I've long since mailed off my tax forms and have gotten my refund but some still wait until this week and leading up until midnight on April 15th to mail their income tax forms. It's like an annual game to some...the fun (?) of waiting until the last minute. It's time to spotlight some tax songs from Ray Stevens...I have also included songs that deal with money/economics, in general, since it all ties in with the Treasury department.
The one that stands out as far as the title goes is this one...
"If Ten Percent is Good Enough for Jesus (It Oughta Be Enough for Uncle Sam)" is a mouthful, yes? The song has had a very interesting life span. Ray recorded it in 1993 and it's on his Curb Records CD that year, Classic Ray Stevens. The recording, as you can tell from the year it was issued, came at a time before the explosions of cable TV news outlets and the internet. CNN was the major player but then by the mid and late '90s cable news exploded in popularity, as did the Internet. Ray performed this song on the 1993 presentation of the Music City News Country Awards in June. As such, that June 1993 performance and a few additional performance later that year, were the only publicity opportunities for the song and it's forthcoming CD. Ray stopped performing the song after several years but re-recorded it more than a decade later. The second go 'round for the song had a much bigger impact compared to the 1993 original.
Ray had commented that practically all songs tend to have their day and that the original recording was ahead of it's time. By the time 2008 came along, Government spending, the budget, and taxes had become such a voter priority (and an emotionally charged national debate) that the re-recording/re-release found a much larger audience. In 2010 Ray did a series of concerts in Branson, Missouri at The Welk Theater. Some of his performances were captured on tape and one of those is "If Ten Percent Is Good Enough For Jesus", the performance you see in the embed above. The video was uploaded on May 1, 2012 and it's been seen by more than 100,000 people so far...115,188 to be specific. My guess is the video's reached more people than the 1993 single was able to.
A couple of years before 1993, Ray recorded the unofficial Income Tax anthem. I call it the Income Tax anthem but, obviously, my calling it that means it's an unofficial title...nevertheless, 1991 is the origin year of "Juanita and the Kids". It's a very funny and dark comical tale of a man that plots to get larger refund checks from the Government. His method at getting these refunds each year is memorable...you'll discover all about Juanita in the video below...
Disclaimer: The recording heard in the video is an exclusive for the video. In the 1991 recording, found on his Curb Records CD, #1 with a Bullet, he doesn't use an exaggerated accent but instead sings the song in his natural voice. The video originated in 1999 and became a You Tube video on May 25, 2011.
Speaking of his 1991 CD, Ray closed the project with the economic ballad "Workin' For the Japanese". This song became a single in the latter part of 1991 and would you believe that it shown all signs of becoming a radio hit when several radio stations grew nervous at a possible boycott by Japanese-friendly advertisers and, in typical knee-jerk reaction, the radio programmers pulled it off their stations. The song then, and now, is totally harmless...but "the truth hurts" as the expression goes...
The 1991 project, released on cassette and CD, and re-released on CD in 2005 and ultimately a digital download (Mp3) became available, too. You can purchase an Mp3 of "Workin' for the Japanese" HERE.
In recent times Ray has performed songs about the nation's economy and Government out of control spending. I have recently posted videos directly involved in those subjects...I have posted "Obama Nation", "Mr. President - Mr. President", and "Obama Budget Plan". One last song I want to spotlight...and though it has nothing to do with income taxes or Government spending...it fits the overall tone of this blog post.
On the 2011 CD, Spirit of '76, Ray included a song called "My Uncle Sam". It's a reflective song about a man's uncle, named Sam, and the issues he's facing and how it appears he's on his last legs and there's no light at the end of the tunnel. The song acts as a comparison to the nation's problems and the easily discouraged feeling that people get as they see a Federal Government become more and more big and powerful. The bigger and powerful the Federal Government gets the less freedom and liberty the citizen's have. If you want to hear this ballad for yourselves, it's part of his Spirit of '76 project. You can either get the CD or the digital Mp3.
The Mp3 is located HERE.