June 26, 2017

Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville...episode 14...

Hello all...I watched the 14th episode of Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville to air on WCVN/KET2 this past Saturday night. It was another fun episode and it kind of broke with some of the established formula of the previous episodes. 

Ray came out and performed "Never Too Late", a song from his 2009 CD, One for the Road. The song's lyrics carry an inspirational feel while the music is in the easy-listening/Tin Pan Alley/Great American Songbook vein. Somehow, though, I think the choice to perform that kind of song as a show opener had a lot to do with that episode's special guest, Bobby Goldsboro. I say that because Bobby's biggest commercial successes came with easy-listening and sometimes sing-a-long pop songs and to fit the overall music mood he opened the show with "Never Too Late".

Ray introduced Bobby and the two of them discussed their early years in the music industry. One thing that you'll notice right off the bat is how peppy and energetic Bobby happens to be...and fast talking. He made mention of Ray's session work and the harmony vocals provided in "Little Things" (a single that United Artists released on Bobby late in 1964). Ray makes mention that Bobby's artistic talents go beyond music by spotlighting some of the paintings Bobby created...and some are soon to be on display at the CabaRay Nashville venue once it opens later this fall. Bobby performs "Little Things" and then performs what became his signature hit, "Honey".

It's a highly emotional song and the camera panned over the audience upon the song's conclusion and, yes, there were some teary eyed members of the audience. It's a sad song in case you've never heard it...and I'm consistently amazed that there are quite a few people out there that routinely vote this particular song as "one of the worst ever written". I don't know if that overly dramatic reaction stems from a listener feeling uneasy or vulnerable when listening to the song or if a listener simply hates sad songs...whatever the reason it's a song that doesn't get the kind of respect it should get.

This is a promo for the episode. If you're a regular visitor to Ray's YouTube channel or any of his social media sites then you should be well aware that he's uploaded a lot of promo videos for his television program. Given the fact that the program is locally syndicated on PBS stations across the country all of the video uploads are meant to air on the PBS stations that air the show. If the PBS affiliate in your area carries Ray's program and Bobby happens to be the guest that week, for example, then this is the official promo that may air on your local PBS channel...

Due to the show airing on PBS there aren't any commercials and so it cuts to one segment after the other. After the emotional "Honey" concludes Ray walks out from behind the piano and thanks Bobby for being on the show. The very next segment is the lighthearted Video Jukebox installment and an airing of "The Moonlight Special" animated music video. Talk about going from one extreme emotion to the other in the blink of an eye. The recurring segment featuring Don Cusic appears next and he provides some history on the upcoming performance Ray is about to do...a song from The Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music. The song? "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?". Ray is in fine uptempo form as he tackles this song...originally a hit for Lonnie Donegan in the United Kingdom (1959) and in the United States (1961). After the performance of this song he closes the show in his usual way...by selecting someone to dance with as an instrumental of "Everything Is Beautiful" plays in the background. The one chosen this time around seemed terrified/nervous.

Here's a little mystery concerning the episode: In the description for this episode on the KET2 web page it states that Ray would be singing "The Skies Just Ain't Friendly Anymore" and no mention is made of "Never Too Late". This could have been a typo on their part (highly unlikely) so perhaps the original promo for this episode indicated that Ray would be performing that song but "Never Too Late" was chosen instead for the final cut...indicating that the original press release for the episode was never changed/corrected. That's just my theory. This is one of the episodes that had previously aired on RFD television (in May of last year to be specific). It's not a big deal, though, but it's something that caught my eye nevertheless.

In a previous blog entry I listed the upcoming episodes of Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville scheduled for WCVN/KET2. They've added a couple more since that blog entry but mysteriously removed a couple they previously had posted...ones that I had shared in that blog entry.

Originally listed to air September 2nd was Con Hunley but now they have an episode listed guest starring Tommy Roe; for September 9th it was listed that Jimmy Wayne would be the special guest but now it's an episode guest starring Mark Wills. The September 16th episode, as originally scheduled, would be Ray's patriotic show guest starring Lee Greenwood and Darryl Worley but now KET2 has the September 16th air-date guest starring Duane Eddy instead.

In addition to those three episodes replacing what had originally been scheduled there were 2 episodes added to fill the entire month of September...

Angaleena Presley: September 23

Riders in the Sky: September 30

There's no explanation as to the reason the first 3 episodes in September that had originally appeared on the KET2 schedule have been replaced by other episodes but there must be a reason...I'm sure none of us will ever know the reason and I'm sure they never expected someone (myself) to have noticed the change of episodes anyway...let's hope the originally scheduled episodes make it onto DVD if they never make it to the PBS airwaves. There are to be 52 first-run episodes exclusive to PBS stations in addition to the first 26 episodes that aired on RFD. Half of those 52 first-run episodes have already been assembled and are scheduled to start airing soon.

Next week's episode on KET2 (July 1st) guest stars T. Graham Brown and Ray's daughter, Suzi Ragsdale. This is one of the RFD episodes (originally aired January 30, 2016). After the airing of that episode KET2 begins airing (starting July 8th) the first-run PBS episodes. Harold Bradley and Mandy Barnett are the guests on the July 8th episode.

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