July 4, 2015

Ray Stevens Star Spangled Banner...

Hello once again...yes, this is my second 4th of July blog entry...earlier I did a re-cap of the 2011 Ray Stevens album, Spirit of '76. In this entry I decided to highlight a couple of versions of the same song. The song is "There's a Star Spangled Banner" and perhaps only the more detailed of fans are aware that there are 2 different versions of this song from Ray Stevens. The song's melody remains the same and it's chorus does, too, but the verses in each recording are completely different.

The song originated on the 1989 Ray Stevens album Beside Myself from the pens of Ray and Buddy Kalb. In this recording Ray sings about a prisoner in Beirut and the confidence and faith the prisoner has in the United States flag. A couple of years later a different recording emerged on the Curb Records compilation, Greatest Hits, issued in 1991. In this updated recording Ray sings about the various battles that the United States military has fought and all the victories and some losses that the American flag's been a part of through history.

Each recording is available for purchase on Amazon but there's no distinction made differentiating one recording from the other. If you purchase THIS Mp3 of "There's a Star Spangled Banner" then you're getting the 1989 recording. The 1991 recording isn't available by itself and so you'll need to purchase the full length Mp3 of Greatest Hits located HERE. I like that photo!!

Ray had re-recorded and partially re-wrote the 1989 song for a special project Curb Records issued during the Gulf War in 1991. That project hit on April 29, 1991 and it was titled American Music: Greatest Hits. It featured patriotic songs by those on the Curb Records roster at the time. Ray's 1989 recording happened to be for MCA Records and if you see it listed on any compilation released by MCA or one of it's subsidiary labels then you're going to get the 1989 recording. Ironic enough Ray's 1991 re-recording of "There's a Star Spangled Banner" debuted on Greatest Hits (it having been released on April 15, 1991) and so it's debut on the Greatest Hits album predated it's appearance on the April 29th project by 2 weeks but the main reason for the re-recording happened to be for the various artist compilation Curb issued.

There are some internet sites that list Ray's song as "There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere" but that's an entirely different song altogether. Ray's song is "There's a Star Spangled Banner". If you see any internet sites mistakenly call Ray's song the former rather than the latter politely correct them. Accuracy is something I strive for when it comes to Ray Stevens information and trivia.

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