Hello to all the fans of Ray Stevens! Today marks the 15th Anniversary of 9/11...the day in American history on September 11, 2001 in which terrorists, under the guidance and influence of Osama bin Laden, attacked our nation. Reportedly 19 hijackers took over a total of 4 airplanes...2 of those planes crashed into the World Trade Center...1 plane crashed into a section of the Pentagon...and a third, reportedly headed toward Washington, D.C. and presumably the White House or the U.S. Capitol, crashed in a field in a rural area of Pennsylvania. That particular crash happened as a result of several passengers and flight crew planning to overtake the hijackers. Phone messages from passengers to friends and family and the flight voice recorders indicate such a plan taking shape. In the struggle with the 4 armed terrorists on-board the plane crashed into the field. Recordings indicate that the passengers had hoped, should the plane crash, that it would do so prior to it's intended target.
A couple months ago I posted a blog entry about the various military songs from Ray Stevens as a celebration of Independence Day. Those that have been long time visitors of this fan-created blog should be very familiar with the music of Ray Stevens and his career. If you've never seen this blog before you can search the Archive section over on the right hand side of the page and browse through my various blog entries about Ray Stevens. This blog dates back to 2008!
Ray's initial music contribution to 9/11 happened back in 2001. Late in 2001 Ray emerged with the single, "Osama Yo' Mama". The song, released originally as a single-only backed with "Hello Mama", became a popular hit. In country music it managed to rise into the airplay-driven Top-50 but country radio station programmers, at some point, must have had a change of heart concerning the song and it all but vanished from playlists. Ironically the single remained a top seller for half a year (into the summer of 2002). In the early part of 2002 a music video of the song emerged as did a full length CD from Curb Records (his first project released through Curb Records since 1996). The album featured the same cover art as the CD single and to distinguish the single release from the full length CD of music the phrase The Album was superimposed behind the illustration of Ray as Uncle Sam...as seen below...
Later, in 2004, Ray released the all-serious CD, Thank You. The song has an emotional music video. It's on Ray's YouTube channel. Thank You came along, if my memory serves me correctly, as a result of the emergence of anti-America sentiment and anti-Military protests from American citizens. In the 3 years since 9/11 there had been this simmering anger by a loud, vocal minority of American citizens over America's military presence all over the Middle East and in their minds the War on Terror had shifted from going after Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban (those responsible and those that harbored the 9/11 hijackers) and had spread into Iraq, Iran, and other places. In essence the conflict, as critics seen it, expanded to include ANY country that supported terrorism and anti-American culture.
However, instead of going over material I covered a couple of months ago in the Independence Day edition of my blog, this particular blog entry, for the most part, is my attempt to set the record straight about a certain accusation that comes up every time there's a remembrance of 9/11. The accusation is profiting. There are perhaps hundreds of thousands of people that see any kind of remembrance/memorial of 9/11 as a potential to "profit off tragedy". Such claims are usually unfounded but emotionally charged nevertheless. There have been several on-line accusations made, ever since the Ray Stevens "Dear America" music video made it's debut on September 6th, that the song is an "awful display of profiting off a tragedy" or "just in time for 9/11, it's time to cash-in on a tragedy". I'm not making those remarks up. You can find such ignorant comments and more like those if you visit YouTube or other on-line pages that have embedded the video. As I've remarked for years that's the reason I don't provide links to YouTube music videos and I prefer to embed them on my blog page instead. I don't want to provide a link to any video that features or has the potential to feature combative, vile comments.
Now, of course, those kinds of comments from faceless critics on the internet I referenced are laced with ignorance but they're also designed to vilify an innocent figure (Ray Stevens) and use the emotions tied to 9/11 to support their argument. I briefly touched on this in my previous blog entry. I think I referred to those that do not like "Dear America" as bitter, cynical, ungrateful "woe is me" losers.
Hundreds of thousands of people have clicked the video, though. In my previous blog entry I posted that "Dear America" had gotten 103,932 unique views. I checked the totals a couple of minutes ago and the video's at 155,248. That's a pickup of 51,316 additional unique views. It's sure to hit the 200,000 mark and rise even higher as the days go by. The more exposure the song gets the more people are reminded to never forget 9/11.
Click this Dear America link to purchase the Mp3 from Amazon. It's been released on Ray's own label, CabaRay Entertainment. There has not been any information released as to when a full length CD of songs is to be released. I'm guessing that the CD is going to be named after the "Dear America" single and have this be the cover art. At the moment this is, of course, the photo publicizing the single...