November 29, 2013

Ray Stevens: Christmas Sale...

Good day after Thanksgiving all Ray Stevens fans!! There's a discount sale going on at the Ray Stevens on-line store...purchases that total, prior to shipping and handling, $20.00 or more, you'll be able to get a 20 percent discount off the purchase. You can read about the offer HERE. The sale began on November 20th but it lasts through December 18, 2013, so it's basically a month long special offer. That link takes you to Ray's main site. Once there, you can navigate around and enter the "Store" section by clicking on the tab in the upper right side of his page.  

*** Keep in mind, for those that come across this blog entry days or months from today, this blog is being composed on November 29, 2013. ***

It happened about one year ago, December 22, 2012 to be specific, Ray Stevens released a powerful music video (in my opinion) simply titled "Merry Christmas" in which he shined the spotlight on the assault on Christianity that seems to have become the norm and the uneasiness people seem to have nowadays of saying the phrase, 'Merry Christmas', but rather offer 'happy holidays' or 'seasons greetings'.

That particular music video struck a nerve and in a matter of days more than 100,000 unique views had been tabulated for the on-line video. Released just days before Christmas 2012, it didn't have a longer 'shelf life' beyond the end of the year but seeing that we're officially in the Christmas season it's time to bring out the Ray Stevens Christmas festivities once more and I'll start it off with none other than "Merry Christmas".

I'll embed other Christmas related music videos as we get closer to Christmas Day.

Wasn't that fabulous?? So far the song isn't commercially available on any CD or Mp3. I imagine that it'll come up for sale this time around, though!

Once more, here's the link to the Ray Stevens Christmas Offer.

November 25, 2013

Ray Stevens: Losin' Streak on cassette...

I sometimes, but not all the time, provide links to eBay items. This is one of those times. I came across an interesting Ray Stevens item on eBay a few minutes ago. My first blog post of 2013 dealt with a 1973 album from Ray titled Losin' Streak turning 40 this year. I have no doubt seen this item at some point in the past and probably even posted about it but it's not something that always comes up for sale on eBay and so when it does I make mention of it. Given how obscure the LP of Losin' Streak is, a cassette copy is even more obscure...but yet that's what I seen up for sale on eBay! It's described as a private listing but you can read all about the cassette copy of Losin' Streak HERE. The shipper resides in Australia.

Ray Stevens took part in the star studded tribute to George Jones this past Friday. He sang in a group that included the likes of John Conlee, Larry Gatlin, Bobby Bare, Stonewall Jackson, and several others. The group sang "When The Last Curtain Falls", "Still Doin' Time", and "Someday My Day Will Come". A piece of this performance is on You Tube, the last part of song one and the complete song two. The home made video's sound is okay to'll see Ray only a couple of times, though, and only once is it a close-up. Be sure to look at the big video screen to see the much clearer, up-close picture of Ray a few seconds into the start of the video. He's standing the middle of Larry Gatlin and John Conlee.

November 18, 2013

Ray Stevens and the Politics of the Situation...

Yes, I'm still around...and so is Ray Stevens...but it's been a lengthy drought as far as anything brand new to discuss and create awareness for. A couple of months ago I had been creating blog entries all about the clips of Ray Stevens taped during his 1970 summer TV program that were popping up on You Tube with frequency. It was during that point in time that a recent appearance from Ray Stevens on a Fox News Channel program hit You Tube. August 15th...a little more than 3 months upload titled The World According to Ray Stevens appeared on You Tube. I watched it several times and posted a link on my Facebook page back then. I didn't post the link on my blog page at that time because I felt that the subject matter (hard hitting political commentary) would clash rather heavily with the lighthearted 1970 clips I was posting.

Obamacare is front and center in political discussion once more and the canceled health care policies of millions upon millions of Americans has become a harsh reality. Those that studied Obamacare and stated all that's bad about it consistently remarked that there is language in it in the form of Federal mandates that private insurance companies have to meet, or else, those companies have no choice but to drop customers. The idea that Obamacare would have no effect on people's health care coverage had long been pointed out as a lie ("if you like your current heath care coverage, you can keep it").

