August 30, 2012

Ray Stevens: Obama Nation, Part 13...

Well, it's a Thursday morning! The "Obama Nation" music video's gotten nearly 20,000 additional views since my previous blog entry. The totals so far are 542,174!

You can get "Obama Nation" for 99 cents Here. Obviously you can watch the video on You Tube, too.

We have two full months to go (September and October) before it's election anyone anxious, nervous, worried, optimistic? I'm optimistic...I really do feel that the Obama supporters are a very loud segment of the country, but not a majority, and that on election night the Romney-Ryan duo will clobber the Obama-Biden tandem.  

The opposition, from my point of view, is very desperate and are showing their true selves as the country draws closer and closer to the 2012 elections.  Whenever I see pundits on TV applauding Obama or Biden it makes me think that they're stuck in 2007/2008 and that reality escapes them. The Obama crowd...they're the ones who are truly out of's one of those scenarios where you wish that you could just reach through the TV screen and tell them to wake up and do some fact checking!!

The liberal leaning cable networks and many liberal-slanted writers for newspapers and current event magazines are at their boiling point. You can see it if you catch a glimpse of any of the circus shows broadcast from the liberal channels and you can read it with your own eyes, too, if you're able to stomach any number of liberal blogs.

They're at their boiling point because, let's face it, they see the writing on the wall pretty much.  

The modern-day Democrats should be called the Divisive Party for pretty much everything they champion has an underlying layer of division to it. Whether it be the intentional division of people based on their financial state, their sex, their race, their religion, their ethnicity, or their age. The Divisive Party likes to break people down into various categories that they can pander to when the time's right.

In the "Obama Nation", apparently the President wants people to be envious and jealous of one another!? He hasn't said fact, many of his speeches are peppered with rhetoric that encourages resentment of those who are better off financially and, or, socially. If you feel I'm over-reacting a bit just take a listen to quite a few of his speeches and really digest what exactly he's saying. When you digest it then you, too, will get that nauseating feeling in your stomach as many of us get.

August 27, 2012

Ray Stevens: Obama Nation, Part 12...

An early Monday morning my previous blog entry I commented that the "Obama Nation" music video from Ray Stevens was ever so close to reaching the half a million mark! At the time the video had 499,280 views. Later that day I checked the totals and it indeed cracked the 500,000 mark...500,426 to be specific. A few hours later it had jumped to 500,926. I didn't look at the totals on Saturday. I looked on Sunday afternoon and seen that it had increased even more to 517,852 unique views...and at the moment it's sitting with 522,452!! As you can tell it's a pick-up of more than 21,000 views over the weekend which is pretty good considering how the weekend usually finds people away from their computers for large periods of time. I'm often away from the computer much of the weekend as well. It's almost playoff time in baseball and soon the NFL football season will be underway.

Did anyone see the movie, 2016: Obama's America? I'm not a movie goer but I read some of the commentary from those who saw it and read some of the commentary from those who said they'd never watch it. Critics, I should say partisan critics, of the film label it as pure propaganda from a conservative point of view and non-factual. Does anyone else out there have a suspicion that the critics of this film were praising the anti-Bush projects that were filling the movie and television screens a couple of election cycles ago? I hope the film grosses millions upon millions at the box office and in DVD sales. As mentioned, I'm not a movie goer, but based upon the commentary it sounds like a factual movie.   

35 years ago in 1977 Ray Stevens was on the charts with a catchy number called "Dixie Hummingbird". This particular song became a hit in various parts of the country, often referred to as a regional or local hit in the music business, but it didn't break into the Top-40 half of the national country music charts. Nationally it peaked a few slots below #40 but as many, many readers of this blog are well aware, chart numbers and statistics don't necessarily tell the Ray Stevens story and that's a big reason why the numbers belie his true popularity. A lot of the time, based on my way of thinking, radio programmers were to blame for the lack of major chart runs. It was typically a combination of presumption and prejudice, I think, on the part of major market radio programmers who felt that a 'Ray Stevens song' shouldn't acquire the same attention, as say, a new George Jones song or something new from Ronnie Milsap because Ray's "a comedy act" and "shouldn't be taken seriously.". That's just my opinion, though, but I feel my opinion is accurate considering that even today a lot of critics have a very difficult time taking Ray's thoughts and feelings seriously and they derogatorily write him off as nothing more than "a comedy act".        

