December 10, 2009

Ray Stevens: More 45 singles and commentary...

A lot of people don't realize that Ray Stevens once had out a version of "Indian Love Call". The international hit recording is most closely associated with Slim Whitman. Ray's version as I touched upon in a previous blog entry is much more R&B driven with a background choir adding in the phrase "doo-wop" as the music plays. It's my guess that the background choir is actually Ray himself over-dubbing his voice in various harmonies as he's known to do. This particular single I came across was the United Kingdom release. Note the label "Janus" up at the top instead of Barnaby Records. Janus, Barnaby, and GRT are all credited on the release. The American counterpart featured the familiar looking decoration of the melted vinyl album on the tree limb. The single also in some markets came with a picture sleeve which was lifted from the Greatest Hits album Barnaby had issued in 1975. The single was a Top-40 country hit in 1975 and reached the Hot 100 pop chart as well.


I've posted this before but I happen to like both songs on the single and the picture that's used. It's the same picture that appears on his 1973 album, Nashville, even though both songs are from his 1975 Misty album. His Misty album from 1975 is one of my favorites that I have in my collection. I suppose the main reason why it's one of my favorite albums is because most of the songs were already familiar to me prior to buying the album on-line and being a big fan of Ray's anyhow I knew that I'd love the arrangements that he'd use for the songs. For those who still don't own a copy of that album some things you'll probably want to know before buying is it's mostly a covers project. If you've never heard of half of the songs on the album then the material will be brand new but for those who've heard the original recordings by other artists you'll soon find yourself preferring Ray's versions of the songs more and more. The songs on the Misty album are as follows:

1. Misty
2. Indian Love Call
3. Over the Rainbow
4. Oh, Lonesome Me
5. Sunshine**
6. Cow Cow Boogie
7. Young Love
8. Deep Purple
9. Mockingbird Hill
10. Take Care of Business**
11. Lady of Spain

The songs marked with (**) indicate original songs and not covers of pop-standards. Most of the songs on here were pop hits during the 1930's through the 1950's by other artists and pop groups.

"Take Care of Business" was written by Layng Martine, Jr. A lot of people see the song title and assume it's an alternate reference to Ray's 1968 hit song, "Mr. Businessman", when in fact "Take Care of Business" is a completely different song than "Mr. Businessman".

"Sunshine" was written by Ray and it's one of my favorites from the album. It features prominent banjo solos and other instrumentation keeping it in step with the arrangement of "Misty". The arrangement on "Oh, Lonesome Me" is different than what one might expect.

This is the single release of a song that many, many people on-line don't think exists. I have come across a lot of web-sites over the years that list "weird song titles" and "the strangest song titles of all-time", etc etc. If you type in the correct song title chances are it'll direct you to the album it's featured on: He Thinks He's Ray Stevens. That album was released in 1984. However, most people on-line do not know of the song by that title. Instead they refer to it as "Get Your Tongue Out of My Mouth". Why? Well, the reason is because that phrase is repeated often throughout the song's chorus when in reality the song is called "I'm Kissin' You Goodbye". So, for those who come across a blogger or anyone else for that matter wondering why nobody can find a Ray Stevens song called "Get Your Tongue Out of My Mouth" tell them the actual title is "I'm Kissin' You Goodbye". The correct titles of songs will help you locate what you're searching for.

Click on the image below for a bigger view. It's a 1986 promo copy of a song that is often found on numerous compilation albums released on Ray. "Can He Love You Half as Much as I" is a comical love song. It isn't on the demented side but it isn't strictly serious, neither. It's a love song at it's core but some of the lyrics keep the light-hearted momentum going.


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