March 24, 2012

Ray Stevens: Nostalgia Valley, Part 33...

Good early Saturday morning Ray Stevens fans! The other day on Facebook it was announced that Ray's in the process of making music videos of some of the songs on the Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music! A photo taken during the production of one of the music videos was posted on his Facebook page. Judging by the visuals it looks as if it'll be a music video to "Cigareets, Whuskey, and Wild, Wild Women". Here's the picture. I can't wait to see the finished video AND whatever other music videos are to come from the Encyclopedia!! In a couple of months "Ahab the Arab" will turn 50. When the time comes I plan on posting something that I made using one of the programs on my computer celebrating the milestone. It's something that I made at the first of the year but I've not shared it on this blog page yet...but this will change during the summer months. Ahab came along in the summer of 1962 and it's such an important song in Ray's career that saluting it this summer is the least any Ray Stevens fan can do.

It was also in June, the year 1991, that Ray opened up his famed Branson, Missouri Theatre. The theater's props had an Arabian design...referencing "Ahab the Arab". A recurring segment featured Ray riding out on stage on Clyde the Camel (a life-sized puppet version). The stuffed camel can be seen in the official music video of "Ahab the Arab" from 1995. The Branson era of Ray's career consumed a good dose of his life for three consecutive years: 1991, 1992, and 1993. It was also during this era that music video/home video entertainment became a major factor in his career. It was 20 years ago that Comedy Video Classics emerged...followed by Ray Stevens Live! and More Ray Stevens Live! in 1993. Those two home videos were followed up by Get Serious!, a direct-to-home video movie starring Ray, and released in 1995. MCA released the movie to retail stores and it promptly reached the weekly best-seller charts starting in December 1996 and it remained on the charts through mid 1997. Ray's theater was re-opened in 2004 and he performed there an additional three more years: 2004, 2005, and 2006. He closed it down and put it up for sale soon afterward and it was bought by RFD-TV. For those who get that channel you'll be able to see Ray's former theater in a lot of advertisements that air regularly plus the channel puts on concerts at the people a chance to see the theater's interior. The stage set-up and overall design remains the way it looked when Ray owned it and the only changes are the obvious ones: the logo's and imagery associated with Ray were replaced with RFD-TV's logo and imagery.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Show your appreciation for the music of Ray Stevens...leave a comment...