Hello all...a very early Saturday morning check-in has me delivering the latest totals of the Ray Stevens hit video, "Taylor Swift is Stalkin' Me". In my previous blog entry I made mention of the video reaching 72,120...this morning has the video sitting at 78,041. This is a pickup of 5,921 unique views. The song kicks off his upcoming CD, Here We Go Again!, which you all can still pre-order on several on-line music stores (Amazon, Itunes, CD Universe).
Also, for the first time since the CD became available for pre-order purchase, you can visit Ray's ON-LINE STORE and place an order, too. If Ray had made purchasing from his store available sooner I would've bought directly from his site, like I typically do, but considering the CD wasn't available for pre-order last month I chose Amazon since that's the on-line store I shop at anyhow. Ray's selling the CD for the current price that's listed on Amazon (which is $10.99). Ray's shipping and handling rates are a bit higher, though, and so if you choose to buy direct from his site you'll pay just a little more than at Amazon, maybe a dollar or two more, but that's not that big of a deal for me. As mentioned, had the CD been available for purchase at his site last month I would've bought from him directly.
Apparently the official press release surrounding the upcoming CD is that it's a return to classic Ray Stevens comedy. There's a reference made about this CD being his first all-comedy CD in nearly 10 years. In a previous blog entry I speculated that the CD being referenced in those press releases must be 2008's Hurricane or 2009's One for the Road. Those 2 projects, in particular, are heavy on re-recordings but they do contain some comical original recordings, too.
The projects (studio albums) that Ray's released on CD since 2000 are listed below...
1. Ear Candy; 2000 Clyde Records (concert favorite "Safe at Home" originated on this CD).
2. Osama Yo' Mama: The Album; 2002 Curb Records (features most of the recordings from Ear Candy along side several then-recent recordings: "Osama Yo' Mama", "United We Stand", and "Freudian Slip").
3. Thank You; 2004 Clyde Records (an all-serious CD containing mostly patriotic songs but some love ballads, too).
4. New Orleans Moon; 2007 Clyde Records (fabulous collection of songs rich in Louisiana culture; some of the titles include "Louisiana", "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?", "New Orleans", "Basin Street Blues", and others; the title track was written by Ray and Chuck Redden; Chuck had supplied Ray with a song in 2005 called "The New Battle of New Orleans" which, in case you hadn't heard the original by Redden, it received some heavy re-writes by Ray and Buddy Kalb prior to Ray's recording of it; but more about Chuck later on).
5. Ray Stevens Sings Sinatra...Say What???; 2008 Clyde Records (the title says it all...he covers such Sinatra classics as "Strangers in the Night", "Witchcraft", "Young at Heart", "High Hopes", and more!; Ray, inexplicably, never promoted this CD and I don't recall ever seeing him on any television program singing any of the songs on the CD, neither!).
6. Hurricane; 2008 Clyde Records (this collection has a heavy redneck theme throughout...featuring titles such as "Hey Bubba, Watch This!", "Bubba the Wine Connoisseur", "Down Home Beach", "The Cure", and several re-recordings of songs Ray originally recorded in the mid 1980s; the title track spoofs the style of reporting on CNN and features Ray vocally playing the part of several high profile caricatures of public figures such as Wolf Blitzer, Christiana Amanpour, and a Jamaican reporter named Reggae Dreadlocks; Ray does a Ross Perot impression on "Sucking Sound").
7. One for the Road; 2009 Clyde Records (Sold exclusively at Pilot truck stops for several months...gained wider distribution in the latter half of 2009; It features several trucker songs but mostly the collection features re-recordings of songs plus 2 recordings Ray did for his 2000 CD, Ear Candy; Original recordings included on this CD are "Hang Up and Drive" and "Bon Temps Roulette", from 2000...plus the songs exclusive to this collection: "The Right Reverend Roadhog McGraw", "Hangin' Around", "Cooter Brown", "Retired", "Never Too Late", the emotional "Concrete Sailor", and he covers the CB classic "Convoy").
8. Ray Stevens Christmas; 2009 Clyde Records (this collection features non-comical Christmas songs and is often sold along side his 1997 comical holiday CD, Christmas Through a Different Window, during the Christmas season; the 2009 CD contains the original composition "Deck The Halls with Tear Drops" while the rest of the CD features his versions of Christmas classics).
9. We The People; 2010 Clyde Records (this 22 song project contains a treasure trove of recordings that range from never before available to previously released plus a couple of re-recordings added in; the project established Ray as a political entertainer/comedian; the re-recordings are "If 10 Percent is Good Enough for Jesus", "Kings and Queens", and a live recording of "Mr. Businessman"; previously released tracks come from 2000's Ear Candy, 2004's Thank You, and 2008's Hurricane; the songs making their debut on this project include political and topical recordings such as "Obama Nation", "The Fallen Ones", "Fly Over Country", "Come to the U.S.A.", "The Global Warming Song", "We Are the Government", "Throw the Bums Out!", "Caribou Barbie", "Three Fractured Factions", "Dear Andy Griffith", "Solar Powered Song", and "Midnight in Baghdad"; Ray also recorded his reading of the "Pledge of Allegiance" and his take on "The Star Spangled Banner"; the title track debuted late in 2009 via a music video on YouTube...from there it made it's way onto a commercially released single in early 2010...and the continued success of the music video led to this 22 song project; Chuck Redden provided "Midnight in Baghdad" while Max T. Barnes supplied several of the songs that went on to become YouTube music video successes for Ray).
10. Spirit of '76; 2011 Clyde Records (this 11 song CD is the follow-up to the 22 song project from 2010; it features "The Skies Just Ain't Friendly Anymore", "Obama Budget Plan", "Grandpa Voted Democrat", "Mr. President - Mr. President", and "God Save Arizona"; each of those songs have become YouTube music video successes; Ray, Buddy Kalb, and Chuck Redden wrote the optimistic, topical "November Storm").
11. The Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music; 2012 Clyde Records (this mammoth project features Ray's versions of classic novelty songs and it sprinkles in a generous dose of his own latter day comedy recordings from recent projects including re-recordings of his classic hits that surfaced originally as far back as 1991...those particular early '90s re-recordings served as audio for his music videos on Comedy Video Classics; this 2012 project features a booklet complete with Ray's personal thoughts on every song contained on the box set...more than 100 altogether; Ray recorded the bulk of the songs over a 2 year period).
12. Ray Stevens Gospel Collection, Volume One; 2014 Gaither Music Group, Clyde Records (for this project, Ray covers several Gospel standards and tops it off with the original "If Jesus is a Stranger" from the pen of Don Cusic; In the early stages of the CD apparently the title was going to be Onward, Christian Soldiers but somewhere along the way the title changed; Ray appeared on several Gospel-Country programs to promote the CD).
13. Here We Go Again!; 2015 Player Records/ Sony RED (this is the upcoming CD...set for release on March 23rd; it features 12 songs in total and the first single release, in case you've been living in seclusion for several weeks, is "Taylor Swift is Stalkin' Me"...a current hit music video on YouTube the song was written by Ray, Buddy Kalb, and Chuck Redden; the trio also wrote another song on the CD, "You Didn't Build That", and I hope it becomes his next music video!).
In the mean time, here's the current music video...