April 29, 2012

Ray Stevens 9-CD box set, Part 16...

It's a very early Sunday morning...late April 2012...and I decided to open the blog entry with this particular banner image. In previous blogs I've been using the banner showing that the Encyclopedia went on sale on February 28th but I've changed images (finally!) and have decided to use this one. The only difference between it and the one I previously used is the sales message. It reads "On Sale Now!!!" instead of "On Sale February 28th 2012".

The following link, Ray Stevens Images, contains a series of images shot at various moments during the filming of the on-line commercial for Ray's Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music. There are 47 images. One of the images appeared early on...it features Ray and Sabrina acting out the song "Cigareets, Whuskey, and Wild, Wild, Women" for the commercial. Sabrina has appeared in several of Ray's music videos over the last 3 years. She's known as the Creative Director of Ray's company, according to her Facebook page. Buddy Kalb appears with Ray in the bulk of the other images. If you've seen the on-line commercial for the Encyclopedia you'll already be familiar with these screen shots. Also, there are quite a few images of Ray clowning around with a gold mask (similar to the one that appears on the box set) as well as using the box set itself for some interesting poses.

Ray gave a radio interview on April 26th that I was not aware of because I had my computer off. This time of the year we're always in a severe thunderstorm threat every other day and so I keep my computer off more frequently just in case there's a power outage of any kind. There wasn't any pod-casts of the interview since the station doesn't have an internet stream and so it was one of those 'if you live in the area that was your only way of hearing it' kind of interviews. However, most, if not all, radio stations record their programming (that's obviously how radio stations are able to have archives) and so I'm surprised that an audio clip hadn't become available by now. The radio station is WBBV-FM, known on-air as River 101, located in Vicksburg, Mississippi. As mentioned, I didn't know of the call-in ahead of time or else I would've promoted it on the blog page for those who live in that area. Given that I hadn't heard it, either, I can't say if it's lengthy or just under 5 minutes.


All you Ray Stevens fans keep a note of this saved somewhere on your computer:

Since we're nearing May I thought it necessary to bring up a forthcoming concert appearance from Ray Stevens. On May 19th Ray Stevens will appear at the Osage Casino in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. This remains Ray's only concert during the summer season. Earlier I had thought that additional concerts would be added but as of now there's no concerts scheduled in the heart of summer (June and July). After the May 19th concert in Oklahoma his next concert, as of now, isn't until September 21st at the Blue Gate Theater in Shipshewana, Indiana. At this venue he will actually do two shows that day.

Eight days later, on September 29th, Ray Stevens will once again be back at the New Barn in Renfro Valley, Kentucky. I say once again because it's become something of a tradition for Ray, dating back to the mid 2000's, to appear at some point in Renfro Valley. On October 13th Ray will venture to New Mexico for a show at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino in Mescalero, New Mexico and then two days later, on October 15th, he'll start a series of six shows at the Andy Williams Theatre in Branson, Missouri.

April 16, 2012

Ray Stevens 9-CD box set, Part 15...

It's an early Monday morning...and the main focus of this blog entry is on Ray's appearance on Crook and Chase's television program over the weekend. The two hosts have been a duo since 1983...hosting by now thousands of hours of interviews from mostly country music artists and sometimes celebrities from movies and television shows. They hosted This Week In Country Music for several years in syndication but their biggest impact came with Crook and Chase, a daily program on The Nashville Network for seven years, 1986-1993. From there the two hosted the nightly Music City Tonight, 1993-1996, and then they went into daily syndication for a season and returned to The Nashville Network in 1997 and remained on the air through the channel's demise in 1999. Since 2000 the duo remained active on various special programs aired on CMT and, or, GAC in addition to hosting their weekly 4-hour radio countdown program. The duo often became the most visible during the summer months, especially in June during the Fan-Fair week, which is now called the CMA Music Fest. The duo have also appeared as interviewers of nominees and winners during various country music awards programs. In 2008 the duo began appearing regularly on television again through RFD-TV with a weekly series instead of a daily program. The program continues to air on RFD but in 2010 a syndicated series started airing concurrent with the RFD program. The two series are actually the same show...the difference being episode air-dates. The syndicated program may air an episode on Saturday that features more recent information while the Sunday telecast on RFD may feature an entirely different episode from a month earlier...leaving one to assume that the Saturday episodes are current while RFD's telecasts are several weeks behind.

