June 30, 2012

Ray Stevens and ObamaTax...

Good Saturday afternoon Ray Stevens fans!!

I wanted to give it a couple of days before this particular fan of Ray Stevens made a reply about the disgusting ruling by the Supreme Court on June 28, 2012.

All over the media in radio, on TV, and on-line the Democrats were giddy with excitement and not above gloating...going even further to call anyone who disagreed with the Supreme Court as "sore losers" and unwilling to "move on" after the ruling was made. This tactic will be something Democrats will play to the hilt as the summer turns to fall and the elections get even closer. They intend to portray those who consistently question the Supreme Court ruling from here on out as ignoring the economy and the unemployment crisis.

First things first...when you have a ruling based upon the language of a lawyer, as in "it's a tax, not a penalty", and not based upon what's actually written in the law...well, yes, you better believe there's going to be an outrage and a controversy that will fuel the summer and fall of 2012. I'm highly questionable over the ruling's validity anyhow simply because of how the law was upheld based upon a lawyer's choice of words rather than based on the language in the law itself. In the very first Obamacare bill, it was described as a tax but it was rewritten to exclude the usage of the tax word...but yet it was argued as a tax by Obama's lawyers. In my opinion, an underhanded way of judicial persuasion. Just because the Obama people and the liberals on the Supreme Court accept it as a "tax" doesn't change a thing...it's still Government run healthcare and the American people will have no say in the matter. Now, because this was ruled a tax, this becomes the largest tax increase on ALL PEOPLE in the history of the Federal Government of the United States...and that in itself is a great issue for Romney to campaign on. Those with healthcare are going to subsidize, through taxation by the IRS, those without healthcare...and there will be taxes imposed on practically everything. Those who refuse to purchase healthcare, simply because they don't want it, will have to pay a penalty which has been ruled a tax.   

Staying focused on Obamacare, which I saw being referred to now as ObamaTax, bolstered the Mitt Romney campaign...in the hours after the Supreme Court decision his campaign received more than 4 million dollars from supporters and given the way the Supreme Court ruled on lawyer argument rather than facts it's given the Romney campaign a hot button issue to run with...in addition to the economy and unemployment. Any person can multitask...Romney can hammer the Obama administration on all kinds of foreign and domestic policies: whether it's healthcare, the debt/deficit, unemployment, military decisions, social decisions, etc. etc.

The Democrats, of course, are going to play it out that Romney is only focused on healthcare and nothing more. As I've said a gazillion times in other blog entries, the Democrat playbook is so obvious. They pander to the poor with promises of entitlement programs and they cater the politically uneducated because it's easy to manipulate and shape the mindset of those who don't pay attention to what's really going on.

Obama needs thrown out of power and the Senate needs conservative control...that's the only way Obamacare can be repealed and replaced with any number of health care reform alternatives that MANY conservative law makers have drafted over the last 3-4 years. A popular talking point among Democrats in the media is to say that Republicans "have no ideas to improve health care" and it simply isn't true. If the Democrats would open their ears they'd hear the alternatives loud and clear.

Ray Stevens sings Obamacare

After watching that performance from Ray Stevens, keep in mind that Obamacare is still unconstitutional...a clever deception of word usage by Obama's lawyers doesn't change the facts of this law. Obama has the honor of signing into law the biggest tax increase in the history of the United States.

Ray Stevens asked, in song, "Mr. President - Mr. President...what are you going to to??". An answer now would be "I'll increase their taxes and my supporters will be so enchanted by me they won't even realize it. I'm so cute and clever...hey, anyone for golf?".

Ray Stevens asks Mr. President some questions...

June 15, 2012

Ray Stevens: 50 Years of Hits and Hilarity...

It's finally Friday!! I was not at my computer much on Thursday and so I missed the big DVD news from Ray Stevens and so I'm commenting on it now. Not one, not two, but Three brand new DVD releases have become available at Ray's web-store. First off there's the long awaited DVD release of Get Serious! that I wrote about in my previous blog entry on Wednesday...wondering when a DVD release would become available...then on Friday morning I'm alerted to the news that a DVD of that 1995 movie has finally saw the light of day in DVD format. The movie runs 110 minutes...that's 1 hour, 50 minutes...and it's a whimsical story that parallels a not too humorous situation that all kinds of comedians were facing by the early 1990's. Honestly, though, the situation facing many comedians by the early '90s had been slowly building since the mid to late '70s but it wouldn't be until around 1991-1992, that era, where the situation seemed to form like a noose around comedians, in general.

Well-established comics, whose popularity was originally obtained in a different time period but were by now viewed as legendary figures, were also being subjected to the mentality of a contemporary society and many legendary comics were tainted by the accusations of political incorrectness by a modern-day audience.

