March 19, 2012

Ray Stevens: Nostalgia Valley, Part 32...

I looked over on the traffic list and seen that someone had visited the blog page looking for information about "Erik the Awful". This particular song comes from 1984 and was written by Ray Stevens, Buddy Kalb, and Carlene Kalb. It originated on the album, He Thinks He's Ray Stevens, as the first song on Side Two of the vinyl album. That particular album was certified Platinum for over a million copies sold and it reached the Top-10 on the country album chart in 1985. The album was released in cassette and CD format's as well but those versions quickly went out of print. The entire album was re-released in CD format under the new title, Mississippi Squirrel Revival, which is what you see in the photo. The squirrel song is track 4 on the album and one of the two biggest hits from the project. The other hit from the 1984 album is "It's Me Again, Margaret". "Erik the Awful" also appears on a collection titled The Legendary Ray Stevens...which features an image of Ray that I once had as my desktop background. Originally recorded in 1984, "Erik the Awful" was re-recorded by Ray and made into an animated music video nearly 20 years later in 2003 and placed on a home video Ray issued at the time called Cartoon Video Collection. In this collection it featured live-action Ray interacting with limited animation characters in front of animated backdrops. The collection featured just 6 of these experimental music videos and "Erik the Awful" was one of those 6. The re-recorded version would later appear on the Box Set that came along in 2005 on his own label, Clyde Records. A year later Curb Records would release the collection to much wider distribution. Currently the 7 year old Box Set is still among the Top-40 best sellers on a variety of lists at Amazon. That 2005 release isn't to be confused with the brand new Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music that Ray released a couple of weeks ago. The 2012 box set has 9 CD's and is chock full of Ray's versions of classic novelty and comedy songs of the last 60+ years.

Edit 3-21-2012: Here's Ray's interview with Michael Horn of CRN from March 19th. I wasn't able to access the link yesterday because my flash player needed updated. It's since been updated and here's the link to Ray's interview. Several of Ray's own recordings, in their entirety, are played at various times in the interview.

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