January 29, 2013

Ray Stevens, You're Magic...a look at song publishing...

One of the things about the late '70s period in the career of Ray Stevens is just how mellow and laid back his vocalizations mostly were. Look no further than 1978's "You're Magic" from the album, Be Your Own Best Friend. In a lighter than air vocal performance, Ray delivers the correct vocal accompaniment. Obviously, after hearing the song as many times as I have, I couldn't imagine it performed any other way. The writer of the song is Layng Martine, Jr., a songwriter-singer whose supplied Ray with other songs...the most notable being Ray's 1974 Top-20 Easy-Listening hit, "Everybody Needs a Rainbow", which also hit the Country Top-40. Layng worked as a writer for Ray's publishing company for a number of years and for a period of time Ray was the producer/arranger/publisher of Layng's own recordings on Barnaby Records.

Ray's publishing company reaped the benefits of "Rub It In", a song that Layng wrote and released as a single in the early '70s. The much more widely known version, by Billy 'Crash' Craddock, hit #1. The publisher of a song typically remains the same no matter who records it and yes, before you can ask, on the single from Craddock, in the upper left hand portion of the label it reads Publisher: Ahab Music Co., Inc. (BMI). Ray recorded "Rub It In", too, but much later, in 2008! Ray was also the publisher of "Way Down", another composition from Layng, in which Elvis hit with in 1977. On the RCA single of "Way Down", on the lower left hand side of the label underneath the vocal accompaniment credits, it reads Ray Stevens Music, BMI. Sammy Kershaw singles "Cadillac Style" and "I Can't Reach Her Anymore" were also published by Ray's company. But speaking of the late '70s... 

One of the things that I happen to love about the episodes of Pop! Goes the Country that have made it to DVD is it mostly spotlights the woefully obscure late '70s period of Ray's career. The Ray Stevens music from the late '70s is worthy of more attention than it often gets. Now, picking up on what I briefly mentioned in my previous blog entry, Ray Stevens made quite a few guest appearances on Pop! Goes the Country. I've spotlighted the DVD collections that are available from Classic Country DVD and provided links. In late February/early March 2010 I wrote several blog entries about the DVDs that I ordered from the company. Search the archives located on the right hand side of the page if interested in reading my commentary at the time. Given that Ray Stevens appeared on quite a few episodes it's remained baffling, at least to me, why only 5 of his episodes have been spotlighted on a collection that has 24 volumes (as of now). I'm sure Ray isn't the only artist that isn't heavily represented but since this is a Ray Stevens fan-created blog page he's the artist I'm focusing on. I'm grateful for the episodes that have been featured on the DVDs but hopefully my commentary is seen as a hint that I'd love to see more and more of the Ray Stevens episodes surface on DVD in the near future.

I don't have any information on which artists appeared on every single episode but I'll guess and say that Ray Stevens is one of those artists that easily made at least 15 appearances over the course of the program's 7 and a half year run (September 1974- January 1982). The series was syndicated and it aired on the weekends, typically in the late afternoon, in many television markets. This program, along with Hee Haw, Nashville on the Road, and The Porter Wagoner Show, is responsible for expanding the national coverage of country music at a time when country music's exposure was confined mostly to the southern states and a few outlets in the Midwest and Texas. I'm speaking of both television coverage and radio programming. Country music radio in the '70s was relegated to a couple hundred scattered throughout those same geographical locales. Compare a couple hundred to more than a thousand country radio stations today...all over the United States...instead of in just a handful of states.

January 28, 2013

Ray Stevens provides a Love Call...

Oh yes, once more I take a look back into the fascinating musical career of Ray Stevens. This time around I want to give some more spotlight to a vocal gem that Ray recorded in 1975 titled "Indian Love Call". The song was part of an album of pop music standards that Ray issued in 1975. The album was titled for it's first single release, Misty. That particular album was issued on CD several years ago, paired with his 1972 gospel album, Turn Your Radio On. "Indian Love Call" had been recorded by dozens of pop artists since it's creation with the biggest recording from Slim Whitman in 1952. Created for a musical in 1924, it came into pop music prominence in 1936 when it was recorded as a duet between Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald.

