April 5, 2015

Ray Stevens: If You Like Your Plan nearing 90,000 views...

Yes, oh yes, it's me once more! It may seem like an eternity but it's only been half a year (!) since I've blogged much about a certain music video from Ray Stevens titled "If You Like Your Plan".

On a personal note my healthcare provider, starting in January 2015, had implemented an out of pocket deductible. In years past I never had to meet any kind of out of pocket deductible in order for my insurance to pay on my prescriptions. However, thanks to Obamacare, I now have to meet a deductible (for individual coverage) and it's already set at a specific amount. It's in the $1,500 range! Some may wonder what my complaint is...it looks like a cheap deductible on the surface, yes?

My prescriptions are through mail-order and they're of the 90-day supply and so I only have to re-fill three to four times a year because each re-fill lasts roughly 3 months. Since there's 12 months in a calendar year and because they've added an out of pocket deductible to my plan I'd pay, in total, a little more than $600 a year...that isn't nowhere near the deductible amount, right?

So, in my situation, I'd be paying for my prescriptions out of pocket all the time because I'd never meet the health insurance's deductible in a calendar year.

Thank you Obama...my healthcare plan changed and I had no say in it whatsoever!!

In one of my last blog entries containing a mention of the music video (from October 2014) it had vaulted past the 30,000 unique view total. The video has continued to find audiences over the last 5 and a half months and currently it's been seen by 88,225 people. This is, of course, a pick-up of more than 50,000 unique views over the course of half a year...

A couple of things to keep in mind is that it had been Ray's first politically-driven comedy music video in more than half a year and so a lot of momentum had cooled down considerably.

"If You Like Your Plan" came from out of nowhere on September 22, 2014...but I find it a timely message...

His previous politically driven music video had been the tale of how "Grandpa Voted Democrat" on November 3, 2012 and so it had been closer to 2 full years between the release of that music video and "If You Like Your Plan" in September 2014.

"Grandpa Voted Democrat", still being discovered, has gotten 602,543 unique views so far.

One of the things that I continue to believe is the reason for "If You Like Your Plan" not reaching the 100,000 level is the lack of strong social media publicity...the video came from out of nowhere but it had been nearly 2 years since the last political comedy video. So, yes, in terms of the internet and the immediacy factor the hiatus of nearly 2 years is an eternity.

He followed "If You Like Your Plan" with another music video, the amazing "Nero Fiddled", a video in which Ray appears with his back to the camera the entire time...sawing away on the fiddle as Rome burns. Photos of political figures in Congress and in entertainment and images of war-torn areas all over the globe appear throughout.

The song's lyrics are amazing, too, and it's a slice of heavy commentary criticizing the policy of the Obama Administration when it comes to the ay in which they prioritize certain issues. The main focus of the song is the criticism of Obama reacting in a lax manner during a time of urgency, for example, or reacting too quickly to a situation before thinking things through. The phrase "Rome burns" is used strictly as a metaphor and it's being used to compare rioting and other chaotic events that had taken place during Obama's time in the Oval Office.

The video's arrival on YouTube, less than a month after "If You Like Your Plan", could have cut into the publicity that the bouncy "If You Like Your Plan" may have enjoyed but in hindsight "Nero Fiddled" didn't exactly capture a large audience (compared to Ray's other music video releases).  It debuted on YouTube on October 10, 2014. It had only been something like a week and a half from the release of "If You Like Your Plan" in late September of 2014 before "Nero Fiddled" premiered.

By the latter half of 2014 Ray had moved on to promoting his gospel CD, titled Ray Stevens Gospel Collection, Volume One; and his memoir, Ray Stevens' Nashville. He promoted these projects heavily and so "Nero Fiddled" didn't get much coverage and "If You Like Your Plan" faded a bit as a result of the heavier attention being focused on those 2 projects.

To date neither song has appeared on any CD...yet!  For the time being they're music video exclusives.

Ray may have another political CD on the horizon...but that's just my guess. On his current CD, Here We Go Again!, there's an Obama song on it called "You Didn't Build That". Oh how I'd love to see it transformed into a music video if only for added publicity of the CD! You can purchase the Mp3 single at Amazon by clicking HERE. It's track 9 on the 12 song CD.

For those that read this particular blog entry and don't feel like searching for "Nero Fiddled" or have never even heard of the song/music video until today then click the video embed and watch it...or listen to it...one or the other...

The video's gotten 34,285 unique views and that indicates, to me, that it may be a bit too strong for some but it's an awesome song and video in my opinion. It may have been too strong for social media publicity, too, because very little became of the video's existence after it's initial splash of unique views on debut day. The video begins with a disclaimer and believe it or not the inclusion of a disclaimer actually got some people in a frenzy early on.

I'd seen commentary (long since scrubbed and therefore no longer visible) that blasted Ray for even putting out a video requiring a Viewer Discretion disclaimer. Let me say that the people that have those kinds of comments, in my opinion, have no appreciation for Ray's creativeness or his multiple talents since they want him to limit his output to certain kinds of songs and to never offer anything different...but I'm a different kind of fan.

On this fan created blog page I celebrate all sides of Ray Stevens' career...I don't limit myself to maybe less than a handful of his recordings and ignore everything else he's recorded. So many others do that, though. I've always argued that if you only spotlight a couple of his songs over and over and over the general audience is going to assume that he's only had a couple of hit recordings...but he's placed more than 40 recordings on the charts but yet to focus on 3 or 4 of those 40+ hits does a huge disservice, I think.

His talent goes far beyond camel noises, affected voices, and Tarzan yells and I'm dedicated to making sure that the people that read my blog entries are made well aware of Ray's talents and his variety of music styles and perhaps learn a lot about Ray that they didn't know before coming across my blog page. Although I love his comical talents I also equally enjoy his non-comical recordings, too.

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