It's often been said that comedy music can be interpreted many, many ways. Sometimes the intentions behind a song can become misunderstood by the audience. Often a serious, introspective thought can be taken the wrong way and come across comical by the listener...or at the other extreme, something meant to be sarcastic and funny, is taken seriously. In other words a comedy/novelty song, specifically, can take on a life of it's own through fan interpretation. As an example is this 1979 single from Ray Stevens titled "I Need Your Help, Barry Manilow". Written by Dale Gonyea, some people who heard the song back when it was new and some who've discovered the song in subsequent years/decades walk away with various interpretations of what the song is all about. Some take it as a tribute while others see it as a wicked parody. Some take it seriously while others see a satiric intent. I happen to love the song, as a song...I've never interpreted it as a wicked parody or a legitimate homage. The only thing I knew is when I heard it I loved it! I first heard this song in the early '90s when a 1987 Ray Stevens compilation from MCA entered my personal collection. Greatest Hits, Volume Two contains this hit. As you can see the publicity department pulled out all the stops when promoting the song. The single's picture sleeve was a spoof of Manilow's second studio album. The cover art of the 1979 Ray Stevens album that contained the song, The Feeling's Not Right Again, visually parodied the Manilow album from 1975 titled Tryin' To Get the Feeling. "I Need Your Help, Barry Manilow" reached the Top-50 on the Hot 100 and the Top-20 on the Adult-Contemporary lists in 1979. This became Ray's final pop music hit.

August 24, 2012

Ray Stevens: Obama Nation, Part 11...

Good Friday morning! is my typical routine I just came over from You Tube and seen that the Ray Stevens "Obama Nation" music video's ever so close to half a million views! Yesterday when I checked it was sitting at 489,752 and this morning it's at 499,280!! This means that there's just 720 unique views to obtain in reaching the 500,000 plateau. The video should cross the half a million mark in a couple of hours as more and more people are discovering it's existence. I've noticed that it's being embedded on more and more blogs, too, which helps spread the video around. The song speaks directly to the frustrations and annoyances of living in an "Obama Nation" and the thick layer of arrogance and divisive tactics that trickles out of the Oval Office on a constant basis. I'll check the totals later on today to see if the video obtained half a million unique should...but we'll see what the totals show in a couple of hours. In the picture off to the left is my display of the Ray Stevens book, Let's Get Political. I've written about the book before but for those new to this blog it's a book that contains lyrics to the songs from Ray's 2010 and 2011 albums, We The People and Spirit of '76 respectively. Ray's promoting those two CD's as well as his 9-CD Encyclopedia project...what other artist promotes not one, not two, but three projects at the same time! The book wasn't promoted that much but ever now and then I like to post a picture of it. It's available at Ray's web-store.

I own the Spirit of '76 in Mp3 format. I don't own the CD copy and so that's why, for the moment, you've never seen a picture of me showing off the CD. At some point I plan on purchasing the CD version just for posterity's sake but it was simply super easy to purchase the Mp3 with a couple of clicks of the mouse rather than send off for the CD through a mail-order. The CD was released in 2011. At the moment Spirit of '76 features the hits "The Skies Just Ain't Friendly Anymore", "God Save Arizona", "Obama Budget Plan", and "Mr. President - Mr. President". The reason I began the previous sentence by stating 'at the moment' is because chances are that Ray will re-visit this CD as we move into the heart of the election season...which by my calculations the elections will not start to really pick up in intensity, as far as wall-to-wall media coverage is concerned, until late September at the earliest. However, Ray may let his current hit, "Obama Nation", ride the rest of the election cycle. One of the songs from We The People that I assumed would've been released as a music video is "We Are the Government". That song, like so many others on the 2010 CD, fits Obama and the current political climate so well that it has the potential to resonate with people once they hear it. So far it's not been made into a video...but it's a very funny song nonetheless.