"Indian Love Call" became a Top-40 country hit for Ray Stevens in 1975 and it charted Top-70 pop as well. It's b-side, "Piece of Paradise", remained as a single-only until 1998 when it was unearthed on the Varese Sarabande release, The Country Hits Collection. Unless you have the "Indian Love Call" single, the 1998 CD compilation continues to be the only project to feature "Piece of Paradise". The b-side shouldn't to be confused with a similarly titled song from Ray eight years later in 1983 called "Piece of Paradise Called Tennessee". The two songs are completely different. Ray arranged "Indian Love Call" and changed it's more familiar uptempo performance into a slow, bluesy, doo-wop performance. There is very little video documentation of Ray performing this song which is such a shame. However, I've pointed out in a few blogs a couple of years back there are DVD's of the television series Pop! Goes the Country and several episodes star Ray Stevens. In one episode from 1975 he performs "Misty" and "Indian Love Call" as well as "Twilight Time". The very first time I heard the Ray Stevens version of "Indian Love Call" was on a 1991 compilation release from Curb Records titled simply, Greatest Hits. That 1991 compilation is noteworthy among several fans of Ray Stevens for it's inclusion of an alternate recording, with different verse lyrics, of "There's a Star Spangled Banner" (the song kept the same lyrics in the chorus).

As far as I know this remains the only video footage of Ray Stevens performing "Indian Love Call". It's on the Volume Four DVD of Pop! Goes the Country. The DVD cases, some of them, have been refreshed and modified from the plain light blue color that appeared originally. I own the DVD with the light blue color background but as you'll see when you click the link the DVD case is updated to an orange color. Ray appears on several other volumes. Search his name in the search box. I own a few of the Volumes featuring a Ray Stevens episode. There are a couple that I still don't own...including a 1978 episode and one from 1977.

January 26, 2013

Ray Stevens: 9-CD Box Set...1 Year Later...

Good Saturday morning Ray Stevens fans! We're quickly coming up on the 1 year mark for The Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music. The 9-CD box set was released on February 28, 2012 as an exclusive at Ray's web-store. I don't know if it'll become available on Amazon or any other on-line store as 2013 plays out. I'd be surprised if anyone who stops by this blog fairly frequently is unaware of this project. I wrote about it extensively in the late winter/early spring of 2012 and dedicated 21 blog entries to this 9-CD project and so it should be very familiar to those who visit this blog page as well as those who visit Ray's official web-site. There are still those on the outside of the fan box that more than likely aren't aware that this exists because it's only available at Ray's web-store. By the way, the above image isn't a link. If you click the image it'll only take you to another page where it shows the image by itself. Those who want see the songs that Ray's recorded for the collection and plan on purchasing it you can click this Encyclopedia Link. If you can't afford the collection but really, really want it for your own, save a little money bit by bit and then make the purchase. As I've said several times over the last year, any fan of Ray Stevens should have this in their collection at some point. The songs that Ray recorded are all compiled in alphabetical order which you'll notice right away. The box set also comes with a booklet which features a lot of material about the songs, Ray's commentary on why he picked the material, and statistical data about the original artist's. Some of the classic novelty songs that Ray's recorded specifically for this project are: "Mother-in-Law", "Get a Job", "The King is Gone and So Are You", "The Thing", "May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose", "Kansas City Star", "That's What I Like About the South", "The Preacher and the Bear", "Splish Splash", "Love Potion Number Nine", "Witch Doctor", "The Too Fat Polka", "King Tut", and what he considers a modern-day novelty song, the Toby Keith single from a few years ago, "I Wanna Talk About Me". As you can see, some of the novelty classics come from the rhythm and blues genre. Although perhaps not thought of in their original releases as a 'novelty song', the sing-a-long R&B ditties of the '40s and '50s fit well on a collection like this.

January 24, 2013

Ray Stevens: Happy Birthday...

Today, January 24th, marks the birthday of Ray Stevens. The legend turns 74 this year with no signs of slowing down...with a television program, RAY-ality TV, on the re-launched Nashville Network and several upcoming music releases on the horizon (based on commentary Ray gave late last year). This time around I decided to post a simple blog entry celebrating his birthday rather than a lengthy career-like retrospective. Given that he turns 74 today it's ironic that 74, specifically 1974, is the year that Ray had his biggest commercial hit single, "The Streak", with overall sales in excess of five million. Ray's official music video for "The Streak" has 2.3 million on-line views. It was uploaded onto the internet in 2009.