The Ray Stevens interview that aired Sunday evening took place a few months ago. There are pictures of the interview in one of Ray's photo albums at his Facebook page. The interview aired for the first time on March 4th of this year...this was the date that it didn't air on RFD-TV...but this time around, April 15th, the interview aired as scheduled. If you don't want to navigate through the main Facebook page you can click the following Ray Stevens Images  link and it takes you to the photo album named Crook and Chase. As mentioned, the interview took place late in 2011 around the time of his taping of Larry's Country Diner. It was during this time that Ray was planning on releasing the box set late in 2011 but then the release was pushed back to January 2012 and then it was pushed back to February 2012. In fact, in the episode of Larry's program that aired a month ago, Ray mentions that the Encyclopedia should be available in time for Christmas. Those who saw the show last month, based upon their Facebook comments on Larry's page, mistakenly thought that the episode had been taped this year and that they'd have to wait until the fall of 2012 to purchase the box set...but luckily Ray's appeared on many other TV and radio programs over the last month and it's become crystal clear for those that were mistaken earlier that The Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music is available right here in all it's wonderful glory!!

In the interview with Crook and Chase, Ray spoke about the inspiration behind the box set and asked the hosts if they're more likely to remember "Purple People Eater" or a popular love ballad from the same time period. Ray, looking serious, proclaimed that Crook and Chase were to blame for comedy songs not being heard on the radio anymore but then said he was joking. Ray started telling them that he'd gotten resistance from radio (both pop and country) for so many years about programming comedy songs and being given the same excuse over and over as to why a 'comedy song' couldn't be added to playlists. Lorianne commented that she loves Ray's voice and was curious why he didn't become a full-time crooner. This led Ray into discussing how he attempted to be a serious pop singer but wasn't able to get a lot of attention until he put out a comedy song...which paved the way for additional comedy songs...and ultimately led to his career long typecasting as a novelty singer in spite of the serious recordings he was releasing...and having hits with...which, when you think about it, is ironic considering the heavy typecasting his career took being labeled as a novelty singer.

Along the way "The Streak" became the focus of the conversation and the interview dissolved into a hilarious several minutes where Ray, Lorianne, and Charlie talked about nudity, streaking, the impact the fad still has in Ray's career, and the accounts of female fans streaking during his concerts in the mid 1970's. At this point Ray jokingly begged for streaking to return at his concerts.

It was a very funny few minutes. The interview ended while the three were laughing...indicating to me that there's much more footage that didn't air. If that's the case I'd love to see the full interview!

April 14, 2012

Ray Stevens 9-CD box set, Part 14...

How many have purchased the Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music from Ray Stevens by now? If you hadn't purchased it you're really missing out on a lot of entertainment. Today and tomorrow are suppose to be the days that the Crook and Chase programs air their interview with Ray Stevens.

There is a syndicated series that airs on Saturdays on the networks that air it and then there's the series that airs on RFD-TV on Sunday evening. In the press release last week it made mention that the interview would be shown on both versions of their show...I'll check RFD-TV tomorrow at 6pm Eastern and see what's what. If he's on I'll take notes and write about it. There have been instances in the past where Ray's name was shown as the special guest but RFD shown a different episode instead...so I've come to expect any episode to air regardless of what the channel guide information provides.

