July 14, 2014

Ray Stevens: The Nashville Memoir, Part Four...

Hello fans of Ray Stevens! I come today bringing a couple of items I came across over the weekend. The first one is a video clip of Ray's performance of "Nashville" at last month's CMA Music Fest. He performed on the Durango Stage and I published a blog about it last month. There is a point in the song here he clears his throat off-mike and I only make mention of it because it affects some of his enunciation seconds later. I originally heard Ray's performances by way of a streaming audio link and so I assumed he had a sore throat but from seeing the performance for the first time I realize he had simply cleared his throat but hadn't cleared it all the way by the time he resumed singing the song.

The other item also concerns Nashville...this time it's the memoir from Ray Stevens that's already sold out of it's first printing. Vintage Vinyl News, an on-line site, published a story/interview with Ray and he discusses the book and other aspects of his career. You can read more of the story HERE. In a little more than a month from today (August 19th to be exact) a gospel CD from Ray is to be released. It is part one of a 2 volume set. The official title is Gospel Collection, Volume One. There's no information surrounding the time table for the release of Volume Two...but Volume One is sure to be great. Ray mentions in the interview that he used a lot of production for the project...in his words "the whole nine yards...". I'm sure you all can't wait to hear it, too!!

One of Ray's classic music videos, "It's Me Again, Margaret", taped in 1992 for inclusion on the 8 music video project Comedy Video Classics, hit YouTube on this day in 2009. It's become one of the latest in a string of music videos from Ray that have obtained at least 1,000,000 unique views. As of this writing it's gotten 1,000,980 unique views. If you hadn't visited his YouTube channel, Ray had long since uploaded his music video library onto his channel. A lot of the music videos that had been exclusive to home video had their re-launch on YouTube on July 14, 2009. As far as the YouTube numbers go for Ray's music videos from Comedy Video Classics, "It's Me Again, Margaret" follows "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" and "The Streak" into the million view stratosphere. In fact, "The Streak" has 3.5 million and "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" has 3.9 million, nearing 4 million as I type this. The other five music videos from Comedy Video Classics are either a little above half a million or just below.

"Surfin' U.S.S.R.", a late comer to YouTube, has 21,883 unique views. It was launched onto YouTube in June 2013 but it's not the first time it had been uploaded by Ray. I don't know the full story but I believe he had some sort of interference in keeping that music video available on YouTube later in 2009. For several years the video had been unavailable to see...even though it remained listed on his channel as an active music video. It originally became available for YouTube viewing in July 2009 but, as mentioned, for several years after it's premiere it became unavailable (greatly impacting it's numbers, of course!). The music video itself, from 1988, appeared on Comedy Video Classics as one of the four previously released music videos. The other three: 1985's "Santa Claus is Watching You", 1990's "Help Me Make It Through the Night", and 1990's "Sittin' Up with the Dead". For those that didn't realize it, Comedy Video Classics consisted of four music videos previously released (from 1985, 1988, and 1990) and four brand new music videos: "The Streak", "Mississippi Squirrel Revival", "It's Me Again, Margaret", and "Everything Is Beautiful".

Also, don't forget...click the Amazon LINK to order your copy of Ray Stevens' Nashville.

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