The local classic country radio station is playing a couple of Ray Stevens songs each hour throughout the morning. The morning disc jockey does this for other country music artists, too, and so it's always great when it comes time for Ray's birthday! "Mississippi Squirrel Revival", "Ahab the Arab", and "The Streak" were played earlier this morning. The official music video of "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" has 2.7 million on-line views. The version of "Ahab the Arab" that was played was the original, uncut version featuring the last verse where the Sultan discovers what's going on and attacks Ahab as a result. This is played out in the official music video of "Ahab the Arab" that Ray filmed for his Get Serious! movie in 1995. In the video Ray portrays himself as well as Ahab. Carol Ponder portrays Fatima. Buddy Kalb plays the Sultan.

January 21, 2013

Ray Stevens and the Politics of Humor, Part 4...

Here it is a Monday morning and most if not all news programs this morning will be covering the 2013 Inauguration. Although the inauguration took place on January 20th at noon it was behind closed doors. I was not aware that news stopped on a Sunday or that television camera's weren't operational on Sunday but the public swearing in will take place later today, January 21st. I guess they wanted to push back the televised inauguration to the 21st because the 20th was a big day for football playoffs and it wouldn't look too good, ratings or ego wise, to see the NFC and AFC Championship games pull in bigger numbers than the inauguration but anyway the televised swearing in will be today. Will any of you be watching it? I won't be watching it.

I'll no doubt see a clip of the swearing in on any number of the local newscasts but as far as the actual inauguration event goes, news coverage will last anywhere from 4 to 5 hours(!) and given that Obama was not exactly my choice for President in 2008 or 2012 explains the reason I won't be watching the swearing in. There are alternative programming choices, of course, for those who don't want to see the televised inauguration. The Chiller Network has a mini-marathon of Tales from the Crypt and a program titled Nightmare Room. The name of that last series could easily be applied to the Oval Office since January 2009. TV Land will air a mini-marathon of The Andy Griffith Show. There is always the Game Show Network as well as Boomerang to escape the inauguration coverage and of course you can always listen to the music of Ray Stevens!!

How many have stopped by the Ray Stevens You Tube Channel? I've posted the link before but in case some missed it I posted it once again. It's a quick reference to all of the officially released music videos on You Tube from Ray Stevens. The videos are listed in reverse chronological order from latest to earliest. It's also a quick reference to catch up on the on-line view totals. On this inauguration day take a listen to "Obama Budget Plan", "Obama Nation", "Mr. President - Mr. President", "We the People", and "The Global Warming Song", just to name a few. These songs/videos, in particular, will remind you of Obama's goals and his divisive and underhanded practices and just how ruthless he can afford to be knowing that he has four more years and no re-election to worry about.

"The Global Warming Song", in my opinion, will have a lot more social impact during the next several years because Obama, I feel, will become more tyrannical when it comes to America's energy resources and the embracing of the EPA will become even more sickening. The song pokes fun at global warming and sends a message that people can be in favor of environmental protection without going to extremes...but when you have a President whose a left-wing extremist and one that surrounds himself with radical left-wing extremists it's impossible NOT to ignore the extreme nature of the policies he champions and I assume that's mostly why those extremes are spotlighted, in song and music video, by Ray Stevens. Those who choose to ignore the facts about Obama, well, they'll remain a mystery to me.

For those unaware there were quite a few bills signed into law by Obama over the course of 2009 through 2011 that wouldn't kick in until several years later...of course, those who feel the way I do, we were hoping to get a new President in 2012 and more Congressional seats in the Senate to stop those laws before they started to be enforced. Now, we're "several years later", and those laws are gradually being implemented. Now, of course, the reason why these laws wouldn't become enforced until after 2012 is obvious.

January 20, 2013

Ray Stevens and the Golden hairy ape...

Reaching the 50 year golden milestone this year happens to be one of rock music's most under-rated fictional stars, a hairy ape named Harry. This carefree ape was introduced to the music world in 1963. His story is told to us in song by the always entertaining Ray Stevens in a recording known as "Harry the Hairy Ape", a novelty recording that hit the Top-20 on both the pop and R&B charts. This 1963 single was Ray's third Top-40 pop hit in America following 1962's "Ahab the Arab" and 1961's "Jeremiah Peabody's Green and Purple Pills" and it was his fourth Top-40 single overall. He had a few other chart singles along the way, "Furthermore", "Funny Man", and the original "Santa Claus Is Watching You", but these great recordings didn't rise into the Top-40 in America. However, "Funny Man" did reach the Top-40 in Canada, going all the way into the upper half of their Top-20.