By now you've probably long figured out that Obama's approach to his re-election is to demonize the wealthy, demonize those who don't need a Government handout and admonish them for not "giving back", and lastly he'll demonize those who have plans for saving Medicare and Social Security. If you notice, many of the TV commercials that run in support of Obama make no mention of his actual record. Instead what we see are divisive attack ads made against Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan based on lies and distortions of the truth. Obama and company would rather have people thinking about Romney's wealth and so-called "connections" instead of Obama's destructive domestic and foreign policies. Early commercials were fixated on Romney's personal finances...demonizing him on the grounds of simply being successful. Other commercials from the DNC as well as the Obama sponsored ads added more to the murky puddle.

Once the debates air and the public at large realizes that neither Obama nor Biden have any solutions but instead have a trunk full of personal insults they can throw Romney and Ryan's way the quicker the public will realize how petty, low down, and full of themselves that Obama and Biden truly are. The debates, from the Democrat's side of things, will be nothing more than a blame game and incoherency wrapped up in a Utopian fantasy narrative. Once Romney and Obama debate one another the Independent voters of 2008 will see what I'm talking about...for me there's no way that Obama can "win" the debate as long as the topics are rooted in facts. You see, based upon previous debates, Obama likes to change the facts and use a lot of what if's and maybe's in his reasoning...he often likes to belittle whoever he's debating with and ramble on and on until a person's ears fall asleep. That's just my experience during the few times I've attempted to stomach Obama's condescending style. I bet ear plug sales spike whenever word gets out that he's going to make a speech but that's just a guess.

Paul Ryan will do circles around Joe Biden, but that's just my theory...but I'm sure millions of other people agree. On the left there's Biden, on the right there's Ryan...we all know that Biden, based on history, is going to try and get cute and say some God awful things and attempt to make a point where there's no point to be made. The smirk filled Biden, I hope, is rendered speechless during the Vice Presidential debate.

August 23, 2012

Ray Stevens: Obama Nation, Part 10...

Hello all...I just looked at the "Obama Nation" numbers since my last blog post and there's been an increase of 44,382 views. This brings the total number of on-line views to 489,752...a little more than 10,000 shy of half a million. It was uploaded on July 23, 2012 and so today marks the 1 month anniversary of it's You Tube debut. Considering that the video's been getting anywhere between 5,000 to 10,000 views on a daily basis it should vault past the half a million mark real soon. Will it top 1,000,000 on-line views? I have no would be great if it would...

One of the things that I do know is the United States can't take four more years of the Obama Administration. This coming Election Day 2012 will be an important turning point...will even more voters wake up and see the destruction that the Obama policies have ushered in during the last three and a half years? I hope so!

The "Obama Nation" Mp3 sells for 99 cents and can be purchased by clicking the following Obama Nation Mp3 Amazon link.

Whenever Ray puts out a new music video the comment sections are ultimately invaded by the opposing point of view and once that happens the comment section on the song's main video page becomes a haven for left-wing hate speech and progressive propaganda and so I rarely watch his videos from their main page after awhile and instead I watch them elsewhere (places free of vile user comments). 

It took a bit longer than usual but the left-wingers and the freeloaders of America have since discovered the "Obama Nation" video and in typical fashion they've polluted the comment section at You Tube with their name-calling, their insidious race baiting language, and their vile attempts at humor. Here's the embedded video once more...the marvelous "Obama Nation" song from Ray Stevens...ENJOY!!!

August 20, 2012

Ray Stevens: Nostalgia Valley, Part 37...

In the Ray Stevens Nostalgia Valley this time around we take a look at a gem of an album from the late 1980's.

