October 10, 2013

Ray Stevens: A spring 2013 TV appearance...

 Hello all...I had seen pictures of Ray and the host of this program on-line but could never find a video link or podcast of the show until now. Ray appeared on a television program called Behind the Scene with Kenny and Friends back in April of 2013. I've provided a LINK containing the video clip. I originally had the video embedded but I couldn't get the measurements to fit correctly and so I edited out the embed altogether.

The interview runs for almost half an hour. In the interview Ray speaks about his TV program on TNN. It had been airing since January 2013 and by that time had been on the air for just 3 months when this interview took place. Unfortunately, I looked at the most recent television schedule for the new version of The Nashville Network (now calling itself Heartland TV) and I didn't see Ray's clip-fest television program, Ray-ality TV, listed. I don't know if it's on hiatus or if it's not part of the channel anymore. There hasn't been any information about it's fate that I've been able to find.

I was never able to get the new TNN anyway but I'd sure like to know if his TV program is still a part of their channel or not. I guess I could e-mail Ray's people or inquire about the program on the Heartland site. Early on-line stories about the program stated that 26 episodes had been put together. This is a typical number for a TV season. Since there's 52 weeks in a year, and the program airs weekly, 26 first-runs plus 26 re-runs adds up to 52. It appears that the 26 completed episodes have since aired and the powers that be have decided not to re-run those 26 episodes (giving the program a life-span of half a TV season).

October 4, 2013

Ray Stevens and the eBay Songbooks...

Hello fans of Ray Stevens...yesterday there happened to be an announcement of five song books being put up for sale by Ray's company on eBay. The books focus on just one song per copy but the allure of the items happen to be his signature and the fact that the books have his image on the cover. As mentioned there are five of these: 1968's "Mr. Businessman", 1969's "Gitarzan", 1970's "Bridget the Midget the Queen of the Blues", "Everything Is Beautiful", and 1984's "Mississippi Squirrel Revival".

The original asking price for each of the five books was $10.00 but once word got out on social media sites there have been multiple bids on several of the items and the selling price has accordingly gone up. I think most of it is due to having Ray's signature on each item but there's also the nostalgic factor and the images of Ray that appear on each book. The "Everything Is Beautiful" sheet music now has a price of $26.00 and 3 bids. The most popular item is the sheet music for one of his most enduring comical songs, 1984's "Mississippi Squirrel Revival". Even today the fans and the general public alike cite lyrics and catch-phrases from the song as evidenced in posts from social media sites. That particular sheet music book has the most bids so far with 11 and a price of $76.00!! 

At the moment there are 6 bids for "Mr. Businessman" and as a result the current price is $40.00. The prices, I assume, are going to continue to go up considering there's 6 days left to place a bid. Ray started an eBay page in the summer and I vaguely remember hearing about it at the time but it turned out to be something that wasn't publicized that much but these 5 song books are the first items he's offered for sale and you can see them HERE.

October 3, 2013

Ray Stevens...Unchained...

Oh what great music video news I bring this morning...the brand new Ray Stevens music video to "Unchained Melody". This is a taste of things to come on an upcoming CD from Ray...a collection that I've often mentioned for about a year or so. I received an e-mail alert and became aware of a new video from Ray. The CD is going to be titled Melancholy Fescue and as you could perhaps tell from it's title it's going to be a Bluegrass-tinged CD. The things that I've read over the course of the last year indicate that the songs are more than likely going to be pop standards (love ballads) and early rock and roll songs done in a bluegrass style.

It was about a year ago, October 6th 2012 to be exact, Ray appeared as a guest during the Grand Ole Opry's 87th birthday broadcast. He appeared during both Opry shows on the 6th. In his first appearance of the night he performed "The Skies Just Ain't Friendly Anymore" and "Everything Is Beautiful". In the second appearance he performed "Misty" and a bluegrass version of "Pretty Woman". The latter performance was said to be part of an upcoming experimental bluegrass CD he'd been working on titled Melancholy Fescue.

Okay, to keep things straight, that Opry appearance/performance happened on October 6, 2012...and almost 1 year has passed and as if on (fes)cue here comes a video for "Unchained Melody"...

Once the CD becomes available for purchase I'll put in an order for it ASAP!! In the e-mail the language alluded to a digital download...but I hope a physical CD will also become available. I prefer having a CD of music that I can hold in my hands.

So far the unique views for the latest music video release are 2,453. The totals for the "Nashville" music video are 12,331.

October 2, 2013

Ray Stevens and Nashville...

Here we find that the calendar has turned to October and at the moment the news surrounding Ray Stevens continues to be his "Nashville" music video. In my previous blog entry I had mentioned that the video had gotten a little more than 2,000 unique views...it's been a little more than 1 week since the video hit You Tube and the totals as of this minute are 11,633. The video arrived on September 23rd and it's been available, specifically, for a week and two days.

On September 30th, a web-site called Nashville Country Club posted a copy of the article that appeared on Nashville.com the day that the music video debuted. I'm often finding or becoming aware of articles about Ray Stevens that originate on one site and then appear on another. I sometimes offer links and sometimes I just make references. The September 30th publicity piece can be seen HERE. It's nice to see other sites latch onto and share news about Ray Stevens and promote his videos at the same time but, admittedly, when I saw the link to this story with it's headline of 'Ray Stevens Debuts New Video' I assumed it would've been something brand new but as I mentioned it's great to see other sites pick up on Ray's videos.

The Fall Clearance Sale at Ray's music store ended a couple of days ago. I'm glad I finally decided to purchase New Orleans Moon during that sale because it's back at it's normal selling price. During the sale it was available for less than $6.00 but since the sale ended it's sitting at it's usual $10.95 selling price. The bonus items that I received included several CD singles, one I already had, but several that I didn't have. Another free item arriving with the order was the Let's Get Political book. Again, it's something I already had, but that particular free copy that came with the CD is now put away in my collection while the other one that I purchased last year remains at arm's reach. Also part of the bonus gifts was an extended play CD containing selected songs from The Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music.

The EP, referred to as a sampler, is something that I didn't already have but I had those songs on the Encyclopedia release. Casual fans that perhaps purchased items during the sale no doubt added to their individual collections with items that are obscure and often not being offered for sale anymore.