June 15, 2012

Ray Stevens: 50 Years of Hits and Hilarity...

It's finally Friday!! I was not at my computer much on Thursday and so I missed the big DVD news from Ray Stevens and so I'm commenting on it now. Not one, not two, but Three brand new DVD releases have become available at Ray's web-store. First off there's the long awaited DVD release of Get Serious! that I wrote about in my previous blog entry on Wednesday...wondering when a DVD release would become available...then on Friday morning I'm alerted to the news that a DVD of that 1995 movie has finally saw the light of day in DVD format. The movie runs 110 minutes...that's 1 hour, 50 minutes...and it's a whimsical story that parallels a not too humorous situation that all kinds of comedians were facing by the early 1990's. Honestly, though, the situation facing many comedians by the early '90s had been slowly building since the mid to late '70s but it wouldn't be until around 1991-1992, that era, where the situation seemed to form like a noose around comedians, in general.

Well-established comics, whose popularity was originally obtained in a different time period but were by now viewed as legendary figures, were also being subjected to the mentality of a contemporary society and many legendary comics were tainted by the accusations of political incorrectness by a modern-day audience.

Get Serious!, in it's own way, addresses the concept of political correctness while a secondary plot addresses the music business and how industry conglomeration and predetermined airplay at radio stations destroys the chances for anyone creative or unique to make it given how similar radio programmers want the music to sound. In the movie Ray becomes a fugitive, of sorts, running from a local policeman whose formed a posse comprised of people that Ray's sang about in his songs. The music executive and his minions are also in pursuit because of Ray's refusal to get serious and stop singing comedy songs. Now that the movie has finally become available on DVD you all can purchase the film that I've glowingly commented on the last several years. The link will be at the end of the entry.

Secondly, there are the DVD releases of a concert filmed at The Welk Theater in Branson, Missouri. The concert is broken up into two parts and so the DVD comes into two volumes. The first volume is called Such a Night: 50 Years of Hits and Hilarity. As the more consistent readers of this blog are aware, 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of "Ahab the Arab".

The second part of the concert comes in a DVD titled Patriots and Politics. Those who attended the concerts down at The Welk Theater and those who read the reviews and saw some of the pics were let it on how the second half of the concerts were politically oriented. His Tea Party music videos had become popular on You Tube and so it was only natural that this part of his career would be showcased in a concert setting, too.

As you know, politics is a highly debatable subject matter. Some of the concert goers who hadn't necessarily paid much attention to Ray's career and were going because of the older songs they remember him for were genuinely surprised by the political segment. Some liked it and others did not. I assume the polarizing effect of politics is what led to the item description for this particular DVD release. When you click it's link you'll see what I mean.

There are CD versions of those DVD concerts...if you're budget minded you'll probably prefer the soundtracks since they're a bit cheaper than the DVD counterpart. However, Ray has always been a visual attraction...using a lot of sight gags and props in his performances...which is lost to a person listening to an audio CD.

Here's the titles of the DVDs once more:

Such a Night: 50 Years of Hits and Hilarity

Patriots and Politics

Get Serious!

The DVD main page can be found here at: Ray Stevens DVDs. Once there you can click each of new releases to read the information.

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