After all of the cancellations had been sent out and therefore had taken effect, Obama once again shown his penchant for ignoring existing laws while creating new laws out of thin air (Congress/the Legislative Branch is the only branch of Government that can make laws or amend previous laws, a President doesn't have this authority! Obama should have learned this, as we all did, in grade school Social Studies or even a junior high Government/Civics class).

Anyway, in his usual dictatorial style, Obama demanded that private insurance companies "reinstate the policies they canceled as a result of the health care mandates and simply ignore what the law states"; given all of this it's a perfect opportunity to spotlight the Ray Stevens interview from a couple of months ago where he speaks about politics and his humorous approach at dealing with all the madness. 

Ray's heavy involvement in political humor and commentary began late in 2009, around this point in time, during the first year of Obama's time in the White House while the looming Obamacare was making it's way through Congress. A video, "We the People", became an on-line video hit and throughout 2010 and on into 2012 Ray supplied the on-line video community with a series of politically charged music videos. His videos have reached more than 25,000,000 people during the last 4 years and there's no telling how many times the videos have been watched by those millions of people. You Tube only counts 1 view per computer, commonly referred to as a unique view or a unique visitor. Multiple visits to the same video aren't counted in the visitor/view totals.

This means, you could watch one of his videos, "Mr. President - Mr. President", 3 times in a row, every day for a year straight, but only that first initial view is ever counted toward the view total that appears just below the video screen on it's main page. This system is in place to deliver accuracy for advertisers and to display accurate totals based on visitor total, rather than play totals, for the artists and or record companies. Play totals skew things too much. If You Tube used play totals, for example, a Ray Stevens video that has more than 4 million visitors could realistically have 20 million plays if you factor in multiple plays from the same visitor. See how skewed and misleading "play totals" can be? That is why "unique visitor" totals are used on You Tube instead of play totals.

The "Obama Budget Plan" has more than 2 million visits so far. The specific total is 2,729,860. This video, debuting on April 25, 2011, had it's biggest impact during the budget debates and all of the fiasco surrounding the debt limit and debt ceiling and the constant back and fourth among Obama, the Republicans in the House and the Senate, and the officials that make up the Congressional Budget Office. Given that the reputation of Obama and mostly all Democratic Presidents through history is to spend enormous amounts of money that the nation doesn't have and then raise taxes "on the rich" in an attempt to make up the loss is at the heart of this particular song/video. The humor, or painful truth, is displayed in the plot of an average American family that decides to emulate the Federal Government and print as much money as possible using a printing press. However, reality sets in for this family and the outcome is played out in video form...but yet members of the Federal Government that participate in the same thing aren't treated as criminal, unethical or immoral.

The video for "Obama Nation" the moment it's gotten 949,434 unique views. It hit You Tube on July 23, 2012...

Voter fraud's become an underlying theme in a lot of elections in recent history. Accusations of it or factual proof of it no doubt inspired "Grandpa Voted Democrat". The video hit You Tube on November 3, 2012 prior to the 2012 Election cycle and it's been seen by 335,103 people. To date, this is the last political song that Ray Stevens has issued in video format...

There have been a couple of politically themed commentaries from Ray that have appeared since November 2012, titled 'Politically Speaking', plus several interviews of Ray discussing political issues such as the one at the start of this blog entry, but as far as a conventional music video is concerned, "Grandpa Voted Democrat" is the last political one as of November 18, 2013. This was an off year, too, as far as major national elections, but I look for this video to bounce back again during the 2014 Election cycle.

One of his videos is close to entering the million visitor realm, "Mr. President - Mr. President". This video hit You Tube on September 27, 2011 and it current has 998,494 unique views...

As more and more of Obamacare is unleashed on people the mood is certainly favorable for a new video/song directed toward the situation.