Ray's 9-CD box set, as mentioned in the previous 13 entries, features 108 recordings. It comes with a book but I don't know off the top of my head which novelty song is the oldest of the bunch. One of the oldest is "Aba Daba Honeymoon" which dates back to 1914. I knew of this song years before I knew it's title because I had heard bits and pieces of it's chorus sang on a number of television programs. As a kid of the '80s I used to see commercials for Frito's but had no idea that the company's jingle at the time was based upon the melody of "Aba Daba Honeymoon". I didn't find that out until I saw it mentioned on-line somewhere.

"Little Brown Jug", another song on the Encyclopedia, I've written about before...it's truly a fun sing-a-long with an infectious chorus. It, too, is one of the oldest songs...it appeared originally in 1869!! It was brought back by Glenn Miller in 1939 as an instrumental. "Western Movies", "Transfusion", "William Tell Overture", and "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport", are among the MANY recordings on this Encyclopedia. There are others like "Huggin' and Chalkin" and "The Too Fat Polka" as well!!

April 13, 2012

Ray Stevens: Let's Get Political...

Well, Happy Friday the 13th all you fans of Ray Stevens! As you can tell from the images in the blog entry this morning the Let's Get Political book from Ray Stevens arrived in the mail. Actually it arrived in the mail yesterday but I was away from the computer most of Thursday. The book's pages aren't numbered and so there's no way to tell how many pages there are. I'm obviously not going to count them all because it's pretty thick and let's say it's more than 30 pages. The book is comprised of lyrics of all the songs from two of Ray's most recent CD's: 2010's We The People and 2011's Spirit of '76. I read the introduction/forward and some of the other parts of the book. I love the information and for those who already have those two CD's you need to get this book ASAP!! At the moment Let's Get Political is available as a free gift as part of your purchase of what's being promoted as a Tea Party special offering both CD's, the book, and a flag lapel pin. Now, for those who already have those CD's you can purchase the book separately which is what I did. There's commentary and discussion in the book which gives insight into a lot of things that were going on behind the scenes during the years leading up to the Internet release of the "We The People" music video in the late winter of 2009. The book is a real treat in my opinion and one any fan of Ray's shouldn't be without. On the back of the book there are pictures of the two CD's and below those images are individual photo's of Ray Stevens and the book's other contributor, Buddy Kalb. Each song is dissected and discussed, too, so it's not just a book filled with song lyrics. The songwriters and the publisher credits, of course, are on display too.    

When I removed the book from the packaging I was surprised by how it looked. On the web-store's page the image looks a lot wider and more along the lines of sheet music books (if any of you remember those!). So, anyway, I was prepared to receive a thin book with the appearance of a calendar and was pleasantly surprised to see a book of a shorter, more compact size and one that could easily fit onto a book shelf rather than having an over-sized book which is what I assumed it looked like. You can see what I'm referring to when you click this Let's Get Political link. In the image above the book looks bigger than it is so it must have something to do with the dimensions of the picture causing the book to appear horizontally stretched. I took a picture of the book's side view to illustrate that it's a lengthy read...lyrics to 33 songs plus commentary/opinion spread out all over this published gem. I especially like the forward...but there's also other portions of the book that jumped out at me, too, such as why he came to the decision of injecting his political views into his recordings rather than keeping them to himself. As I've often said in my blog entries, conservative humor is almost always attacked by the Hollywood media and those in the New York high-rises and by television critics while liberal humor and liberal points of view are rampant on any number of television comedies, drama's, and network newscasts and you don't hear an outcry from supposedly impartial television critics who are all too frequently blasting a writer or actor for injecting conservative politics into a script or performance. The bottom line is Ray and Buddy Kalb hit the nail on the head when they offer their opinions on all 33 songs found on the two CD's I mentioned earlier.

I think you all will get a kick out of the book!! 

April 10, 2012

Ray Stevens on Fox and Friends

Good afternoon all the Ray Stevens fans...Ray appeared on Fox and Friends this morning, twice. He appeared toward the end of the televised program and sang a medley of songs from The Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music. Songs featured were "White Lightnin'", "Charlie Brown", "Chug-a-Lug", and "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor?".

