January 24, 2013

Ray Stevens: Happy Birthday...

Today, January 24th, marks the birthday of Ray Stevens. The legend turns 74 this year with no signs of slowing down...with a television program, RAY-ality TV, on the re-launched Nashville Network and several upcoming music releases on the horizon (based on commentary Ray gave late last year). This time around I decided to post a simple blog entry celebrating his birthday rather than a lengthy career-like retrospective. Given that he turns 74 today it's ironic that 74, specifically 1974, is the year that Ray had his biggest commercial hit single, "The Streak", with overall sales in excess of five million. Ray's official music video for "The Streak" has 2.3 million on-line views. It was uploaded onto the internet in 2009.

The local classic country radio station is playing a couple of Ray Stevens songs each hour throughout the morning. The morning disc jockey does this for other country music artists, too, and so it's always great when it comes time for Ray's birthday! "Mississippi Squirrel Revival", "Ahab the Arab", and "The Streak" were played earlier this morning. The official music video of "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" has 2.7 million on-line views. The version of "Ahab the Arab" that was played was the original, uncut version featuring the last verse where the Sultan discovers what's going on and attacks Ahab as a result. This is played out in the official music video of "Ahab the Arab" that Ray filmed for his Get Serious! movie in 1995. In the video Ray portrays himself as well as Ahab. Carol Ponder portrays Fatima. Buddy Kalb plays the Sultan.

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