June 5, 2017

Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville Showroom...

Hello there once again!! Oh yes, I know that I missed nearly an entire month of fan-created blog posting during the month of May but I didn't have much extra time to write a quality entry. I could've posted breezy messages and called it a 'blog entry' but I usually, hardly ever, do that kind of thing unless some kind of urgent news about Ray breaks and I want to get it onto my blog as soon as possible. In my hiatus I'd been busy with my off-line life...my job demands for much of May included working extra days (mandatory) and it created a situation in which my only free time was Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings...hardly any time available to spend seriously concentrating on my blog posts. Before going any further I want to share a video clip that Ray posted in early May of the nearly completed CabaRay Showroom. There are some more things left to complete (the parking lot, for example) but I think the major construction is complete as far as the actual building is concerned.

Meanwhile, during my hiatus from blog writing, several more episodes of Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville have aired on KET2. The last blog post I wrote featured a review of episode 7 (Jimmy Fortune guest star).

Episode 8 featured Aaron Tippin as the special guest. On this episode Ray opened the show performing "The Ballad of the Blue Cyclone, Part One". After the performance he offers commentary about the physique of special guest, Aaron Tippin. Ray asks about Aaron's past and they discuss some of his duties as a former pilot/aviator. Afterward Aaron gives Ray a bottle of Blackberry Wine. They discuss Aaron's Silver Anniversary in country music. Ray displays a CD celebrating the milestone. Ray remarks about the photo's inside the fold-out and points out a photo of Aaron and Bob Hope during the Gulf War (1991) and this eventually leads into Aaron performing "You've Got to Stand For Something" which became a monster hit in country music during the Gulf War. After a break (fade out) the next scene features Ray introducing Aaron once more for a performance of a brand new song, "God's Not Through with Me Yet". In the Video Jukebox segment the famous music video of "It's Me Again, Margaret" is played. Ray closed the main portion of the show by singing "The Ballad of the Blue Cyclone, Part Two".

Sadly episode 9 didn't record. I got an error message on my recording log saying that the channel wasn't available during the taping. It happened to be an odd situation because after contacting the station via social media messaging and asking if the channel had any sort of technical issues Saturday night (May 20th) the very next week (May 27th) episode 10 recorded without any problem. The person that replied to my e-mail couldn't understand the glitch given that, to their knowledge, the station remained on the air the night of May 20th...so it's a mystery as to why the DVR didn't record episode 9 and why the recording log had an error message about the channel not being available. To add to my minor misery over the episode not recording...that particular episode guest starred one of my favorites, John Conlee, and it also featured Jeff Bates. What a night for your DVR to not function properly!!

Episode 10 (May 27th) featured Tanya Tucker and T.G. Sheppard as special guests. Ray opened the show singing "Taylor Swift is Stalking Me". Ray and Tanya perform a cute duet. I do not know the actual name of the song but the line that's often repeated "I Might Be an Old Dog, Honey" is probably the song's title. She then performs "Strong Enough to Bend". T.G. Sheppard performs "I Loved 'Em Everyone" and talks about his current duet project CD. Ironically, Ray and T.G. recorded a duet together called "This One Burger King Town" in 2012 but they didn't perform the song for this particular episode. There's a possibility that he and T.G. performed it during the taping and that it didn't make it into the final cut but that's just me making a guess. Ray and company tape the program in segments and edit everything together later (almost similar in recording technique to "Hee Haw"). Ray closed the main portion of the show by singing "Along Came Jones".

Concurrently, May 27th happened to be the night that Ray made a guest appearance on The Grand Ole Opry. In a segment hosted by Bill Anderson, who advertised the upcoming grand opening of the CabaRay showroom (slated for August), Ray came out to strong applause and after some opening remarks he launched into "It's Me Again, Margaret". In recent times during live performances he cut out his vocal impression of the telephone dial but on that particular night he dazzled the audience (judging by their applause) during his phone dial impression (you can see it on the music video if you're not sure of what I'm referring to). After telling a joke about a hapless kid named Earl and cheating on a school test Ray performed "Misty".

Episode 11, which aired this past Saturday night (June 3rd) featured Gene Watson as the special guest. Ray opened up the show singing "Power Tools" aided by snippets of the music video. Gene Watson is introduced and he talks about his start in the music business. One of Ray's background vocalists, Sheri Copeland Smith, steps into the foreground and shares thoughts about George Jones as does Gene...in particular a tour in Canada that he and George were on. Gene then speaks a little bit about performing at the unidentified Jones Country in the early 1980s. Gene referred to it as "the outdoors music park George owned..." but didn't exactly call it by it's actual name. Gene sang "Farewell Party" and in the Video Jukebox segment the music video of "The Haircut Song" was featured. Gene performs the more uptempo "14 Karat Mind" and then Ray closes the show performing a stellar rendition of "Mr. Businessman".

Take a look at a Billboard advertisement currently on display...

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