You can see this by clicking the following: Ray Stevens Medley. If the video plays in slow motion, right click over top of the video and it'll play at normal speed. The video playback was slow for me and so I right clicked over top of the video and the speed corrected itself. Make sure you right click over part of the video that of course doesn't obscure Ray!

After the show ended Ray appeared on what's known as After the Show Show...an extended visit where he spoke more about the Encyclopedia and performed "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" in it's entirety.

Here's the link to that performance: Ray Stevens on Fox and Friends, After the Show.

Ray is scheduled to appear later this evening on a Fox News Radio program at 7:30pm. I will more than likely be asleep at that time (I'm a third-shift worker and so I sleep during the afternoons and most of the evening!). So, I'll check the internet tomorrow morning and see if there's any podcasts available of the interview. If there's any, of course, I'll be posting the links on this blog page.

April 8, 2012

Ray Stevens and The Commercials...

Q: How many songs are on The Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music by Ray Stevens?

A: 108

When you watch the commercial for the encyclopedia it harkens back to a time when Heartland Music used to air album commercials on television at various times of the day. Those born after 1995 perhaps have no concept of what I'm referring to since those kind of commercials hadn't aired on TV since around that point in time. It used to be that singers who still had a fan-base and were still popular, but weren't able to get onto the radio for various reasons took to the television airwaves via 30 or 40 second commercials, often for Heartland Music. The singer, or group, would be shown on-screen singing as the album's track list rolled up the screen. Frequently there'd be a voice-over delivering the information about the album and how a person can buy it. The commercials always ended with the purchase information: Name of the album, mailing address, cost, and which styles of payment were accepted.

Ray Stevens did one of those kind of commercials in the late '80s for his 1987 2-LP set, Get The Best of Ray Stevens. The commercial hadn't aired since that point in time but I'd love to see it again!! Ray's album was for his label at the time, MCA. In the early to mid '90s Ray explored the concept of home video sales...selling hundreds of thousands of home videos in a genre not known for those kinds of sales figures at that point in time. Television commercials for three of his home video projects were aired frequently during the years of 1992, 1993, and 1995: Comedy Video Classics, Ray Stevens Live!, and Get Serious!

Once the internet became more and more dominant and the buying habits of music consumers changed, right around the mid '90s, it was no longer really necessary for record labels to purchase air-time on television to sell the music of non-radio artists. The internet enabled those artists to take advantage of the relatively free exposure the internet provided to hundreds of thousands, and in some cases, millions of potential consumers. Now then, since there's been an entirely different generation brought up with on-line advertising and music downloading being the chosen way of purchasing, specifically for those born during the mid-late '90s and later, it's become something of a rarity for that younger audience to see a newly made-yet-traditional commercial like the one you see below show up on-line...  

Being a person of traditional leanings I happen to like the video commercial. There may be some that don't get the point of the commercial considering that they probably rely on web-sharing and Amazon's popularity lists or current radio playlists to influence their buying decisions but for a lot of others the commercial is entertaining/informative and it successfully does it's job of keeping the product front and center, which is the goal of any commercial. The video is more than 3 minutes long...so there will perhaps need to be some extensive editing done if Ray, at some point, wants to air this on television as a typical commercial but it may just remain an on-line exclusive. I really can't see where you can edit it anyway...the commercial runs so smoothly that it doesn't feel like it's as lengthy as it is.

Ray Stevens and the Easter Bunnies...

There's not been too many recordings from Ray Stevens that specifically dealt with Easter but there's a few that incorporate the Easter bunny and Easter eggs into the lyrics. A masterpiece that Ray wrote, well, one of the masterpieces, is a clever song combining all the holidays into one celebration in a song titled "Greatest Little Christmas Ever Wuz". Obviously the song's title is associated with Christmas...but in that particular recording, as mentioned, Ray tells of how a wonderful holiday can be enjoyed when all the holidays are combined on one single day of the year. The song itself is a tale of a couple who've broken up and the man comes up with what he feels is a surefire way to get her to return. The song has a unique history...it first appeared on an MCA various artists album from 1985 called Tennessee Christmas. Ray brought it back in 1997 for his comical Christmas Through a Different Window CD.

