October 24, 2014

Ray Stevens: Rayality TV webisode 28 (It's Back!!)

Hello all the Ray Stevens fans!! As you can see from the blog title I've got the latest installment of Rayality TV to share/embed. If you're more than a casual fan of Ray's then you should be curious as to the reason there's a 28th webisode...considering a couple weeks ago Ray issued what he stated would be the final installment of the on-going weekly web series (each installment debuting on-line on every Friday). There's not been any explanation given as to the reason for the series coming to an end but then returning, out of the blue, today. 

Ray's Facebook page features commentary suggesting that there's no end in sight for the series...and upon first read I came away with the feeling that the series had come to an abrupt end a couple weeks ago due to behind-the-scenes happenings. The phrase in his Facebook post about the continuation of Rayality TV that caught my eye: "The end is nowhere near, let's just say that!". So, in my opinion, something must have taken place off-line/behind-the-scenes concerning the future of the series and whatever it happened to be has been corrected and now we're enjoying the 28th installment of the series. That's just my opinion upon reading the line I quoted. I definitely could be reading more into it, though.

Here is the latest installment of Rayality TV...

In case you missed my previous blog entry about one of Ray's latest YouTube videos soaring past 30,000 unique views, you can read about it HERE.

October 23, 2014

Ray Stevens: If You Like Your Plan surpasses 30,000 unique views...

Hello all...although the Ray Stevens music video "If You Like Your Plan" obtained more than 30,000 unique views a couple of days ago I wanted to highlight this in the title of a blog entry and so there you have it. In one of my other blog posts I mentioned that the video had gotten 30,572 views...it's now sitting at 31,809 for a pick-up of 1,237. As I've mentioned several times since the video's debut a month ago on September 22, the subject matter of Obamacare is going to forever be a topic throughout the rest of Obama's time in the White House (through late January 2017!). Obamacare may not be issue #1 or issue #2 on a national level (therefore getting less coverage than before) but it'll forever be an issue of the Obama Administration and so the music video is going to remain timely as the months and years go by.

On the heels of "If You Like Your Plan" there's the ballad "Nero Fiddled". It just keeps getting better the more and more you listen to it. I thought the song was great on first listen but some people need to hear a song several times before it really connects with them. This particular video has gotten 16,760 views since it's October 10th debut. It's arguably the more popular of the 2 YouTube videos at the moment if you consider that in the same time span that seen "If You Like Your Plan" pick up 1,237 additional unique views, "Nero Fiddled" picked up 2,062.

Be on the lookout for an appearance by Ray Stevens on Geraldo's Fox News Channel program in late November. Ray posted on his Facebook page that he taped the interview and it's set to air in late November 2014. Judging by the post, which features a picture of Ray and Geraldo, Ray is going to talk about...Elvis!?! Perhaps that's just a joke...but time will tell. I asked why the interview is taped so long in advance...there's not been a reply as of yet. Of course, as you know, Fox News Channel (like the other 24/7 cable news channels) reports 'breaking news' a lot of the time...and it's unlikely any pre-taped interviews make the national airwaves if it doesn't relate to the current day's news cycle and so, with that in mind, I'm not going to hype up a future Geraldo appearance that much but I wanted to at least make mention of it. The more closer we get to late November and the more that it looks like the appearance is to definitely take place the more I'll post reminders about it.

Have you all heard about the most recent voter fraud?? This time, apparently, voter machines in Illinois have given votes for Republican candidates to Democrats...it's a murky story that I've only read a little bit about but as soon as I seen the headline on a social media site I instantly thought of this modern-day Ray Stevens classic with over half a million unique views (522,789)...

"Grandpa Voted Democrat"...enjoy...

October 19, 2014

Ray Stevens Gospel Collection, Part 6...

Hello Ray Stevens fans!! It's 6am on a Sunday morning as I begin this latest fan-created blog entry. I started the day doing a search on social media sites of any articles pertaining to Ray Stevens. I came across a link to a site named Hallels.com and there's a new publicity piece for Volume One of the Ray Stevens Gospel Collection.

If that site's name sounds familiar you must have a sharp memory. The site featured a much earlier promo piece (posted August 8th) for the gospel collection CD. The August 8th promo and the one posted today are by the same author. I posted a link to the earlier article back in August.

You can see the latest promo piece for the gospel collection HERE.

Once there be on the lookout for a link to that August 8th publicity article. It can be found at the end of the article before you get to the comments area. The August posting contains a track list for the CD, too. The CD's been available since August 19th and it can be purchased HERE. If you purchase digital music/Mp3's there's a link to the Mp3 format on the CD's product page.