Historians like to keep chart statistics separate from country to country and from music format to music format, etc. etc. but as a fan I don't do this sort of thing. I combine all of the statistics on Ray's single and album releases both here in America and overseas. By approaching things from that angle I feel it gives a much better representation of Ray's body of work than when one splits hairs and examines which radio format, what geographic locale, or what age group his music is playing to.

"Harry the Hairy Ape" hit in the summer of 1963 and within the song there's a reference to a hurricane fence, a slang term for a common everyday chain link fence. There's also mention of a dance craze called mashed potato. As mentioned, the single hit the Top-20 on both the pop and R&B charts...placing higher on the R&B charts by the way. Like a lot of Ray's earliest novelty recordings this one contains frenetic vocalization which was almost a novelty attraction itself. Also, the song wasn't a fixture at his concerts as time went by so it didn't have the ability to become instantly familiar to the generations of fans to come. It's a bouncy novelty song that also serves as a satirical look at rock and roll music as seen through the eyes of a more conservative America but this revelation isn't made aware until the song's final chorus. My introduction to this song came with the 1987 cassette from Mercury, The Best of Ray Stevens. This particular project had originally been released on vinyl in 1970. That 1987 cassette re-issue is where I heard Ray's early '60s recordings for the very first time. "Harry the Hairy Ape" was originally released on the 1963 vinyl album, This Is Ray Stevens, on Mercury Records. Ray re-recorded the song in 1969 for his Gitarzan album. This re-recording is often placed on the various compilation releases that have been issued since 1971 instead of the 1963 original. Licensing fees, I assume, play a role in why the 1969 re-recording appears more frequently on compilation albums rather than the 1963 original.

January 15, 2013

Ray Stevens and his Reality Show...

I've not written much about the new reality show from Ray Stevens because of the severe limited availability of The New TNN sub-channel across the United States.

The original Nashville Network was on the air as a country music oriented channel from 1983 through 1999. In 2000 it dropped all of the original country music programming and began airing reruns of numerous television shows and made-for-TV movies from the '70s, '80s, and '90s. Concurrent with this the network's name was changed to The National Network and in 2003 it was changed to Spike, the name it still uses.

The Nashville Network was re-launched as a country music outlet in November 2012. It was re-launched as a digital sub-channel. This means that the availability of the channel is in the hands of local television outlets who offer sub-channels to their viewers. Most local television stations have a sub-channel and in major cities you'll more than likely discover that local channels have multiple sub-channels. This is why I referred to this new TNN as being severely limited in it's availability because, as of now, it's only available in a handful of local markets as a sub-channel and those markets are in Tennessee with almost all of the rest in the deep south and so this program is more or less has the feel of what's known as a regional program. 

As you all are aware, Ray Stevens has thousands upon thousands of fans, and that's why I've not written much about this reality show of his because I know thousands upon thousands of fans will have no way of watching it. Nevertheless, Ray put together a short commercial advertisement for the program almost a week ago and it was uploaded onto You Tube...  

An official statement about the Rayality TV program, including it's airtime, can be found Here.

Maybe this latest TNN will become much more widely available...I hope it will become available as a mainstream cable-TV channel at some point.

Ray Stevens sings of Taxation...

As we make our way through January 2013 it's the start of a new year, of course, which ushers in an abundance of new laws and the start of the infamous income tax season, which runs from January through April 15th of each year. There have been several songs recorded through the years in which the sentiments directed toward the IRS have mirrored the public at large. Songs criticizing the IRS and the taxation system of the United States can easily be looked up online. On this blog, though, we spotlight the music and activities of Ray Stevens and given that we're in the beginning of income tax season I decided to embed one of Ray's hit music videos which puts taxation front and center in a hilarious tale centering around an audit and the embarrassing set of circumstances revealed inside a local branch of the IRS.

