April 11, 2014

Ray Stevens...CD import from the United Kingdom...

I came across an internet article about an hour ago indicating that an import CD on Ray Stevens is going to be released soon. The import, from the United Kingdom, has 31 tracks of Ray Stevens greatness. It consists of late '50s and early '60s recordings from Ray that have been commercially available before on long out of print collections...but never before in one comprehensive collection (or as close to comprehensive as you can get when you consider that his professional recordings date back to 1957).

The answer is "no", in case anyone may ask if there's ever been a detailed box set issued on his music. There has never, never NEVER been a career spanning box set of his recordings. It isn't for a "lack of hit songs" or anything...

Even artists that are referred to as pioneers in rock, pop, bluegrass, and country music and never had many or any 'radio hits' have had box sets released spotlighting their catalog of music. One of country music's earliest performers, Jimmie Rodgers, nicknamed The Father of Country Music (among other nick names) released music and had impact before there ever was a creation of a 'country music chart' in Billboard but yet there have been multiple box sets released on him.

The 31 track collection, though not a career spanning box set, assembles a good sampling of Ray's late '50s and early '60s recordings. Titled The Early Ray Stevens, it features eye catching cover art...but there's no information about the possible inclusion of liner notes or an essay of any kind. The music comes from his days at Prep, Capitol, and NRC (the first 15 tracks), and it includes the entire 1962 Mercury LP 1837 Seconds of Humor in addition to "Santa Claus is Watching You" and the single edit of "Ahab the Arab". The LP has 14 tracks on it and so you add up those 14, plus the 15 tracks from the late '50s/early '60s, and you get 29. Add in the single edit of "Ahab the Arab" and the holiday song and there you have the 31 tracks on the CD. America's Amazon site states that the CD is out of stock...it has a release date of April 11 (an error, obviously). On the United Kingdom Amazon site it has the CD available for pre-order but it isn't going to be released until April 22. If you feel comfortable purchasing items from overseas (I've done so only a couple of times) and you want some of Ray's earliest recordings on what appears to be a decently put together CD then visit the United Kingdom Amazon page located HERE and place an order.

You may be thinking to yourself: "...this is all great but what are the songs on the CD??!!"

I haven't forgotten...here's the 31 songs on the CD...

1. Rang Tang Ding Dong
2. Silver Bracelet
3. Cholly Wolly Chang
4. Five More Steps
5. Tingle
6. That's What She Means to Me
7. Chickie Chickie Wah Wah
8. Cat Pants
9. The Clown
10. The School
11. High School Yearbook
12. Truly True
13. What Would I Do without You
14. Sgt. Preston of the Yukon
15. Who Do You Love
16. Jeremiah Peabody's Green and Purple Pills
17. Teen Years
18. Scratch My Back
19. Ahab the Arab (single edit, Monaural)
20. It's Been So Long
21. Furthermore
22. Saturday Night at the Movies
23. Santa Claus Is Watching You
24. Loved and Lost
25. Ahab the Arab (LP version, Stereo)
26. Popeye and Olive Oil
27. Rockin' Boppin' Waltz
28. PFC Rhythm and Blues Jones
29. Rock and Roll Show
30. Julius Played the Trumpet
31. A Hermit Named Dave

If you want to see the CD's picture/cover art, click on the Amazon link above. The song's track list can be seen at the label's site. They also offer it for sale and they have both a United Kingdom and an American price list...click JASMINE LINK to be taken to their store page. They have the release posted as April 11, 2014 (11/04/14) but it should be April 22, 2014 (22/04/14).

In other Ray Stevens news...

Sitting right on the edge of 1,000,000 unique views is the Ray Stevens ballad "God Save Arizona". You want to know just how close to a million it is? It's sitting at 999,015 as of 9am this morning!!! Hopefully by later today, or soon, I'll be able to celebrate the video's entry into the million view club which already contains several other You Tube videos from Ray Stevens.

Since it's Friday, there's a new webisode of Rayality TV posted on Ray's You Tube channel. Here is Webisode 4 of the series...this segment is titled "Back at The Encore" and it's a little more than 5 minutes total...

Yesterday Ray posted a video clip of an appearance he made on a 1990 episode of Funny Business, a series of specials Charlie Chase hosted on The Nashville Network throughout the '80s and '90s.

I'm not embedding it because the audio playback is super low...you'll have to increase your computer's speakers a lot in order to hear it. It's a shame about the audio because it's a really good appearance...most of it takes place on the golf course...and later on Ray performs "Can He Love You Half as Much as I?" (a single of his in late 1986 and into early 1987). Here's a LINK to the video clip...turn up your volume!

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