October 21, 2018

Ray Stevens 2018 Charity Golf Classic...

Hello one and all!! As most of you may know there's been an on-line silent auction that's been going on for several weeks in conjunction with the Ray Stevens Charity Golf Classic as a kind of build up to the actual golf event set to take place tomorrow (October 22nd). I provided a link to the on-line silent auction a couple of blogs ago in an entry with a similar blog title. That blog entry is titled Ray Stevens Charity Golf Classic 2018 but as you can see I slightly altered that blog entry title for the blog entry you're reading at the moment. The schedule of events for today (October 21st) begin at 5pm Central time at Ray's CabaRay performance venue in West Nashville. There will be an in-person silent auction at the CabaRay from 5pm to 7pm and this will be followed by a traditional auction (with an auctioneer, I imagine) from 7pm to 7:30pm. Following this auction there will be a Ray Stevens concert at the CabaRay which will kick-off at 7:30pm and run 90 minutes. All of this is according to an on-line schedule of events posted at the Temple Hills Country Club website which you can access by clicking HERE. The times listed are obviously approximations because I'd imagine it would be difficult to stick to a strict time-line of events because of the very  nature of it all happening live...but then again Ray is probably the only person that could pull off a live event of this magnitude {a silent auction, a traditional auction, AND a concert performance} and keep it on schedule to the last millisecond.  

The action at the Temple Hills Country Club gets underway bright and early Monday morning at 9am...as participants check in and start their practicing and warm-up. This takes place during a 2 hour window which is followed by a 45 minute lunch break. At approximately 11:45am what amounts to a pre-game ceremony gets underway with golf cart staging, information discussed or event announcements delivered, as well as the playing of the National Anthem. This will happen during a 15 minute window and then at Noon the game itself will commence. After the charity tournament there will be the usual after-game festivities inside the clubhouse.

The golf game itself, as mentioned, will begin tomorrow and it'll take place in Franklin, Tennessee whereas the events today will take place at the CabaRay in Bellevue which is almost always referred to as West Nashville in marketing and publicity. The locale of the CabaRay is 5724 River Road and it's main access is Charlotte Pike which itself is accessed via I-40. Naturally those directions are for tourists...the locals may have their own directions in arriving at the same destination.

Even today there may be some that think the CabaRay is in downtown Nashville or within a few blocks from other tourist attractions but in reality it's in the Bellevue, Tennessee neighborhood which is grouped into a regional area referred to as West Nashville with Bellevue being roughly 13 miles southwest of Nashville...but the neighborhood is included within Nashville's jurisdiction and a result the venue has a Nashville street address and politically the neighborhood is governed by Nashville. Once again here's the information about the Ray Stevens Charity Golf Classic.

October 15, 2018

Ray Stevens: Gruhn Podcast...

Hello one and all...and on today's fan created blog entry I'm supplying a link to a lengthy interview by Ray Stevens. The interview took place fairly recently...with the Podcast upload date being October 11th but I'm not sure when the actual interview itself took place. The interview is conducted by George Gruhn for a series called Gruhn's Vault: Conversations with the Masters. The archives indicate the series began earlier this year (in March) with an alternating time slot...which means that episodes air every other week. The show's previous episode aired on September 27th, for example. This interview is a real treat for those that love to hear Ray talk shop...few interviews of him rarely delve into the inner workings of the recording industry or give him the chance to discuss the art of making music and the relationship that exists between artists, writers, musicians, producers, and the business end of the music industry.

Ray touches upon practically every aspect of his career...along the way he discusses his life growing up in Georgia and his earliest exposure to music. He speaks of his mom insisting he practice playing piano and as Ray put it he seen it as something of a trade-off because she'd say that he could go out and play baseball with all of his friends only after practicing his piano lessons. If you've seen or if you own, as I do on VHS and DVD, Ray's movie titled Get Serious! it opens up with an actor playing a child version of Ray at the piano and an actress portraying, from the waist down, his mom. In the next scene we again see Ray, as a boy, being taught timing with aid from a metronome from an Austrian pianist also seen from the waist down (Ray himself played that role). Anyway, Ray discusses his path into the music industry. The history of Nashville and the recording studios is a focal point of most of the interview as Ray speaks about the composition of music and explains music arranging...and while listening to him you will hear just how mathematical and scientifically precise everything needs to be when making a recording.