YouTube corner...the two concurrent music videos from Ray Stevens have the following unique views as of 6:42am Eastern time...

1. If You Like Your Plan: 30,572 (uploaded September 22, 2014; view HERE).

2. Nero Fiddled: 14,702 (uploaded October 10, 2014; view HERE).

And so...after searching several social media sites and Google for Ray Stevens happenings, I did an eBay search...and on page 1 at the moment there's an item being offered of a rare magazine publicity ad. The promo ad originated 45 years ago...right around this time of the year...back in 1969. No, no...for those that might be thinking "Gitarzan", it isn't the promo ad for that single (that hit came earlier in 1969). In the latter part of 1969 Ray had returned to his more serious side again and Monument Records began publicizing the latest single release, "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down". The eBay listing for the magazine promo ad for that single can be seen HERE. There have been thumbnail images of this ad that have surfaced in several CD compilation projects over the years.

I used to think Ray had a beard in that photo whenever I'd see the small, thumbnail replica. The reason being is the copy of the photo that appears in the fold-out cover of a 1998 compilation CD is so small and the lighting on the picture not so great that, to my eyes, it looked as if he had a beard. I've long since seen a bigger image of the promo ad and seen for myself he's clean shaven. Those interested in seeing/purchasing the promo ad can click the above link.

October 16, 2014

Ray Stevens: Nero Fiddled, blog entry 2...

Hello all...it's been almost a week since my previous blog entry. I've had a busy work week as to the reason I haven't had the time to put together a blog post since the 10th of October.

The main subject at hand..."Nero Fiddled"! That's one of two current music videos from Ray Stevens being discovered on YouTube at the moment. The video's gotten more than 10,000 unique views over the course of the last six days. The total as of this writing is 12,863. Back on October 10th during the video's first hours of availability I reported that it had amassed 68 unique views.

The fact that the video's been seen by more than 12,000 is a good sign...but there's not been any publicity of it's existence (beyond my blog posts and the Facebook post on Ray's official page over there).

On my YouTube home page it lists the 'most recent uploads' from my subscriptions...curiously it lists 2 uploads of Rayality TV (episodes 24 and 25) as the 'most recent uploads' from Ray. Those videos happened to have been uploaded several weeks ago and therefore are NOT the most recent video uploads from Ray's channel...there's no reference to "Nero Fiddled" (uploaded on October 10th) or "If You Like Your Plan" (uploaded September 22) as being Ray's most recent video uploads. Something else I noticed is there's no video embed of either clip on Ray's official website.

It used to be you could visit Ray's website and whatever the latest YouTube video from Ray happened to be it could be watched on his website on the home page.

The home page of Ray's official website, as of this writing, contains links to purchase his Nashville memoir and his Gospel Collection CD. There's a link to Ray's "If You Like Your Plan" video (the link posted in a promo piece back on September 22) but it's not an embed video. It may not seem like much but if there's an embedded video located on a website, as opposed to a video's link, chances are pretty high the video's going to be seen a lot more simply due to the fact that the video box is visible on the page and all a person has to do is click the play button.

This is only my opinion but I happen to feel that an even bigger audience for either of Ray's current music videos can be obtained by simply embedding either of those videos on the official website. There's a lot of people that visit Ray's official site that never even think to visit his YouTube channel to see whatever latest music video from him there might be.

Speaking of "If You Like Your Plan", it's gotten 29,822 unique views since it's late September arrival. It could break the 30,000 plateau tomorrow!

A couple of days ago Ray taped his segments of an upcoming television program, The Music City Show. This program airs on RFD-TV. I used to have that channel. It's part of a premium bundle of channels offered by my cable provider but the monthly cable bill had become too costly and so the added expense of having those channels on the line-up required the decision to remove that particular bundle of channels (and the added expense). I'm hoping clips of his upcoming television performance appear on-line at some point...if they do I'll make mention of it. I had read about his participation and it's going to focus on the music from his Gospel Collection CD. You can purchase the gospel CD HERE. The CD's been a success but there's been no indication of a possible follow-up. The songs have already been recorded...in some of his interviews he's mentioned that he recorded 24 songs for the project. 12 are on Volume One and the second 12 are to be available on a possible Volume Two.

As a reminder...less than a month from today on November 13th Ray Stevens is to co-host the 20th annual Inspirational Country Music Awards. His co-host is Megan Alexander (from Inside Edition). As you could guess, Ray is to perform some songs from his gospel music CD. 

Since everything is subject to change I hadn't written much about an upcoming event that Ray is to take part in. On December 7th Ray is to appear at The Ryman Auditorium in a special series called Sam's Place-Music for the Spirit. The series is hosted by gospel performer Steven Curtis Chapman. Ray is one of 2 guests that night and you can read more about it HERE.

