Hello to all the Ray Stevens fans out there...some are still learning about the interview that took place yesterday on Mike Huckabee's radio program. It was a great interview of Ray giving details about his upcoming CD and there is even a poignant moment as he discusses the time of his mother's funeral. His mother passed away in 1997. I knew that it had happened at some point in the late '90s because he mentioned it during the Life and Times special that the original TNN had aired in 1999. I did some research for this blog entry, rather than relying on my memory, given the nature of that particular subject matter. His mother passed away on February 11, 1997. Her headstone, shared with her husband (Ray's father passed away in 2001), can be found on-line but I'm not going to post it. Those that want to see it can find it on their own. In the meantime, those that missed the Huckabee interview, you can still hear it (for the time being) at this LOCATION. Mike's radio program comes to an end on December 12th and it's not certain if any of the audio links and other things associated with the program are still going to be accessible after that date and so if you haven't yet heard the interview, which also contains a snippet of "If Jesus is a Stranger", one of the songs on Ray's upcoming CD, I highly recommend any Ray Stevens fan to listen to the interview before it's potentially removed for all time.
This is one of the Christmas music videos that Ray put on You Tube in the summer time this year. It hit You Tube on May 1, 2013 and it's gotten a little more than 5,000 unique views. It's called "Guilt For Christmas" and it's a stinging attack on political correctness. I had posted about this back in the summer but considering it's now December and 20 days before Christmas it's the perfect time to spotlight it again and create new awareness for it...
The video carries some exclusivity in that Ray performs it in an Americanized dialect (German/Austrian)...the original recording from 1997 lacks this and is recorded in his natural voice.
Almost a year to the day, actually December 3, 2012, Ray unleashed "White Christmas" in video form. His version includes a vocal salute to The Drifters, too.
You can get an audio copy of this on his Ray Stevens Christmas CD from a couple of years ago. The video's gotten more than 20,000 views but it's become overshadowed by a couple of other Christmas music videos from Ray that have taken on lives of their own: "Merry Christmas" (more than 130,000 views!) and the bouncy "Redneck Christmas" (more than 110,000 views so far!) plus the annual favorites "Nightmare Before Christmas" (more than 300,000 views since it's November 2010 debut). The actual number as of today is 324,527...I'd say that works out roughly to a little more than 100,000 views per year. Then there's the classic "Santa Claus Is Watching You" and it's gotten 461,656 views so far. It debuted on You Tube in July 2009, one of Ray's first video uploads to his then-new You Tube channel. The actual video itself is Ray's first ever music video...and it originated back in 1985...the year that he re-recorded the song with different lyrics and changed it from a children's Christmas song (the original from 1962) to a tale of suspected adultery. He'd re-record that particular adultery version once again in 1997 for his first and only comedy Christmas album.
There's a music video for "Blue Christmas" (comical version) that debuted one day before "Redneck Christmas" in December 2012. I'll post those videos next time. The "Blue Christmas" music video features Ray stuttering the song in the vein of a fictional group called Seymour Swine and the Squealers. In essence, it's a cover song from Ray. There's the non-comical recording of "Blue Christmas" on the Ray Stevens Christmas CD, by the way. The 2 separate recordings are referred to as "Blue Christmas" (serious version) and "Blue Christmas" (comical version).