February 13, 2013

Ray Stevens: Nostalgia Valley, Part 48...

We're here once again celebrating the career and music of Ray Stevens! I finished listening to the special about Ray Stevens that was aired on the KSAV internet radio program, Dave White Presents. In a previous blog entry I embedded the link to the program's podcast page. If visitors stop by the previous blog entry before this one and click the link I provided they'll more than likely have to search the show's podcast list for the entry that's marked February 11, 2013. For those reading this blog entry you can click this Mp3 Link. The interview is conducted by Wes Britton, one who I found out is the program's co-host. Dave White opens up the program speaking about what the show will be about. He plays 2011's "Obama Budget Plan" and then plays a couple of songs that Britton asks Ray about in the upcoming interview, 1960's "Sgt. Preston of the Yukon" and 1961's "Jeremiah Peabody's Green and Purple Pills".

The interview, as you'll hear, kicks off with "Mississippi Squirrel Revival". The interview covers a gamut of topics and one that sticks out, simply because it's something rarely discussed in previous interviews with Ray Stevens, is the inner workings of music and the overall construction of music and it's connection with people. Ray speaks of his affiliation with manager Don Williams, the brother of Andy Williams, and briefly speaks of the summer 1970 television show. A few minutes is spent speaking about music formats, labeling and the ultimate typecasting of artists, and the by-gone era of what's often referred to as Top-40 radio where all music formats were played on the same radio station.

Britton asks about "The Streak" and Ray explains the inspiration of the song and then music videos are brought into the discussion but ironically there wasn't any reference made to his You Tube channel or the millions of views that his videos have obtained over the last several years. One of the last things spoke about is the Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music and the inspiration behind it and the consistent charge that novelty songs are long forgotten after their initial splash onto the marketplace. Britton closed the interview playing "Mr. Businessman".

Afterward, White was heard giving his opinions of Ray's style of humor and he actually played a song that I didn't think anybody but dedicated fans were aware of and yet he played it. It's not anything super obscure from the '50s or '60s. It's an album track from one of his MCA comedy albums in the late 1980's that I'm sure a good portion of fans are very familiar with if they happen to have a copy of the album it appeared on. It's one of the funniest songs on that particular release.

I've not gone into any great detail about the interview or relayed how Ray replied to each of the questions because I want you all to hear for yourselves when you click the link in the opening paragraph. I had originally assumed that the entire 90 minute program would feature nothing but Ray Stevens music with an interview sandwiched in between. The show's preview does indicate that another topic during the episode would be slot machines but I was assuming that this topic would've been shorter, in comparison to Ray's segment, but it appears that each topic, Ray Stevens and slot machines, were evenly divided.

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