In 1987, toward the end of the "Gourmet Restaurant" song, Ray mentions chocolate eggs and chocolate bunny rabbits, candy closely associated with Easter. In 1990 during the fade-out of a song titled "Where Do My Socks Go?" Ray wonders if the Easter Bunny is the culprit and warns people about getting eggs with rather questionable content inside on Easter. Interestingly, Ray's 1990 album titled Lend Me Your Ears features a rabbit on the album's cover...but this isn't a reference to Easter but more of a visual joke on part of an often-quoted phrase delivered in the Julius Caesar play. Other than those three recordings I couldn't come up with any other song from Ray that specifically mentions Easter, the Easter Bunny, chocolate eggs, etc. etc.

For those who want to hear those songs and a whole lot more look for the following Mp3's at Amazon...

1. Crackin' Up; 1987 MCA Records

2. Lend Me Your Ears; 1990 Curb Records

Christmas Through a Different Window can easily be purchased at Ray's web-store.

Ray has released religious music down through the years...his only traditional gospel album continues to be 1972's Turn Your Radio On. That one album spawned a series of re-issues over the last 40 years typically using the same album title but incorporating a different picture of Ray each time. One of the re-issues from the early '90s was called The Gospel Side of Ray Stevens and they used a small clean-shaven image of Ray. Another re-issue several years later in 1996, Great Gospel Songs, used a fairly recent picture. One of my favorite pictures of Ray was used on the 1982 re-issue. His own label, Clyde Records, issued a 2-volume set of gospel recordings titled A Brighter Day in 1992. This collection put together not only the recordings from Turn Your Radio On but selected recordings from Ray through the years with a gospel/inspirational overtone like "Everybody Needs a Rainbow", "Set the Children Free", and others. A fairly recent compilation, A Funny Thing Happened in Church Today, goes in the opposite direction...it shines the light on some of the comical songs Ray recorded with a gospel flavor or a church setting. Songs include "The Dooright Family", "Mississippi Squirrel Revival", "Mama Sang Bass", and the 2009 recording, "The Right Reverend Road Hog McGraw" from One for the Road...but it also contains non-comical favorites like "Turn Your Radio On", "When The Saints Go Marching In", and "Everything Is Beautiful". "When the Saints Go Marching In" comes from his stellar salute to Louisiana on the CD titled New Orleans Moon from 2007. 

Those Clyde Records releases can be found at Ray's web-store. Simply visit the link I provided above or go to Ray's web-page below and click "Store" and browse around. You'll definitely find things that have never been offered in retail stores!

Ray Stevens Web-Site

April 7, 2012

Ray Stevens 9-CD box set, Part 13...

Welcome to another blog entry about Ray Stevens! In Part 13 of the Encyclopedia blog series I thought it necessary to discuss specifics when it comes to this particular collection. As many of you have seen by now there's a promotional video on You Tube about the Encyclopedia which I embedded in a previous blog post. As more and more people become aware of this awesome collection there has arisen the occasional remarks from those who have it in their DNA to be combative, divisive, and antagonistic.

I've come across several in the last day or two during my Google searches for Ray and if you're familiar with the sort of, well, off-color language that exists in a good number of You Tube video comment sections then you can pretty much guess the kind of comments I'm referring to without my having to do any further explanation.

One of the things I noticed is confusion by some when they watched the commercial and saw the snippets of Ray acting out some of the songs from the Encyclopedia. This led a few to believe that the Encyclopedia features music videos, too. Also, in the commercial Buddy Kalb refers to Ray's music videos of the past as a memory jogger for those who don't follow Ray's career as closely as some of us do. This, too, led some to believe that there was music video content in the Encyclopedia. The box set features only audio recordings...no music videos. 108 recordings, as the information in the commercial states.