He explains the pros and cons of the technological advances in the recording process and describes the elation he felt every time a console board increased it's track capabilities. He describes the evolution of using 3-track, 8-track, 16-track, 24-track recording concepts and explains how wonderful it is that everything can become perfect thanks to the advancement of technology and the multi-track process. In one segment of the interview he describes, in detail, the numbering system used on music charts and how, thanks to technology, you can look at/hear every instrument's individual performance in post-production on a computer screen due to everything being recorded separately and detect any flat notes or mistakes that can be corrected prior to the final mixing and mastering process. The interview isn't all about the recording studio, though. Ray speaks about some of his hit songs and his experiences in Branson, Missouri as well as his current showroom, CabaRay.

Near the end of the interview Ray mentions several long-awaited and much anticipated projects that he's been working on for a number of years...and for one project in particular it's something that Ray's made mention of for more than 5 years...a project he's referred to as Melancholy Fescue. He's spoke of this specific project since 2013. In fact it was exactly five years ago this month in October of 2013 that Ray uploaded a music video onto YouTube of a song that is to be included on this Melancholy Fescue project. I'm not embedding the video due to my wanting this blog entry to be exclusively text but I'll make mention of the song's title, it's "Unchained Melody". The other project is Slow Dance and he made mention of this project on an episode of his CabaRay Nashville television series. Speaking of which he offers some insight into what he hopes will come of his television series in the next calendar year when production of new episodes is suppose to resume at some point. You can listen to the George Gruhn interview of Ray Stevens by clicking HERE.

This interview on George Gruhn's podcast comes on the heels of another similar type of interview Ray gave to Bobby Bare that I provided a link to in a recent blog entry. That podcast series also airs in an alternate schedule. The episode of Bobby's series that featured Ray Stevens as a special guest was uploaded on September 26th and so you can see the close proximity from one interview to the other (September 26th and October 11th). Bobby's series is called Bobby Bare and Friends which was also the name of his television series on The Nashville Network in the 1980s (1983-1988).

October 7, 2018

Ray Stevens: CabaRay Christmas...

Even though we're still a little less than a month away from the November kickoff of Christmas at the CabaRay I thought I'd put together a second Christmas-themed blog entry. In my previous blog entry I wrote a curiosity wondering what Ray would be titling his concert series...given that I was a few days late in hearing about the upcoming Christmas-themed concerts at the CabaRay I neglected to do any kind of on-line image search. I did one this morning and I came across an image promoting the upcoming series of concerts and indeed the series will be titled Christmas at the CabaRay. I should have known this already because the video clip I posted in my previous blog entry has that phrase within the clip's title. Admittedly I hastily put together that previous blog entry without doing much research beforehand...the excitement of seeing something new from Ray on YouTube overtook my usual lengthy research. So, then, this is the official publicity photo for the upcoming series of concerts at the CabaRay Showroom...

In the comments section of the video clip on YouTube promoting this upcoming concert series there's a remark left by someone stating that Christmas decorations shouldn't be on display until after Thanksgiving. I don't never, well, rarely ever, engage in on-line arguments (anymore) so I never replied to the comment. In my younger years on the internet (early 2000s) I'd freely engage what I soon to learn were called trolls and I'd argue back and fourth, etc. but I long since stopped doing that kind of thing because you'll never convince somebody of something if they've already got their heels dug in and you'll rarely get me to change my mind once it's made up...so I don't argue on-line hardly at all. Having said that let me say that most families, traditionally, wait until after Thanksgiving to put up their Christmas decorations. However, this often doesn't apply to the entertainment industry. Holiday themed movies and Christmas decorations and even Christmas candy are typically up for sale in retail stores, for example, after Halloween...let alone Thanksgiving in late November...and so Ray putting together a Christmas show beginning in early November isn't some sort of sin due to it happening before Thanksgiving. As you can see in the publicity banner you have plenty of chances to attend the Christmas concert series as they'll be taking place from November 2nd to December 29th. All the information about the CabaRay Showroom can be found HERE. Once there click the Tickets menu button for further information.

In addition to the announcement about the upcoming series of Christmas concerts at the CabaRay Showroom let's not forget about the on-line auction and upcoming Ray Stevens Charity Golf Classic later this month at the Temple Hills Country Club. There are 95 items up for a bid but not everything is focused on Ray's career...most of the activity, no surprise to me, is in the music memorabilia section and it's in that area where you will see some rare items (such as a 1978 concert poster featuring the photo of Ray that appears on his 1976 Just for the Record album). There's also autographed copies of what's known as Hatch Show Prints as well as an autographed copy of his 1980 Shriner's Convention album. Here is the home page of the CHARITY GOLF CLASSIC website. The golf game pre-tournament events will take place at the CabaRay Showroom on Sunday October 21st beginning at 5pm. There will be a concert from Ray at the showroom beginning at 7:30pm Sunday night. The charity golf tournament itself will take place on Monday October 22nd. Much of what I just wrote can be found with even more information by clicking HERE.