It's Ray's 1989 album, Beside Myself. This particular collection contains ten recordings, the standard total for many country music albums at the time. The thing that caused this album to stand out amongst his many fans was the inclusion of serious ballads...something that had been missing from the albums of Ray Stevens since 1983. When Ray joined the MCA label in 1984 he intentionally released nothing but comedy albums...remarking in interviews that the comedy songs from his past are what the public at large is overwhelmingly familiar with and in spite of the fact that he'd been recording ballad-heavy albums for years, in between the occasional comedy release, the public always seemed to insist on the comical side. Ray had consistently made mention in his interviews that the comical songs are just 1 aspect of his career. In 1980 he released "The Shriner's Convention" and amidst that comedy song's greatest popularity in the spring of that year he remarked that he wanted to distance himself from the comedy image and return to ballads and serious works. He did just that...from 1981 through 1983 he released three studio albums of ballads/serious songs...and then he joined MCA the following year as a comedy act. The risk paid off...from 1984 through 1989 Ray had one monster hit comedy album after the other. His first two albums for the label sold more than half a million copies within 2 years...the second comedy album had even reached #1 on the Country Album chart in early 1986...a feat unheard of for an all-comedy release at that point in time. By 1989 when Beside Myself was released Ray had been the recipient of numerous industry and fan-voted awards for his comedy albums and songs. The Music City News readers would go on to vote Ray as their Comedian of the Year from 1986 through 1994, 9 consecutive years! The first 5 songs on this album are ballads...and on the album's cover you see a more serious looking Ray positioned first. The remaining 5 songs are depicted on the cover with Ray in clown disguise. The album also featured a lot more songs from the pen of Ray Stevens, too. If you look at the songwriter credits on this 1989 album you'll see that Ray co-wrote 9 of the 10 songs. The one song that Ray didn't have a hand at writing was "Marion Michael Morrison", the salute to movie icon John Wayne. That song was written by Ray's longtime songwriting partner and friend, Buddy Kalb. The album's opening track is "Your Bozo's Back Again"...once more, with a title like that you'd think it would be a novelty song but it's a gorgeous ballad recording complete with calliope sound effects. Ray recently re-recorded this song for a CD titled Bozo's Back's just as great as the 1989 original.

The song that kicks off the comical portion of Beside Myself is "I Saw Elvis In a U.F.O." which became a famous stage performance of Ray's at his theater in Branson, Missouri during the early 1990's. In the stage performances in Missouri, Ray used a filmed sequence on a giant video screen depicting the first part of the recording where a news anchor and a news reporter bring the story of a U.F.O. sighting in the woods. The witness tells of his encounter with the U.F.O. All three roles are played by Ray Stevens, of course. Now, along side this visual aid is the giant U.F.O. replica that swoops down and hovers over the stage, pink alien dancers running everywhere, and a super quick costume change into an Elvis-style jumpsuit. You can see this performance in the home video, Ray Stevens Live!, from 1993. Ray performed the song on the annual Music City News awards in 1989 and I believe that was the first time he performed it on stage. It didn't have all the bells and whistles that the Branson concert would have but it was a dry run of what the Branson performance would feature. When the camera panned the audience it shown George Jones quite amused at the production. That performance is located below...

August 19, 2012

Ray Stevens in Concert...

A new concert date has recently been added to the Ray Stevens tour schedule. He'll appear at the Effingham Performance Center in Effingham, Illinois on September 22, 2012 at 8pm. There is no indication, for those who live in nearby states, of whether that concert time is in the Central or Eastern time zone and so for those in Effingham, Illinois but especially those who may have time zone questions make sure to find that out, of don't want to show up an hour late if you happen to live in the Eastern time zone.

This is a concert, as mentioned, that was recently added. This is on the heels of his 2 concert stop on September 21st in Shipshewana, Indiana at the Blue Gate Theater.

On September 29th he'll be in Renfro Valley, Kentucky.

His first 'concerts' of October will be 2 performance segments at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee on October 6th. The Opry appearances aren't conventional "concerts" for those unaware. The Opry's radio format is broken into 30 minute segments, each hosted by a different Opry member.

