Here we are...a week before Christmas Eve 2012. This image is probably familiar as I believe I used this one a few blogs ago when I wrote about the non-comical Ray Stevens Christmas CD from 2009. Over the course of the last few days I submitted some long-awaited orders at the Ray Stevens web-store and so any day this week the items should arrive in the mail. Hopefully nobody goes into shock after reading this but I'm thrilled to announce that I finally purchased the physical CD of Spirit of '76!! I had purchased the digital download way back when it became available in the spring of 2011 but I never got around to actually purchasing the physical CD until now. I can't wait to have the CD in my hands instead of just having the songs on my on-line music program. Another of the items I ordered was a DVD of Ray's Patriots and Politics. This DVD contains a concert taped in Branson, Missouri. It's described as the second half of the concert whereas the first half is featured on the DVD titled Such a Night: 50 Years of Hits and Hilarity. Why didn't I purchase both DVD's? Well, I wanted to see Ray perform several songs that, to date, I hadn't seen him perform in a concert setting. His concert performance of "We the People", for example, was uploaded to You Tube several months ago and I've also seen him perform the song on a couple of TV programs and so I'm familiar with the way he performs that particular song in a live setting but there are several other songs that I can't wait to see him perform and so that's what caused me to purchase the second half of the concert first and then later on I'll get the first half of the show. I also sent away for the Blue Christmas EP that I wrote about in the previous blog entry and I also purchased this songbook from the early '90s that Ray used to offer to fan club members. The fan club is no longer in existence, having ended in 2002, but in this era of social media artists don't really need to have a fan club in the traditional sense of the word. The general public can follow an artist's Twitter or Facebook pages and be kept up to date in addition to interacting with other fans. A mailing list is probably the only thing that serves the purpose of a fan club nowadays. This songbook's cover doesn't indicate if it contains lyrics just that it features piano notes and guitar chords to a list of songs from Ray's catalog. I'm no musician but the reason I purchased it is simply because it's an item that I think is rare, obscure, and probably of interest only to the most devoted of fans and so I felt it necessary to purchase it once it had become available for sale again. I also like the picture of Ray that was used on the cover...the same one used on the low-budget compilation, At His Best, that MCA issued in 1992.