I've seen a couple of comments complaining about the unbelievably low selling price. The way I see it, instead of complaining about the selling price simply save up for it if it's something you can't afford right away. Now, isn't that the best way to address the price rather than throwing a fit about it?

Given Ray's recent happenings I've been blogging with a tad more frequency but I realize that by doing this some of my other blog entries become buried in the archives only to be discovered weeks or months from now if one chooses to search them. In the series I started a couple of days ago called In the Ray Stevens Mood I posted links to his web-store. In an effort to not allow those links to fade into the blogger archives I'm going to re-post those links here...

Ray Stevens T-shirt

Let's Get Political booklet

In the Ray Stevens Mood, Part 3...

A funny thing happened on the way to my publishing my previous blog entry. Another web-site was putting together their page filled with more information about Ray's upcoming television and radio tour to promote the Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music. The web-site called Music News Nashville features a page filled with upcoming Ray Stevens appearances.  All show-times are in the Eastern time zone. Those who live in the Central or Western time zones will have to do the usual mathematics in determining the air-times in your area.

The fun begins on April 10th as I mentioned in my previous blog. Fox and Friends appearance during the 8am hour, a Fox News Radio interview on the Fox Across America program that evening during the 7:30pm half-hour, and a couple of interviews on SiriusXM sandwiched between the two Fox-related interviews round out the activities on April 10th.

I don't have a satellite radio but for the many that do Ray Stevens will appear on Channel 106 during the Freewheelin’ with Meredith Ochs & Chris T. program at 1pm. An hour later, on Channel 99, Ray will appear on the Raw Dog Comedy Channel on a program hosted by a personality named Mark Says Hi. Those with SiriusXM will know more about how to tune those programs in this Tuesday. If I find any podcasts or audio links of those satellite radio interviews I'll post them on this fan-created blog page as soon as possible.

On April 14th and April 15th the interview Ray gave on Crook and Chase a couple of months ago is suppose to be repeated on those two days on both of their shows: they host a syndicated series and then there's the series that airs on RFD-TV. The show airs on Sunday evening at 6pm on RFD-TV and so I'll check the program next weekend and see if the episode with Ray airs. There's been a habit where episodes are said to air but when the show comes on a completely different episode, with a different guest artist, is aired so I usually am leery about promoting upcoming appearances for their series due to the inaccuracies of air-date information.  Below is a link to an interview Ray gave recently on Michael Berry's radio program.

Michael Berry interviews Ray Stevens  

In the Ray Stevens Mood, Part 2...

Good Saturday morning all the Ray Stevens fans!! Well, on short notice I come with information that I found out late last night before leaving for work so I had no time to write about it sooner. Ray Stevens will appear on the Fox and Friends program Tuesday April 10th at 8am Eastern time.

I have no idea what will be discussed considering there are several things going on at the same time in his career...you see, sometimes his activities can appear like a pair of high-speed trains racing side by side on two separate sets of tracks...that's just how busy he can sometimes get!  He's not only promoting the 108-song Encyclopedia box set but there's the Branson, Missouri performance of "We The People" by Ray which hit You Tube the other day and a Tea Party gift package containing 2010's We The People CD, 2011's Spirit of '76 CD, a flag pin, and a booklet titled Let's Get Political...so he'll either be talking about the Encyclopedia or the Tea Party package...or perhaps both...

Besides the Fox and Friends appearance, Ray will give an interview on Fox News Radio's Spencer Hughes program at 7:30pm. I'll be listening to their web-site's audio stream and report back what I hear.

Next weekend RFD-TV should be airing Ray's interview with Crook and Chase...their show comes on at 6pm Eastern time on Sunday evening.

But wait...I'm not through yet...Ray uploaded a commercial/infomercial promoting his Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music. The video upload features Ray, of course, with Buddy Kalb discussing the collection and showing it off for the camera. That upload is embedded below...