Sometimes they have two 15 minute segments within a half hour, each hosted by a different Opry member and a designated sponsor. Typically the host of the segment will open with a song and then do some patter with the announcer or a band member...then comes a commercial read by the announcer. Afterward the first singer of the segment comes out and does 1 or 2 songs depending on their length. After some more commercials, the host brings out a second performer...sometimes it'll be another Opry member and sometimes it'll be a guest. If it's a guest, particularly a currently popular guest, he/she will often be allowed as many as 4 songs to perform. If the guest is moderately popular he/she could still be able to perform a few of their biggest or best-known recordings.

Usually anytime Ray appears at the Opry they turn over most of a half hour segment to him perhaps due to his guest status or the fact that he draws a strong fan base of enthusiastic followers/fans and the Opry personnel don't want to disappoint those who may have traveled a good ways to see him...perhaps it's a combination of both.

Ray is one of the few guests at the Grand Ole Opry who get nearly a complete half hour...usually this kind of treatment is reserved to Opry members that often don't get the opportunity to appear that much during a calendar year (results of a demanding touring schedule more than likely). In the various guest spots that Ray has appeared on at the Opry he's performed mostly the songs that have been linked to him for many years: "Everything Is Beautiful", "It's Me Again, Margaret", "The Streak", "Mississippi Squirrel Revival", and "Misty". An appearance during a Halloween themed segment a few years ago had him performing the funny but seldom if ever performed, "Booger Man" (a song from his 1988 album).

After the Opry appearances on October 6th, Ray Stevens heads off to New Mexico for an October 13th concert in Mescalero at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino. You can read more about that appearance Here.

You can get all the information about these concerts and several others by visiting the Events section of the Ray Stevens web-site.

Ray Stevens 9-CD box set, Part 20...

This is the most recent commercial for the Ray Stevens 9-CD box set, The Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music. I saw some responses for this commercial at a social network seems a few people have seen the commercial on their local television channels. I hadn't seen it on my television yet...if I do I'll make note of it in a future blog entry.

I say it's the most recent commercial because there have been a couple of commercials uploaded on Ray's You Tube channel of various run time but this is the extended length version that features a voice over by Charlie Chase, a legendary fixture in country music radio and TV. The first commercial ran 4 minutes and featured Ray's songwriter friend, Buddy Kalb, detailing the encyclopedia's contents. Since the first upload ran 4 minutes, way too long for a TV commercial, a trimmed down and updated commercial was put together featuring Charlie Chase doing the voice over. The extended commercial runs 1 minute, 34 seconds and then there's an even more trimmed down version running just 45 seconds featuring the same voice over by Charlie Chase.

The ad that runs 45 seconds features a visual for "Cigareets, Whiskey, and Wild, Wild Women". The ad that runs more than 1 minute lacks that visual addition. The first ad that was uploaded to You Tube, the one that runs 4 minutes, has gotten more than 6,000 views. The 4 minute ad is described and presented as an infomercial...which is why it has a longer run time. Ray offers extended commentary in this ad which you won't see in the shorter commercials.

The 4 minute infomercial is below...

The ordering information isn't shown in those uploads...that sort of thing is tacked on separately whenever they air on TV. Those who are becoming aware of the Encyclopedia can seek it out at Ray's on-line store. A link to the collection is located Here. Once there you'll see a track list for all 9 CD's and an Add to Cart option. Ray also has quite a few newer releases that I'll be purchasing in the near while there you can browse the CD and DVD area for the other new releases, too.

Ray Stevens: Obama Nation, Part 9...

Hello to all the fans of Ray Stevens...the "Obama Nation" music video's gotten a pick-up of more than 70,000 views since my previous blog entry. The total number of views at that time was 372,579 and at last look the view total was 445,370. This is a pick-up of 72,791 views. I'd love to see it reach half a million unique views at some point this week...perhaps with a new work week around the corner the video will vault into the 500,000 level by Wednesday.

Politics and news seem to take a back seat on the matter the situation at hand...and then once Monday rolls around it's "back to normal" where people seem more focused on current events and politics. Ray recently did an interview and I posted the various embedded videos into the Part 7 entry of this Obama Nation series of blogs. So, of course, for those who want to see the interview you can always search the right hand side of the page in the archives and click the entry titled Ray Stevens: Obama Nation, Part 7.