"Juanita and the Kids" has a little more than 100,000 online views since it's debut on You Tube on May 25, 2011. The video was embedded during a multiple music video arrival and didn't receive much publicity or coverage. The day that "Juanita and the Kids" hit You Tube, three other music videos from Ray Stevens hit the online video site, too: "Hello Mama", "Freddie Feelgood" and "Virgil and the Moonshot". These particular music videos had been available on home video and, later, DVD formats prior to the creation of You Tube. Ray's You Tube channel hit the internet in the summer of 2009 and since that point in time a collection of his classic music videos and brand new music videos have populated his channel. A lot of his newer music videos are, as many of you visitors are aware, politically oriented and he's obtained hundreds of thousands and in some cases millions of online views of his political music videos. In fact, of the four music videos from Ray Stevens that debuted on You Tube on May 25th, the politically charged "Hello Mama" has gotten the most online views so far with 160,509. "Juanita and the Kids" is second with 104,783. The other two music videos haven't reached the 100,000 plateau yet due to the lack of consistent social media publicity and video sharing. I'll showcase those two music videos in future blog entries, though, because they're just as good as the political videos.

Here is "Juanita and the Kids" from the entertaining Ray Stevens...

January 7, 2013

Ray Stevens: Nashville at 40...

One of the other studio albums released by Ray Stevens in 1973 is a project titled Nashville. This particular LP turns 40 this year, too, and unlike Losin' Streak, Nashville had a CD release a few years ago. The Nashville LP featured a collection of songs that were not necessarily country but were more along the lines of easy-listening and it fit the sound that was dominant on country radio during this time period. The main single release was the title track, "Nashville", which when listened to now reveals an entertaining history lesson as Ray mentions names of artists and other topical references of an early '70s Nashville, Tennessee. "Nashville", the single, hit in July of 1973 on it's way to a Top-40 country finish. The single debuted in the Top-90 on the country chart (the country singles chart had 100 positions for the longest time to mirror the amount of singles released to country radio as well as perhaps be an equal companion to the Hot 100, pop music's weekly chart). The single climbed into the Top-40 several weeks after it's debut. The single was released in several countries and a few of those releases had varying b-sides different from it's United States release. I've never really understood why record companies decided to use different songs as b-sides instead of sticking to the same b-side per single release but I've usually assumed it's for economic reasons...mostly for collector's who are usually more willing to buy multiple copies of the same song if it features a different b-side on each release. Also, sometimes a single will feature a song on the b-side that doesn't make it to an LP and therefore the single release will be the only place a listener or a fan will hear the recording.

"Love Me Longer", a single I highlighted in the previous blog entry, was issued later in 1973. This image is the single release in the United Kingdom showing MGM as the distributor. The song is about a one night stand between a musician and a married woman. It's a wonderful song and one that was written by someone other than Ray! The writer of this song, Nick Van Maarth, was also the writer of "Losin' Streak". "Love Me Longer" was apparently well liked by the record company and Ray, too, considering that there were several single releases of this song and one of those releases featured a picture sleeve of the Nashville album. The unfortunate fact surrounding the gem of a song is that it didn't become a hit...not even a chart hit...but it wasn't due to a lack of publicity. Research shows that the record company pushed the single as much as any of his other releases and it was distributed internationally as well. Airplay, or lack thereof, played the most vital role in the short life of this single. Those familiar with Ray's Nashville album are probably fans of "Love Me Longer" too. Ray performed this song quite a few years after it was a single on a 1980 episode of Hee Haw. I have no idea if Ray randomly picked out the song to perform or if it was an intentional decision to perform it. When Ray performed the song in 1980 he was wearing a cowboy hat which had become part of his wardrobe for a few years in the Urban Cowboy era of country music (1979-1982).

Elsewhere on the LP we have more love ballads...Ray's original recording of "You've Got the Music Inside" is included on this album. He would later re-record it with a much more smoother melody and vocalization. "Idaho Wine" continues to be one of the more clever songs as it tells the story of two distinctly different people in a relationship heading for it's end. "Golden Age" is a sing-a-long about bracing yourself for your advanced years. The most musically innovative and vocally memorable cover of "Never Ending Song of Love" of all-time is featured on the Nashville album. Once you hear the way Ray performs the song and the next time you hear the traditional way it's performed you'll probably prefer Ray's performance!! A nice instrumental, "Float", is featured as is a song with the quirky title of "Fish Eat Sleep". Ray speaks to the listener prior to singing "Fish Eat Sleep" and explains the song and how he come to include it on the LP. Further love ballads include "Undivided Attention", "Piece By Piece", and "Nobody's Fool". The album features a song called "Destroyed" from the pen of Merle Kilgore and it became a favorite when I first heard it.

