October 7, 2012

Ray Stevens: Nostalgia Valley, Part 45...

Well, it's an early Sunday morning here...still feels like late Saturday night to me. I'm coming down from a heightened Ray Stevens mood that I enjoyed most of Saturday evening culminating in his appearance at the Grand Ole Opry. I was listening to the show on my computer. Ray appeared twice and performed three and a half songs. One of the songs was a partial performance. He appeared the first time during the 7:30pm segment, hosted by Riders in the Sky. After talking about the Opry and it's 87th birthday, Ray performed his TSA song, "The Skies Just Ain't Friendly Anymore", and told a comical story about his grandparent's. He closed out his appearance singing a shortened version of "Everything Is Beautiful". In his second appearance during the 10:30pm segment, hosted by Steve Wariner, Ray came out and started discussing an upcoming bluegrass CD and performed a song that he said would be on the CD. I was completely surprised by this because usually whenever a guest appears on both Saturday night Opry shows they perform the same songs a second time for the new audience that arrived during the half hour intermission.

However, this wasn't the case Saturday night. He mentioned what the name of the CD would be called, performed a song from it, and after telling another joke, he closed his segment with "Misty", the song he said inspired his idea to do more songs in a bluegrass flavor for the upcoming CD. Prior to the Opry appearances it was reported that he signed copies of a compilation CD, The Ones You Want, at the Ryman Auditorium. I enjoyed hearing the Opry performances and I can't wait to hear what all Ray has covered on this upcoming bluegrass CD of his. I imagine it'll become available at some point in 2013.

Meanwhile, Ray's next appearance will be in New Mexico on October 13th at The Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino. This will be a full-length concert and so there will be many more performances and more comedy going on. If you heard the Opry performance and are in the vicinity of the New Mexico venue then check Ray Stevens out in person.

Maybe later this year or the beginning of next I'll be starting another blog series. This is the 45th installment of Nostalgia Valley...a couple of other blog series are in their 21st installment...what I plan on doing is writing brief...did I say brief? Yes I did! Brief commentaries on every Ray Stevens studio album in existence from 1962 through 2012!! 50 years worth of Ray Stevens albums. These commentaries will have my personal writing style all over them and will perhaps not be like anything else that's out there. I shouldn't say studio albums exclusively because he's had a few compilation albums become notable during his career, too, but the bulk of that blog series will be studio album commentary. I hadn't decided on a name of the series yet but I'll come up with one eventually. I may start it sooner rather than later given how it's the 50th anniversary of his Mercury Records album debut.

Considering this is installment 45 of this series, what recordings did Ray have out 45 years ago in 1967? There was one single, "Answer Me, My Love", backed with "Mary, My Secretary", on Monument Records. "Answer Me, My Love" was placed on a CD release of Ray's 1968 album, Even Stevens, as a bonus track. You can purchase the Mp3 of "Answer Me, My Love" here at Amazon. Why not go ahead and purchase the digital download of the entire album. It's one of his all-time best. "Mary, My Secretary" remained as a single-only for decades but can be found on The Incredible World of Ray Stevens, a 3-CD collection, from the mid 1990's. It's the only CD release that I'm aware of that contains the obscure recording.


  1. Hey, I was wondering if you had a copy or knew where I could find an mp3 one of Rays first songs. The Weekend. It was on youtube a few years ago and isn't anymore.

  2. Sorry, I'm the one who posted asking about "The Weekend"

  3. I don't sell or share music files but "The Weekend" can be found on Ray's second album titled THIS IS RAY STEVENS on Mercury Records. Unfortunately, there is no Mp3 available. The album was released in 1963. The vinyl album, which I have, is often available on eBay which is where I got my copy.


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