One of the things that happens when any celebrity not closely affiliated with a political point of view suddenly becomes politically oriented is the accusation of some as being disingenuous. 

Ray genuinely believes in the things he says and sings about...and there's no secretive desired outcome on his part or any secret that he aligns himself with the Tea Party and conservatives.

It's obviously a case where people through time have mistakenly overused a word that by definition is inaccurate.

It's laughable when I read commentary out there on the internet suggesting that because Ray's political points of view have become part of his career lately that somehow he's "changed" from the days of "Everything Is Beautiful". Ray's still the same person. I've read and watched a lot of his interviews from all time periods of his career and the only difference between 2012 and 1970 (the year "Everything Is Beautiful" was issued) is he's gotten older and he isn't clean shaven anymore...but basically his overall view of life hasn't changed from what I've been able to gather by being a fan of his for so long.

He still sings "Everything Is Beautiful" in his concerts and believes in peace, happiness, and treating your fellow person right...but for whatever reason the liberals can't believe a person can have those character traits and still side with conservatives and the Tea Party.

I'd like to see where it's written in stone that a conservative or an Independent can't be for peace and brotherhood, too.

August 12, 2012

Ray Stevens: Obama Nation, Part 8...

Here we early Sunday morning on August 12, 2012...looking at the numbers for "Obama Nation" I see that it's gained more than 60,000 additional views since my previous blog entry. The total number of views as of now are 372,579! The "Obama Nation" Mp3 can be purchased Here.

The song comes from Ray's album, We The People, which to date has gotten 26 reviews on Amazon...23 of those reviews give the project 4 stars or better. 20 of those 23 gave the project 5 stars. This leaves us with a difference of 3. One customer gave the project 3 stars while 2 customers rated it a 1 star.

Polarizing responses are quite commonplace when it comes to projects with a political overtone. Those who love the messages being championed and praised in the songs are going to love the project while those of an opposing point of view are going to trash and rip apart the songs and the artist.

The video's gotten more than 300 comments...and it's sad but true that there's plenty of people who still rush to Obama's defense in spite of everything that's went on since January 2009. Those people, for a lack of a better word, are mostly ignorant about the things the President has done. If not ignorance then it's total agreement with the policies of Obama, or, people simply don't care how the President wants to run the country...and that's more worse.  

In other news, this is the day after the announcement was made by Mitt Romney that his running mate will be Paul Ryan.

I, like a lot of people, applaud the decision...for some people the choice came out of left field but for a lot of other people it makes perfect sense. I was watching, on and off, the coverage on Fox News most of yesterday afternoon and evening and couldn't believe the things I was hearing from the Democrat personalities...for they were setting up a storyline for the next three months to focus on non-issues that fail to really address the problems of the day.

Obama speaks to the envious, jealous, and covetous...when he stated that he wants to level the playing field, what he really meant is he wants to take from the wealthy and take from the successful and give it to those who didn't earn it. He's also counting on people being ignorant about the relevant issues, specifically his failings and the all too true bloated expansion of the Federal Government, and he hopes to have voters focusing on class envy, societal values, and a Utopian fantasy land.

Now with the announcement of Paul Ryan as a running mate...a no-nonsense fiscal hawk...Romney has an even better chance of beating Obama in November. The economy will be a driving force in the 2012 election and who better to have as a running mate than a Congressman with a strong track record in economic legislation. In November voters will have a clear choice on how the country will be ran for the next four years. Do we want more of Obama/Biden and the overbearing Federal Government having their hands all over our personal lives or do we want a hands-off Federal Government that doesn't seek to control and dictate how we live our lives. I think the choice is pretty obvious...if you want the latter then vote Romney/Ryan in November. In all honesty I don't understand how anybody could want massive regulations and a controlling Federal Government...unless, as mentioned, some people out there are simply ignorant and don't understand what Obama's really doing and how the personal liberties we all have are threatened by his Administration.

"Obama Nation" speaks to it, listen to it, and enjoy it.

