May 16, 2013

Ray Stevens and Blue Cyclone...

Good Thursday morning already! It's as if Ray's making up for his down time as not one, not two, but three music videos have been officially uploaded to You Tube. The videos come from a couple of VHS/DVD releases from the early 2000's that the public at large may not be as familiar with. The first video is The Blue Cyclone, Part One and once you watch it click this The Blue Cyclone, Part Two link. Obviously, though, once you open the link to the first video you can easily navigate to part two of the video. "The Ballad of the Blue Cyclone" came along at a time when wrestling had become enormously popular with a general audience. The concept of wrestling goes way back but it wasn't until the 1980's, the mid '80s specifically, that wrestling had become something of a phenomena. Acronyms like WCW, WWF, and WWE were soon to become as familiar as any number of broadcast networks. Wrestling boasted it's share of stars, too, which you can read about on-line. Hulk Hogan was the big star in wrestling...becoming iconic both physically and in performance...the tearing off of his popular yellow shirt during interviews was but one visual feature that he became famous for and who could ever forget the whole Hulk-a-mania craze? Wrestling, of course, still carries on but it's kind of drifted back into niche programming once more but if you happened to have been a child or teenager in the 1980's then you are well aware of how much wrestling impacted a lot of television programming and how much in the mainstream it was. Hulk Hogan and friends even appeared on their own Saturday morning cartoon show.

"The Ballad of the Blue Cyclone" tells the story of an encounter with a wrestler during a chaotic chain of events at a wrestling match. In the song Ray plays the part of a man who gets beaten up by The Blue Cyclone, one half of a tag-team wrestling combo. Ray's at the matches with a friend...the friend instigates the fight but he disappears before the Cyclone can come over and take action. Part 1 ends as Ray's being taken to a hospital. Throughout Part 2 Ray seeks revenge and he enlists the help of his fickle friend who in turn enlists the help of two weight lifters. Ray and the guys track down the Cyclone at a wrestling club/bar and history repeats itself as Ray's friends vanish while he's threatening the much stronger and violent Blue Cyclone with bodily harm. I'll go ahead and stop all can watch the videos to see all the hilarity for yourselves.

Ray's comedy recording, released as a single in 1986, reached the Top-50 on the Country music charts. The single release edited the full two part story into a concise and compact story. The edited version appears on the 1987 Greatest Hits, Volume Two collection. The full 2-part version appeared originally on 1985's I Have Returned.

Speaking of that LP, the music video of "The Haircut Song" was uploaded on You Tube around the same time as "The Ballad of the Blue Cyclone" the other day. Whereas the Cyclone video detailed both parts of the story, "The Haircut Song" spotlights the single release which edited out the second barber visit. In the video we have Ray visiting a Montana barber who sees himself as a macho man and this is followed by a visit to a barber down south that cuts hair inside a shop that looks like a church. The part of the song that was edited out featured a visit to a Los Angeles barber who dressed in Gothic attire. This barber was into punk rock and according to the song gave Ray a wild haircut but also stuck safety pins in his face. It would've been wildly hilarious if this section of the song was part of the music video but it isn't. You can watch "The Haircut Song" HERE.

A music video uploaded hours ago, "Erik the Awful", originally was part of an experimental home video where live action Ray performed in front of illustrated backgrounds. Two music videos with this same style became huge on You Tube: "Osama Yo' Mama" and "Hello Mama"; but the "Erik the Awful" video hadn't been released on-line by Ray until now. Isn't it ironic, as it was pointed out in the You Tube comment section for this video, that we currently have a professionally awful Attorney General that shares the same name as our Viking? Anyway, here's "Erik the Awful"...

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