By the way, the concert performance of "We The People" has 3,175 views at the moment.

April 6, 2012

In the Ray Stevens Mood...

Here we are on Good Friday...and In the Ray Stevens Mood...there are several new items up for sale at Ray's web-site store and I'm sure you all will probably want to add any of the items to your own collection. First off there's a new T-shirt promoting the Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music. It's a black T-shirt that reads Ray Stevens on top, with the gold comedy mask underneath, and the words Recorded Comedy Music below. Secondly there is a new hat with the gold comedy mask on it. Next we have a golden nugget from the past...a songbook that I hadn't seen for sale since the days that I was a member of Ray's FFFOL fan club. The songbook features a familiar publicity photo of Ray. That's not all...there is something that I call a Tea Party Extravaganza being offered, too. It consists of the 22-song, 4 music video project from 2010 called We The People that I've written extensively about, the American flag lapel pin, the 2011 project titled Spirit of '76 that I've also written about, PLUS a brand new booklet containing the lyrics to all the songs with commentary/opinion from both Ray Stevens and his songwriting partner-in-rhyme, Buddy Kalb. The booklet is titled Let's Get Political. For those who already have the 2010 and 2011 CD's you can purchase the Let's Get Political booklet separately for $9.95 which is what I did earlier this morning. Here are the links to the T-shirt and the booklet: 

Ray Stevens T-Shirt

Let's Get Political booklet

Now, of course, once you visit any of those links you can navigate to other parts of his site and other parts of the store for information about other products.

The Branson, Missouri performance of "We The People" from Ray Stevens that I posted the other day has risen to nearly 2,000 views on You Tube. Oh yes, I'm going to embed the video once again...

April 5, 2012

Ray Stevens: We The People in Concert...

A quick blog entry tonight...here's a brand new video of Ray performing "We The People" at a Branson, Missouri concert. My guess is this was taped during his previous slate of shows at the Welk Theater. It's gotten over 300 views at the moment.

Ray Stevens: The Tennessean Blogs...

Hello to the month of April!! A blog appeared at the Tennessean web-site from an author named Peter Cooper today. This is 1 month to the day that a previous blog by Cindy Watts appeared in the Tennessean's web-site, too. The first link I've posted before while the second one, of course, is new. Also, the second link is a lot more in-depth but there's one error that I caught while skimming the article. The author states that "Ahab the Arab" was a Top-10 country hit in 1962. It was actually a Top-10 pop hit that year...if we get more technical it was a Top-5 pop hit but I generally don't split up the two halves of the Top-10 like that. If something reaches #10 through #2 I refer to it as a 'top-10 hit' but I know of some out there who get more technically specific than I do and refer to a Top-10 as anything from #10 to #6, etc.

Cindy Watts March 5, 2012

Peter Cooper April 5, 2012

In the second article there's a good amount of discussion about the overbearing nuisance that's political correctness (my words, not Cooper's). The very idea that music, in all forms, is not suppose to offend anybody is at the crux of why mainstream radio shuns the novelty song. In my point of view humor has always been subjective...not everyone has the same tastes and not everyone finds the same things humorous...when it comes to comedy, radio's become like a 200 ton obstacle...and when a comedy single doesn't get airplay/exposure how could a comedy recording become a hit on radio anyhow?

This is why the select few who still turn out comedy/novelty material on a fairly regular basis have turned to satellite radio and social media outlets. You can still reach a sizable audience with satellite radio and the social media outlets. As I see it, Ray Stevens reaches an even wider audience than your typical artist currently on the radio because of that on-line direction his career's been on for the last 5 or so years...but the argument isn't about his ability to reach audiences, it's about the perception of comedy music, and his goal of introducing a lot of the classics of the genre to newer audiences who may have never heard of those songs until now. As he's said in several interviews since he first mentioned the Encyclopedia back in 2010, he doesn't want these songs to fade away or become obscure bits of trivia.