April 3, 2010

Ray Stevens: The Bill Cody Appearance

This past April 2nd Ray Stevens was a guest on the Bill Cody morning show on WSM radio. The name of the show is technically Coffee, Country, and Cody and Ray was the featured guest during the show's last hour. The show was taped at the Country Music Hall of Fame and it included a small audience. The other guests were Anthony Smith and Donna Fargo...each appearing separately during the 8 and 9am hours respectively. Ray made his entrance during the 10am hour and here's my review of what all happened...

Bill kicked off Ray's portion of the show with the April 1st performance of "Everything Is Beautiful" from Opry Country Classics. During the interview segment Ray spoke about life in Georgia as a kid and Bill asked when Ray arrived in Nashville...January 1962 was the reply. This leads into a discussion of old Nashville compared to modern Nashville and this leads into the song, "Nashville", which Ray wrote while being homesick during a tour in Australia. The song was a country hit for Ray in 1973. Bill asks about The Carousel and Ray explains it was a club once owned by Boots Randolph. Ray talks about Boots, Chet, and Floyd due to the three of them being mentioned in "Nashville".

Ray recites a very brief poem about Congress that has everyone laughing and this leads the conversation into politics and the success of "We The People". The new music video, "Throw the Bums Out!", is talked about followed by the airing of the song. Afterward, Bill makes a joke about Ralph Emery's participation in the music video and Ray jokes about the doctor shovel. Later, Bill brings up "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" and Ray talks about the story behind the song and why he passed up the chance of recording "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" for a movie, which eventually B.J Thomas ended up doing. Ray jokingly said that his recording of "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" went on to sell 12 copies. Bill commented that the song would become a #1 for Johnny Cash; this allows Ray to explain the image factor and how Cash's image made the lyrics much more believable.

Bill brings up Ray's performance of "Running Bear" during Sonny James' induction ceremony at the Hall of Fame a few years ago. Ray and George Lindsay appeared on stage doing an elaborate production of the song during the ceremony...both dressed in Indian clothes. Pictures of this can be found on-line by doing a Google image search of Ray Stevens + Running Bear. During the ceremony, Ray quipped that he too once had a song out on the market about running bare. Ray and Bill continue to talk and this leads up to "Safe at Home", a song that Ray sings in his concerts which he had recorded in 2000 but after 9/11 the song to him gained even more of a meaning. Ray performed the song...hours after performing it on Opry Country Classics the night before.

Bill brings up "Mr. Businessman", Ray's pop hit from 1968, and Ray tells the story behind the song and afterward Bill played it to wrap up the show. A final promo for Ray's upcoming We The People full-length CD was also aired by Bill. Ray has put together a commercial for the project and here is the You Tube video. As you can see, it has a telephone number you can call if you don't want to order on-line. You can order from Ray's own web-site store as I did or the URL link provided on the screen. I think multiple URL addresses were created to avoid the possibility of web-page crashing!? Have your volume up when watching the commercial!

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