It's me once more...I've been busy off-line over the last couple of weeks. I haven't been able to adequately keep this blog updated as much as I'd like...but I continue to keep updated on his career by way of his social media outlets (his official Facebook and Twitter pages) and of course his official website. I also hope that all of you that come across this fan-created blog page take the initiative to visit the various social media sites focusing on Ray Stevens just in case there's something happening that I haven't been able to blog/comment about.
First off...the Monument Singles CD!! I first mentioned this back in mid January...and later that month a product page on Amazon appeared on-line for the CD. It's official title is Ray Stevens: Face The Music - The Complete Monument Singles 1965-1970. Of course, for conversational purposes, I'm going to refer to that CD as simply The Monument Singles CD or, better yet, Face The Music: 1965-1970. The most devoted of fans, once they read my abbreviated references to that CD in future blog posts, should immediately know which CD I'm referring to.
with the label didn't just encompass 5 years. He had actually joined the label as a producer/arranger/session musician in 1963...but his own recordings were exclusive to Mercury Records (the label he joined in 1961). Once his contract as a recording artist for Mercury ended he eventually released his first recording for Monument Records in 1965. Since this CD lists his single releases for the label in chronological order the lead-off track, "Party People", gets things off and running on a mid-tempo, bluesy note. As mentioned in the January blogs there are 12 singles on this CD and since the B-sides are featured, too, the actual number of songs on this CD is 24. For those that may have some of the actual vinyl singles released on Ray by Monument you should all be aware that on most of the releases there's no A-side or B-side designation. In some cases a large filled in star symbol is suppose to indicate which side of the single is meant for airplay...but some single releases lacked that feature. Adding to the confusion is in some locales (international releases) a star symbol is featured on both sides of the single.
This Face The Music: 1965-1970 CD is suppose to become available in a couple of weeks. Amazon lists the street date as March 4, 2016 but it can be put on pre-order. It's been available as a pre-order since late January. The recordings found on the CD covers the years: 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, and 1970. It's the first commercially available project to exclusively spotlight his Monument recordings albeit limited to single releases only. Tracks 1 through 4, track 6, and tracks 22 through 24 make their CD debut. You can read all about this upcoming CD by clicking Amazon's link located HERE.
On the touring front I felt it necessary to highlight some upcoming appearances once again. On March 9th Ray Stevens is to be in Plant City, Florida. He'll be appearing at the Strawberry Festival. The concert is to begin at 3:30pm. Since it's February 22 I'd not risk mail-order (if you happen to live several States away and were planning on attending!) but it's up to you. Your tickets must arrive by March 9th, obviously, so if any of you live a good distance from Plant City, Florida I'd not hesitate to call the venue and ask about their ticket purchase policy or if they offer on-line tickets (the kind you'll have to print off the internet and take to the venue yourselves upon on-line purchase). The venue's box office number is 813-754-1996.
On April 1st Ray is to appear at The Florida Theater in Jacksonville, Florida. You can read all about this upcoming concert and the venue itself by clicking HERE. It's a hastily put together artist bio but regardless of that if you're planning on attending the concert click the link and call the venue for ticket information.
On April 16th Ray is going to be in his home state of Georgia. In an 8pm concert taking place at The Mill Town Music Hall in Bremen, Georgia it'll feature an opening act by the name of Kelsie May. You can read about the ticket purchasing procedure by clicking the promo page HERE.
The next day, April 17th at 7pm, Ray is to appear in Chattanooga, Tennessee at The Tivoli Theatre. In early January after the concert was announced I couldn't find anything on their site about Ray's appearance but since then they've added a page for his upcoming concert there. You can get all the information about the Chattanooga concert by clicking HERE. The promo has an opening act named Etta May being featured. He has 2 more concerts scheduled for the month of May. Now, with this being late February, it wouldn't be uncommon to see additional appearances pop up and so I'll highlight those May concerts in a future blog post (just in case more happen to be added). For all we know more concerts from Ray could pop up for the month of April, too, so keep your eyes posted on his official website or his Facebook page for information surrounding concerts.