As mentioned, Nashville was issued in CD format a few years ago. It was released as part of a 2 album on 1 CD collection. It was paired with Ray's 1974 album, Boogity-Boogity. You can find the Nashville LP on eBay and other places and you can find the CD issue of Nashville/Boogity-Boogity on-line, too.

There once was a time when Ray's catalog of music was out of print and unavailable in any format. How I remember those times very well!! I used to complain and gripe to anyone that would listen that it was such a travesty that the brilliant recordings of Ray Stevens have not seen the light of day on CD.

Since the advent of the internet but largely due to independent record labels and foreign based record companies bringing a lot of older recordings to the marketplace again it's created a scenario where a lot of Ray's older recordings from the '60s and '70s, which had long been commercially unavailable, have since become available in Mp3 format. There are still a few studio LP's from Ray that have not been issued in CD or Mp3 format yet but for the most part much of his recordings are available at Amazon's Mp3 site if one takes the time to browse around. 1973's Losin' Streak and the studio albums he recorded between 1976 and 1983 have not been released in CD or Mp3 digital download format but the rest of his studio albums have.

January 1, 2013

Ray Stevens: The Losin' Streak at 40...

Welcome to 2013 to all the fans of Ray Stevens!! Sometimes I like to start off the new year by spotlighting some Ray Stevens albums or songs that reach special milestones and this year is no exception. Turning 40 this year is a certain LP from Ray Stevens released in 1973 titled Losin' Streak. I wrote about all of Ray's studio albums in my Golden LP Series but that didn't mean that I wouldn't ever write about those albums again. Losin' Streak quickly became one of my favorite albums from Ray and a lot of it had to do with it's sound, the dazzling cover photo of Ray where he appears to be belting out "This Is Your Life", one of the great songs on the great Losin' Streak LP. The back of the LP cover shows a completely reserved Ray Stevens quietly at the piano as if he's playing the instrumental piece. In the meantime, "Love Me Longer" from the Nashville LP became a commercial single from Ray in 1973. Strangely enough it didn't reach the charts of either the pop or country formats. The soon to be released Losin' Streak LP never entered any album chart. It's just one of those things where the unexplainable happens because a year earlier he was all over the country and adult-contemporary charts with his gospel album and the singles that had been released from it, another 1973 LP titled Nashville was a success with it's title track reaching the Country Top-40 in the summer while the LP hit the Country charts in November and throughout much of 1974 he was all over the country and pop charts with several other singles...so it's always been a mystery why this Losin' Streak LP, issued before Nashville, slipped through without hardly any fanfare. "Losin' Streak" was issued as a commercial single, backed with a song titled "Inside". The catalog number for the single is ZS7 2065 and it was issued on a single distributed by CBS Records and had the standard blue paper attachment showing the credits and single title. This is one of the ways you can tell that the Losin' Streak LP and it's single was released before the other 1973 album, Nashville. When Nashville was released later in 1973, Barnaby's distribution had switched from CBS to MGM (briefly) and then to Janus. CBS had been the distributor of Barnaby singles for awhile. The latter MGM and Janus distributed singles featured the paper label showing a melted vinyl single resting on top of a tree branch which I assume is very familiar to a lot of fans of Ray Stevens or readers of this blog because I've posted copies of the Janus distributed singles a whole lot of times and you can see an image of this on the promo single for "Love Me Longer" at the start of this blog entry.

In my various blog entries I've always given the Losin' Streak LP a lot more attention than it got when it was originally released. The LP has never been available on CD or Mp3 and so it's truly an obscure studio album. Some of the songs on the LP are "Losin' Streak", "Idaho Wine", "This Is Your Life", the bluesy take on "Bye Bye Love", a re-recording of "Just One of Life's Little Tragedies", and "Being Friends among several others. Since it's been 40 years since the release of Losin' Streak and since there's never been a re-issue in CD or in Mp3 format I don't look for this unheralded gem of an LP to see the light of re-issue glory anytime soon. Your best bet is to search eBay which is exactly where I purchased my copy of the LP several years ago. Any fan of Ray Stevens should seek out this LP or at least be aware of it's existence.