you hear the song you'll know what I mean! The song dates back to the 1800's and much like "The Bricklayer's Song" there have been a lot of modifications and interpretations through the years. According to the booklet in the box set, "Little Brown Jug" was made the most popular as an instrumental by Glenn Miller but the song's history is recounted as well. Ray remarks that in the case of "Little Brown Jug", where there are multiple versions and modifications, he picked what he felt was the best rendering he could find and then recorded it that way.

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