July 28, 2014

Ray Stevens Gospel Collection, Part 2...

Hello once again...in less than a month the Ray Stevens Gospel Collection is to hit the market and I can't wait! The release date is August 19th. I just came over from Amazon and they've corrected their product page for the CD and it now shows 'Ray Stevens' as the artist rather than 'Ryan Stevens' and they've also added a track list, too. There had been a track list available on some of the other on-line stores but this is the first I'd seen one on Amazon.

You can pre-order the CD at Amazon or in other on-line stores. I have not read anything indicating that the CD is to be sold in traditional shopping stores...most of Ray's music of the last 10+ years has pretty much been exclusive to the internet and released on his own record label, Clyde Records. This one, however, is being released by the Gaither family on an independent record label. In an earlier interview Ray mentioned that the Gaither company would largely be responsible for the marketing and publicity. There are 12 performances on the CD. Five of the twelve performances are medleys of 2 songs each. I'm excited about it's upcoming release...I'm sure to be more excited as the calendar flips from July to August and later in the month as I order it. I'm thinking about putting in an Amazon pre-order for the CD next Friday. I initially was going to wait until it became available for purchase on it's official release day, August 19th, but I'm leaning toward placing an order early. Does Amazon ship items ahead of release for those that pre-order in an effort to get the product to the buyer on release day? I've often wondered about that but have never asked about it. If I choose to wait until August 19th and place an order the CD probably wouldn't arrive in the mail for several days. If I place a pre-order next Friday I'll more than likely make mention of it in a blog post. Here's the song list for those that are curious and hadn't taken a look yet...

Swing Down Chariot/Swing Low Sweet Chariot

Shall We Gather at the River/Down By the Riverside

Dry Bones

Farther Along

Have a Little Talk with Myself/Have a Little Talk with Jesus

Old Rugged Cross/Rock of Ages

Old Time Religion/When the Roll is Called Up Yonder

Onward Christian Soldiers

Amazing Grace

Turn Your Radio On

The Preacher and the Bear

If Jesus is a Stranger

Here's the updated Amazon product page for the Gospel Collection CD. As you can see from the song list I provided he's included a comedy recording in the form of "The Preacher and the Bear". This particular song dates back to the early 1900s and it's been recorded by many artists. Ray recorded it for his Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music box set in 2012 and it makes an encore appearance on this gospel CD. I first heard the song as performed by Phil Harris and I've also heard the Jerry Reed recording, too. Ray's recording is just as good.

What are the numbers for the "Come to the U.S.A." YouTube video? I'm glad you asked! In a span of 6 days (July 22 to July 28) the video's gotten 105,879 unique views to bring it's overall total to 8,499,676! It's knocking on the door of 8.5 million.


  1. My one gripe is that out of 12 songs/medlies, 4 will be songs we've already heard. I hope part two does not repeat that pattern.

    1. I'm sure "The Preacher and the Bear" and "Dry Bones" will be the same recordings from 2012. He may have re-recorded "Turn Your Radio On" for this collection or it could be the one he did for the Box Set in 2005. This is the first time he's included an update on "Have a Little Talk with Myself". Can't wait to hear it in relation to the medley it's going to be a part of. As far as the other songs "already heard", technically that's true since he's performed them on TV programs, but this marks their first time on CD (speaking specifically of "If Jesus is a Stranger" and "Farther Along") and I can't wait to hear "Onward Christian Soldiers". He did an abbreviated version of "Amazing Grace" on his 1993 home video...don't know if this recording will be an abbreviation or a full length version of the song. We'll all find out in mid-late August.


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