April 30, 2014

This week in Ray Stevens History: 1974...

Good late afternoon...the last day of April and this week in Ray Stevens history looks at 1974. Ray dominated the music media in the spring and summer of 1974 with his novelty song "The Streak". This past Sunday morning I was in my car driving to work and listening to AT40: The '70s, a syndicated radio program that re-airs classic countdown programs hosted by Casey Kasem. There's a companion series, AT40: The '80s, a re-airing of a 1980's countdown program, that I listen to on Saturday mornings on my way home from work.

Well, this past Sunday they aired the April 27, 1974 episode of AT40...and debuting in the Top-40 all the way up at #19 happened to "The Streak" by the one and only Ray Stevens. Casey remarked that the single had been positioned on the Hot 100 the previous week (April 20th) at #54 and it streaked up 35 spots to #19. Obviously the single was declared "the highest debuting song" of the week. Casey remarked, after the song had ended, that "it's on it's way to #1".

If I remember correctly from a chart that had been posted on-line several years ago, during the single's fourth week on the Hot 100, it leaped up closer to the Top-10 and then in the fourth week it was near the top and then in it's sixth week on the Hot 100 (it's 5th in the Top-40), "The Streak" reached #1. The date happened to be May 18, 1974. It stayed at #1 for 3 weeks. It reached #1 in Canada, the United Kingdom, and in New Zealand and the Top-5 in Ireland and Australia. It also reached the Top-5 on the Country Music chart in America (it hit #1 on Canada's Country Music chart and their Adult-Contemporary chart). On America's Adult-Contemporary chart, the novelty single hit the Top-15. The single reportedly sold more than five million copies and it ranked among the Top-10 singles of the year.

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