August 10, 2012

Ray Stevens: Obama Nation, Part 7...

Well, in this blog entry I come with not one but two video uploads recently added to You Tube featuring Ray Stevens! It's an interview Ray gave on Steve Gill's radio's broken into two parts...

Part 1...

It's a wonderful clip and it shows Ray in top form as he discusses politics, namely "Obama Nation". One of the highlights is hearing Ray give thanks to a certain area of the country for all of his success since the beginning of his career.

Here is Part 2...

August 8, 2012

Ray Stevens: Obama Nation, Part 6...

Good Wednesday morning! "Obama Nation" continues to be a's gotten over 310,000 views in a little more than 2 weeks time. Of course, for me, the next major plateau is for the video to cross into half a million territory! Based on the fact that it's already in the 300,000+ range, I feel the video will surpass the 500,000 mark rather quickly. The video has the makings of being one of his million-viewing successes. 

While searching Facebook a few minutes ago I came across a link to a brand new interview with Ray Stevens. The interview is conducted by a duo known as Kim and Ken. There is an Interview Archive section at their web-site and so if you come across this blog entry several days or weeks from now and can't find Ray's interview in the link below then you will have click their Interview Archive link once you're at their site.

Kim and Ken Interview Ray Stevens 

The interview is upbeat most of the time, hilarious a lot of the time, but also serious and reflective when the discussion turn towards mortality and the losses of Andy Griffith and George Lindsey within the last couple of months. There's also discussion of political issues which offer a lot of opportunity to discuss You Tube, his music videos, and how humor works during harsh economic times.

Kim brings up Ray having a hit single from the 1970's in Bangkok. The single was "Love Lifted Me" in 1972...Ray had arranged the song in a rock and roll delivery and it reached the music charts in Bangkok. Ray doesn't recall having a hit over there given that he's never appeared there but I looked up the single that was confusing the three of them and sure enough it was a chart hit in Bangkok. It was ranked in that country's Top-30 list for the week ending October 7, 1972.

Here's a link showing the Billboard Hits of the World section from a Google book search I did. You can click the plus sign once there to increase the image's size. You'll see Ray's single listed in the Top-20. The countries are in alphabetical order starting with Argentina.

August 5, 2012

Ray Stevens: Obama Nation, Part 5...

It's an early Sunday morning as I write this latest fan created blog entry about Ray Stevens. It's also a windy morning, too, as severe thunderstorms will be passing through later this morning and into the afternoon...causing my usual practice of shutting the computer off until the weather clears. I decided to do an early blog entry since I hadn't posted one at this time of the day in awhile...but mostly the reason for it is to make mention of the latest music video from Ray Stevens, "Obama Nation", obtaining more than 40,000 unique views since my previous entry. The video began it's 2nd week of on-line availability on July 31 (it was uploaded on July 23). This increase brings the music video to 242,783 within a near 2 week time frame of July 23-August 5. Technically tomorrow, August 6th, will mark the end of it's 2nd week on-line with August 7th kicking off week 3. By that time I hope the music video is even more closer to or over the 300,000 mark. It's certainly possible considering the pace the video's on. Hopefully Ray will appear on television programs and promote the video...or the producers of any number of politically-driven programming will give the video some publicity as the summer fades into the fall and the 2012 elections get closer.

It's almost 3 months to the day that America will cast their vote for President...a hugely important election due to the implications that another 4 years of Obama will cost the nation both financially and socially. In 2008 the voters, in general, were not really aware of the radicalism and unorthodox ways of Obama but since he's been in office and his policy decisions have been on full display for the country to take notice of I highly doubt that he'll be swept into office the second time around as he was in 2008. His supporters like to say that the voters were well aware of Obama's visions for the country and they voted him in because of it. Reality, though, states that the voters were fixated on a myriad of issues that traditionally the 'Democrat' candidate are stronger in. Even if, in the end, the candidate would've been Hillary Clinton chances are she would've won in 2008...usually when a party controls the White House for 8 years the voters typically vote in the candidate of the opposing party simply for "a change".

