December 1, 2009

Ray Stevens: Healthcare...We The People...

December 1, 2009...a day shy of my thirty-third birthday finds me writing up another blog about Ray Stevens. The social network of Twitter has become a place where Ray has posted audio links to new recordings. Previously there was the comical song "Cooter Brown" from his trucker CD, One for the Road. Then there was the re-recording of "If Ten Percent Is Good Enough For Jesus". These weren't Ray's only journey onto on-line selling. You can go back to mid-decade, around 2005/2006, and learn that Ray is no stranger to promoting music exclusively on-line. The examples being the songs "The New Battle of New Orleans" and "Ruby Falls". Itunes, if I'm not mistaken, were the original homes of those two songs. If you're reading this and thinking "Ruby Falls"?? Never heard of it! Well, check Itunes or some other on-line music store and do a search for Ray and the song title and see what comes up. It's one of those tempo blender songs as I call them...mixing ballad and up-tempo within the same performance.

Several days ago I wrote of "We The People"...I posted a URL link to the audio but this time around I decided to embed the audio link into the blog. It's a whole lot more easier to click the play button than to right click and open a URL link in another window, etc etc. If truth be known I wasn't aware that I could copy and paste the code but I was looking through a long list of other blogger web-pages and saw that they have numerous displays of You Tube, Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter videos and audio links of their favorite singers or TV shows decorating their blogs and so I decided to go ahead and embed the Twitter link. This song is being promoted as the "radio version". The previous URL that I supplied was for the on-line version. The earlier recording that Ray put out according to the Twitter stats has been listened to over 8,000 times.

Obviously Ray's latest recording is centered around the basic principles and fundamental rights of the American citizen as described in the Constitution. It goes farther than this because it incorporates the topical subject of healthcare reform, nick-named Obama-care by those who oppose the extreme ways the reformers are wanting to change things. I gave a more detailed description of the song in a previous blog entry. A phrase not often heard much anymore is "bleeding heart liberal". This phrase can certainly be applied within the context of the healthcare ordeal because of the deception that's taking place among those with "bleeding hearts". In some web-sites and blog sites I've seen commentary making the Republicans out to be the bad guys because they oppose "Obama-care". In truth, Republicans actually want healthcare reform but not at the extreme levels the Democrats are wanting.

I've seen commentary where one asks why it's such a terrible thing for the Government to supply healthcare to "the needy", etc etc. This is where the bleeding heart factor comes into play, though. It's one of the oldest tricks in the book to play on one's sympathies. The thing that Democrats aren't saying is that all of this "compassion" for the needy and all of that requires huge tax hikes and more Government invasion on the private sector. When you break things down into it's simplest form the Republicans want people to be independent, for the most part, from Government, except when it's absolutely necessary for the Government to be called on. The Democrats on the other hand feel that the Government has all the answers and should offer all sorts of assistance and social programs to every Tom, Dick, Jane, and Mary while at the same time keeping it a secret from their constituents that each and every time the Government "helps" that it means more tax increases and more Government spending and more burden on everyone, regardless of political affiliation. I've often felt that you can tell the political leanings of two people based upon a simple situation at hand...for example...Bob, a Democrat, is angry about something beyond his control. Bob would more than likely think that the Government should take care of his problem and insist that they step-in. Frank, a Republican, is angry about something beyond his control. Frank would more than likely realize that the situation is beyond his control and not look toward the Government to fix things and figure out something on his own to try and fix a situation. It doesn't get any simpler than that when breaking down the two political parties.

Enjoy "We The People" and for those who stumble across the site by accident, take a listen to the song as well.

Politically speaking, Ray is about a complete opposite from his views during the early 1970's, this is based on the lyrical content of the songs he wrote/recorded during that time period compared to today. During 1969-1972 you could perhaps describe Ray's political leanings as moderate-Democratic. I always point to the emotionally powerful "Talking", a song he wrote and recorded in 1970 during the Vietnam War period. The song is about the political figures "wasting time" trying to talk and with every delay more people are dying. These feelings resonated with the anti-war protesters and those who just didn't like the war period, those with no political axe to grind. In that same year, 1970, Ray put out "America, Communicate With Me"...both songs are on his Unreal album. In that song Ray comments on the various topical issues of the time and asks the nation to communicate with him so he can understand what in the world is going on. Those fans who cheered his political feelings at that time perhaps scratch their heads now and wonder "what happened?" when listening to songs like "We The People", "If Ten Percent Is Good Enough For Jesus", "The New Battle of New Orleans", and several others with a slightly more Republican point of view. I've never really care one way or the other about the political views of my favorite singers. A good song is a good song...and Ray's knack for making his songs catchy goes a long way.


  1. A number of years ago, Ray was profiled in magazine about country music. In the article, the writer comments that despite the comic trend of most of his material, he was in fact a very serious person "in person" , taking calls about his real estate investments, mentioning an aside from Ray that "MacArthur should have been let loose in Korea". So his "right-wing" mindset has been around for a while.

  2. I assumed the political feelings began to switch at some point during either the late '70s or the '80s but musically speaking whatever political viewpoints he held weren't making their way into the songs he wrote or recorded...unlike the early '70s when he recorded the songs I was singling out. So, by comparison to the views of those '70s songs with the politically charged songs he's recorded during the last several years, it's easy to see the change. It may have to do with getting older and seeing things different from when you're young. Ray's a very serious person off-stage.

    I wish interviews he did in the '60s and '70s would see the light of day. I've seen excerpts of vintage Ray and he was so serious when he spoke in spite of having the image as an off-the-wall comic. I have a few magazines that feature Ray and learned a few things I didn't know about him. In one interview he said his political views are Independent and his like or dislike of a party is based on what they're doing at that moment. In other words I took it that he isn't a staunch supporter of either party...which is the essence of being an Independent or a moderate...but then there are times when he appears at Republican fund-raisers in and around Nashville, TN which there's nothing wrong with.

    His politics are his business...obviously, though, I'd not be writing/speculating about his views if political material weren't part of "We The People". 99% of my other entry's on this Ray Stevens blog site are strictly music oriented.

  3. I could have sworn "America Communicate With Me" was more of an anti-protest song than anything else, considering that he starts the song off saying "I'm tire of all your protests, they're getting out of hand" and later in the build up to the chorus he makes a point of reminding people that the answers aren't always easy or simple.

  4. I always understood it to be a song about common sense but it carries a protest feel to it because the way I take the song it comes off as Ray protests the extremes on both sides of the political spectrum because the very next line is "...and all you politicians you're too vague to understand; I'm somewhere in the middle of two extremes without a plan...". So it isn't necessarily from my perspective an anti-protest song because the lyrics question current events of the time. When you get right down to it the song is basically a plea to the country to get on the right track...but because of the strong lyrics and it's topical nature it fits in with the protest-era material out at the time.


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