Studio album seventeen in the career of Ray Stevens continued the comical vein of his 1979 single, "I Need Your Help, Barry Manilow". Ray had joined the RCA label upon the conclusion of his Warner Brothers stint at some point in mid/late 1979. In a news article I found on-line about what turned out to be his final single for Warner Brothers, the author made mention of that 1979 single being part of a comedy album he was recording. That suggested album, in the meantime, would become his debut release for RCA...but it didn't include his spring 1979 single as the write-up had suggested simply because this new studio album was released on RCA and not his previous label, Warner Brothers, the label which had released "I Need Your Help, Barry Manilow".
"The Watch Song" tells the comical tale of a guy who loves his watch and how this devotion played a huge role in a bar room fight and a subsequent murder. Ray plays a guy who's accused of having an affair with the wife of another man...and ultimately this leads to an encounter between the cowboy and Ray. For starters, Ray kicks the cowboy in a sensitive area and then the punches fly. The cowboy gets the better of Ray, at first, but as the story progresses the cowboy makes a serious mistake: he destroys Ray's watch! This causes Ray to rise from his beaten state and in a wild rage he literally beats to death the cowboy. The next stop for Ray is death row. Throughout the song a lyrical hook is heard as Ray mentions John Cameron Swayze several times. John happened to be the spokesman for Timex watches in addition to being a legendary news anchor/reporter. "The Dooright Family" is the most laugh out loud comedy song on the entire album...it's a comical story about a religious family who broadcast a radio program and travel the country spreading their beliefs to those who attend. This is one of the comedy recordings where Ray gets to show off his impressions of different southern accents. Daddy and Therman Dooright have southern accents which are completely different from one another. Vocal effects help aid in the lower register of Virgil Dooright while Ray's hilarious take as the scratchy voiced Mama Dooright steals the show. The song with the most eye catching title is "Put It In Your Ear". The song is actually a love ballad...but there's a comical passage where Ray does his German-American accent. Aside from this section of the song, it's a love ballad all the way.
As you can see, Ray's debut for RCA was certainly a smashing success...but his desire to focus on serious work saw him release a catchy love ballad in the fall of 1980 in which the story took place inside a singles bar. This love song turned out to be the first single from Ray's next studio album which saw it's release in 1981. It's studio album eighteen in the career of Ray Stevens, his second LP for RCA, and it went hand in hand with the Urban Cowboy movement in country music...visual details are crystal clear when you see the album's photo shoot.