Now, of course, the Democrats seize on the key phrase "change" and apply it to anything and everything even when it doesn't even apply to the situation at hand.

This time around, 2012, I think the voters want "a change" from Obama and so Romney hopefully will be the new President in 3 months. In my way of thinking there isn't anything Obama can say or do that can change the things he's done since 2009 that could make him look good. That's one of the ingredients in having a record. I still hadn't heard or seen a campaign commercial from Obama touting on anything he's actually done. The ones I've seen and heard all play on unrealistic goals and Utopian fantasies drawn from a community organizer's playbook. Is Obama for real? Does he really believe sensible voters across the country are going to look away from his agenda as President and simply vote for him because he has fantasy-laden visions. Look where those same Utopian, divisive visions from 2008 have taken the country. We're living in an "Obama Nation" and sensible people don't like what they see.

I think a good majority of people agree, though, that Ray Stevens is perfect with his political songs. I know the political left and those who simply, for whatever reason, have no interest in politics at all will more or less take issue with Ray's political songs or shrug them off entirely. Ray's videos have always had much more positive feedback from viewers than negative. Also lately, there hadn't been what I call a flood of flamers popping in and leaving inflammatory remarks which was something that his first few music videos were littered with in the comment area.  

It could be that those who'd traditionally give negative flack simply don't even bother since they know they're outnumbered or it could be that those on the left who disagree have trained themselves to not even watch in the first place. Whatever the reason I only bring it up because it's something I've noticed with the last couple of video uploads.

Ray's 2010 music video, "Throw the Bums Out!", has vaulted past the 900,000 mark with 903,885 views. "Caribou Barbie", from early 2010 as well, is over the half a million mark with 506,228 views. "God Save Arizona", the commentary about immigration policies and the battle between the Federal Government and Arizona's State Government, has 882,809 views. The most-viewed videos of Ray Stevens on You Tube as of August 5, 2012 are:

1. Come to the U.S.A; 2010  6,034,888 views
2. We The People; 2009   4,751,339 views
3. Mississippi Squirrel Revival; 2009  2,253,844 views
4. The Streak; 2009  2,023,570 views
5. Obama Budget Plan; 2011  1,556,380 views
6. Osama Yo' Mama; 2009  1,330,579 views

The numbers will always be changing but that's a snap-shot of the view totals at the moment.

"Mississippi Squirrel Revival" and "The Streak" were both produced in 1992 and uploaded onto You Tube in 2009 when Ray started his You Tube channel. "Osama Yo' Mama" originates from 2002 and was uploaded onto Ray's You Tube channel upon it's 2009 creation. I think at some point "Throw the Bums Out!" will make it onto that million+ list. 

August 3, 2012

Ray Stevens: Obama Nation, Part 4...

Good Friday morning Ray Stevens fans! As you can tell, it's my first blog entry of August. Great news...the marvelous "Obama Nation" music video has indeed surpassed the 200,000 mark...and I especially love the quotes that pop up during the video. It says a lot about Obama's choice of friends and those he looks up to. Earlier this morning I looked on You Tube and did a video search and saw the most recent tally for "Obama Nation" and it's sitting 200,463! The video became available on July 23 and so it's in the latter stages of it's second week on-line. On August 3 it'll begin it's 3rd week on-line. 

Elsewhere...August 7th should be a date you mark on your calendars. That will be the day that Ray's 1988 comedy album, I Never Made a Record I Didn't Like, will become available in Mp3 format. I have the project in vinyl and cassette format. This 1988 album features 10 songs that run the gamut from southern humor, ironic humor, sarcastic humor, satire, parody, and observational humor. Among the song selections are "Surfin' U.S.S.R.", "The Booger Man", "Old Hippie Class Reunion", "Mama's in the Sky With Elvis", "Bad" (yes, the same song written and recorded by Michael Jackson!), and "The Day I Tried To Teach Charlene MacKenzie How To Drive". The latter recording's title character, Charlene, became a main character in Ray's 1995 movie, Get Serious!. In the direct-to-video movie, MacKenzie was portrayed by Connie Freeman.