For those of you that stop by and read this fan-created blog you may recall one of my blog posts in which I made mention of an upcoming performance venue to be located in Nashville, Tennessee...one that is to be owned by the one and only Ray Stevens...he mentions this venue's hopeful existence in the pages of his memoir, Ray Stevens' Nashville. I made vague comments about the venue at the time but since the news has officially been released to an even wider audience (this past Friday March 4th) I'm going to upload a couple of items focusing on the future venue...cleverly titled CabaRay.
In perhaps a hurry to get the video clip onto YouTube the one that uploaded it spelled the venue's title incorrectly even though in the clip you'll hear her pronounce it correctly. It should be called CabaRay but the upload reverses some of the letters and it comes out CaRayba.
Scheduled to open in the early part of 2017 the venue is to house roughly 700 people and is feature all kinds of extensions in addition to the performance area (it'll have a recording studio, an eating area, a video production facility, and office space). The only information that hadn't been released or revealed is if the venue is going to be a nightly operation or if it'll be a sporadically operational venue. Ray has a weekly television series on RFD-TV as all you should know by now called Ray Stevens' Nashville (the same name of his memoir) and I can't see him competing with himself on Saturday nights.The way it looks at the moment, in 2017, you'll have Ray's program airing 8:30-9pm Eastern on Saturday nights but once the CabaRay opens he most likely will have it up and running on a Saturday night and so unless something changes from now until the first half of 2017 Ray is more than likely going to be competing with himself that night (his TV series on RFD-TV and his performance venue in Nashville). Obviously a simple solution for this is to ask people to DVR/record the television program while appearing in-person at the CabaRay.
Ray and company broke ground on the venue and it was captured on video and it aired on the local news outlets in the Nashville area. In this YouTube era a video clip emerged of the ground breaking...
An article about the ground breaking and the future venue received notice in the Real Estate section of The Tennessean on-line paper. You can read the article by clicking HERE.The venue, as far as I can tell from those articles I've come across, isn't going to be a carbon copy of his famed, former theater in Branson, Missouri (a venue he performed regularly from 1991-1993 and for 2 seasons in 2005 and 2006). Instead this CabaRay is going to be exactly as advertised: a multi-purpose venue. In the video clip Ray mentions that his venue is going to be like a middle of the road destination...a place that isn't necessarily a carbon copy of the Opry nor is it going to be a replica of the venue's that exist in downtown Nashville...but it'll offer something in the middle. It'll be located in the Bellevue area of Tennessee (a kind of suburb of Nashville).
If you happen to purchase items from Ray's on-line store or have had much correspondence in the past via regular mail you'll obviously be very familiar with Grand Avenue...the street in Nashville which currently houses his main operations as it has for decades. In the 1990s during my letter writing days (before the internet came to be what it is today) I became familiar with writing Grand Avenue on many, many letters and seeing the address listed on a lot of advertising, too. This CabaRay could permanently re-locate his Grand Avenue office to this location. I'm sure he isn't going to close up his Grand Avenue property entirely, though...so many of his recordings have taken place there since the mid 1970s...but one never knows if the Grand Avenue headquarters will just be a memory at some point.
Ray appeared on Bill Cody's radio program the other morning but there hasn't been any podcast/audio link made available. In addition to Bill's long running stint in morning radio on WSM radio he serves as the announcer on Ray Stevens' Nashville. Here's an ARTICLE posted by RFD-TV this past Friday...a kind of behind the scenes synopsis in a usual day on the set of Ray's television program.