September 14, 2012

Ray Stevens: The Pop Goes the Country DVD's...

I hope the makers of the Pop! Goes the Country DVD's come out with a disc devoted to the many Ray Stevens appearances...preferably episodes that haven't been issued on DVD yet. Ray appeared on the show quite a few times and in many cases these programs are the only televised appearances of Ray Stevens during key moments of his earlier career.

In addition to the performances, which are a treat, you'll also see the interview segments. Ralph Emery hosted the program during the first 6 years (1974-1980) and upon Emery's departure in 1980 Tom T. Hall took over as host and remained with the program until it's end a few seasons later. Here is another chance to get your Pop! Goes the Country DVD collections featuring episodes starring Ray Stevens. In the links below you'll be taken to the Classic Country DVD item page where you can read in more detail.

Each DVD features multiple episodes starring various country artists but I'm singling out which Volumes, so far, contain a Ray Stevens episode...

Volume 4 (1975 episode)

Volume 9 (1977 episode)

Volume 15 (1979 episode)

Volume 17 (1981 episode)

Volume 24 (1978 episode)

The Volume 24 release is the most recent offering. Ray is clean-shaven in the 1977 episode. It is in this 1977 episode where he and Ralph Emery discuss at length the success of the fictional Henhouse Five Plus Too and their chicken clucking country/pop single, "In The Mood". I mention that because it isn't referenced in the DVD item description. In the 1979 episode Ray, I'm assuming, performs "Shriner's Convention" for the very first time on television weeks before it was issued as a single early in 1980. He opens the show with a performance of his 1976 Top-20 hit, "You Are So Beautiful". I'm barely scratching the surface...he also performs medley's of previous hits in addition to his interview segments with the host. In the 1979 episode he demonstrates the various styles of piano playing by offering the styles of Floyd Cramer, Ray Charles, and a brief Jerry Lee Lewis. In the 1975 episode Ray performs "Misty", "Indian Love Call", and "Twilight Time" in their entirety in addition to delivering a cultured version of "The Streak" which leaves Ralph Emery and the other guest, Sammi Smith, in fits of hysterical laughter. I hadn't purchased the DVD with the 1978 episode on it and so I can't go into detail about that one...yet...but I should have it in my possession sooner rather than later.

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