Get Serious!, in it's own way, addresses the concept of political correctness while a secondary plot addresses the music business and how industry conglomeration and predetermined airplay at radio stations destroys the chances for anyone creative or unique to make it given how similar radio programmers want the music to sound. In the movie Ray becomes a fugitive, of sorts, running from a local policeman whose formed a posse comprised of people that Ray's sang about in his songs. The music executive and his minions are also in pursuit because of Ray's refusal to get serious and stop singing comedy songs. Now that the movie has finally become available on DVD you all can purchase the film that I've glowingly commented on the last several years. The link will be at the end of the entry.

Secondly, there are the DVD releases of a concert filmed at The Welk Theater in Branson, Missouri. The concert is broken up into two parts and so the DVD comes into two volumes. The first volume is called Such a Night: 50 Years of Hits and Hilarity. As the more consistent readers of this blog are aware, 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of "Ahab the Arab".

The second part of the concert comes in a DVD titled Patriots and Politics. Those who attended the concerts down at The Welk Theater and those who read the reviews and saw some of the pics were let it on how the second half of the concerts were politically oriented. His Tea Party music videos had become popular on You Tube and so it was only natural that this part of his career would be showcased in a concert setting, too.

As you know, politics is a highly debatable subject matter. Some of the concert goers who hadn't necessarily paid much attention to Ray's career and were going because of the older songs they remember him for were genuinely surprised by the political segment. Some liked it and others did not. I assume the polarizing effect of politics is what led to the item description for this particular DVD release. When you click it's link you'll see what I mean.

There are CD versions of those DVD concerts...if you're budget minded you'll probably prefer the soundtracks since they're a bit cheaper than the DVD counterpart. However, Ray has always been a visual attraction...using a lot of sight gags and props in his performances...which is lost to a person listening to an audio CD.

Here's the titles of the DVDs once more:

Such a Night: 50 Years of Hits and Hilarity

Patriots and Politics

Get Serious!

The DVD main page can be found here at: Ray Stevens DVDs. Once there you can click each of new releases to read the information.

June 13, 2012

Ray Stevens 9-CD box set, Part 19...

Good Wednesday morning all the Ray Stevens fans!! A few hours ago an article about Ray became available on the Taste of Country web-site. The article promotes Ray's 9-CD box set, The Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music. You can read the article by clicking the following: Taste of Country. The page includes a music video of "Shriner's Convention" that Ray did in 1995 for his Get Serious! movie.

A few weeks back Ray had mentioned that the long out of print movie will probably see a DVD release by the end of the year. I hope it becomes available on DVD, as I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, for the simple fact that the VCR that I still have isn't getting any younger and you just can't walk into a shopping store nowadays and find VCR's readily available. I have a DVD player as well but a lot of my older products are in VHS format...and thankfully, for the most part, the VHS titles have been re-released in DVD format...but there are just some things that were issued on VHS that have not made it to DVD...and Get Serious! is one of them.

Next month, July, marks the Golden Anniversary of "Ahab the Arab" reaching the Top-10 on the Hot 100. It would reach it's Top-5 peak position the first week of August 1962. The song debuted on the Hot 100 in May 1962. I wrote a blog entry a few weeks back detailing the song reaching it's 50th anniversary. I'll write some more in the coming months about the song and list a few of the other songs that were in the Top-10 on the Hot 100 that week, too. 

June 10, 2012

Ray Stevens on WGNA radio...

Ray Stevens gave an interview on WGNA radio a couple of days ago. An audio link was provided at the station's web-site. The interview was conducted by a disc jockey at the station, Kevin Richards, and the segment aired during a program he hosts called The Classic Country Hall of Fame Show. I found this out by reading the profile page at the station's web-site.

I just got through listening to Parts 1 and 2.

In part 1, Ray talks about the songs in general and the host asks about "It's Me Again, Margaret" and tells Ray about his earlier days playing Ray's songs in the late '80s. Ray talks about the songwriter, Paul Craft, and the story behind why the naughty laugh was added to the version Ray recorded. The original, from it's writer, lacks this feature.

Ironically, Part 1 has a much shorter time span than Part 2. Part 1 runs a little under 5 minutes while Part 2 is more than 6 minutes.

One of the things you'll notice right away is the playback doesn't feature any of the songs that the host played in the original airing of the interview. My guess as to why might be tied into some law or another that prohibits music from being played back in archives (a royalties oriented issue if that's the case) but that's just my guess. Songs that are discussed in the interview are "It's Me Again, Margaret", "Running Bear", "May The Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose", "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke that Cigarette", "Along Came Jones", "I'm My Own Grandpaw", and "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It's Flavor". Songs mentioned, briefly, but not discussed were "Gitarzan", "Ahab the Arab", "I Still Write Your Name in the Snow", and "Would Jesus Wear a Rolex?". There is a link to Part 2 contained within the Part 1 link.

WGNA radio interview, Part 1

Richards has a profile page at the station and you can click the interview links with Ray Stevens while there, or in the link below, or click the link located above for the radio station web-site. The profile page may load quicker because of it's lack of extra features and other bells and whistles so if you have a slow connection or your computer just runs slow you'd be more inclined, obviously, to click the profile page and click the provided links for the Ray Stevens interview.

Kevin Richards WGNA