October 10, 2014

Ray Stevens: Nero Fiddled...

Hot off the presses...yes, I know that's a term meant for newspaper and magazine publishing...but this music video from Ray Stevens is brand spanking new...uploaded onto YouTube within the last half hour...it's called "Nero Fiddled" and it's absolutely powerful in my opinion. It's not a comedy video...this one is a return to a more serious delivery...and the video opens up with a Viewer Discretion disclaimer...

I'll give you all time to let the hair settle down on the backs of your necks and the goosebumps to vanish from your body after seeing the video and hearing the in your face lyrical commentary. Isn't it phenomenal?? Yes, that's Ray playing the role of Nero with his back to the camera. In this early stage the video's gotten 68 unique views.

Ray Stevens: Rayality TV webisode 27 (final installment)

Hello to all the fans of Ray Stevens!! As you can see from the title of this blog entry I'll be embedding what's being called the final installment of Rayality TV...the on-going Friday series of skits, music videos, and commentaries from the one and only Ray Stevens.

I've embedded each installment from it's beginning through today...not all of those blog entries are named for Rayality TV...some of the installments of the on-line series I've included in blog entries I posted on a Saturday or a Sunday.

Episodes numbering 23, 24, 25, and 26 should be included in the blog entries named for Ray's current political music video, "If You Like Your Plan".

So, here it is...the final webisode of Rayality TV...and, ironically enough, it's one of the longest. It features the music video of "Hello Mama" and a performance from Bobby Bare, singing "Detroit City". There's a brief 10 second intermission after the scene between Nurse Broadside and Nurse Brick-House. The black screen begins at the 6 minute, 25 second mark. After 10 seconds Ray appears on-screen to introduce a segment at the fictional Encore Home starring the special guest, Bobby Bare. Ray is at the piano during the performance...wearing the denim shirt he wore for his 2009 CD, One for the Road.

If you're a detailed fan of Ray Stevens (rather than a casual fan) then you're well aware that the scenes on Rayality TV that took place at The Encore Home for Retired Entertainers came from an earlier on-line series Ray did titled We Ain't Dead Yet. Some installments of Rayality TV even include the theme song of that earlier on-line series and at the end of this final installment the audience shouts the phrase at Ralph Emery (making an appearance in the final seconds).

Some of the faces seen in the audience at The Encore in some of the Rayality TV installments include the late George Lindsey, producer/songwriter Norro Wilson (playing the resident named Robert, plagued with a cold pinky), Buddy Kalb (usually in character as one of the hippies or as Dudley Dorite), John Ragsdale (Ray's brother), Janice Copeland, Sabrina Shelfer, Darryl Waltrip, and several others whose names I don't know but their faces are familiar.

October 9, 2014

Ray Stevens: The Praise the Lord appearance...

Hello all...it's been a week since my previous blog entry (for those that might be curious). An upcoming Ray Stevens appearance that I'd often been writing about in the last several blog entries finally aired a couple of days ago on October 7th. This appearance, taped in September, aired on the Trinity Broadcasting Network series Praise the Lord. The program runs 2 hours...and there's a video clip available. You can see the video HERE.

Obviously being a 2 hour program there are a lot of other artists appearing throughout.

Ray's appearance comes during the final half hour (roughly 1 hour, 30 minutes into the 2 hour program). Religious personality Jason Crabb hosts this particular episode. Ray is interviewed (this lasts around 10 minutes) and he talks about the gospel CD and the origins of "Everything is Beautiful" and "Mississippi Squirrel Revival". He performs "If Jesus is a Stranger", "The Preacher and the Bear", and "Shall We Gather at the River/Down By the Riverside". During the performance segment (in between songs) the image of the Gospel Collection, Volume One CD flashed on the screen as did the image of his memoir, Nashville. A rather nice promo for both items if I do say so myself. Shifting gears...the Ray Stevens music video "If You Like Your Plan" has moved past the 25,000 mark in unique views. I had commented earlier on about how I felt that this week (starting back on October 2) would be the 'impact' moment for the music video. What is an 'impact' moment? The impact moment is the point of time where a new product issued to the masses (a CD, a song, a music video, a book etc.) is suppose to have it's biggest impact with it's targeted audience.

The music video, as of October 9th, has 26,663 unique views. This is a pick-up of 2,746 (the numbers posted in my previous blog entry had the video sitting at 23,917)...and so it's been a rather modest week in unique views. There's several reasons for this...

It's just my opinion (based on the facts up to this point) but I've started to think that the video isn't meant to be a major release...some of his YouTube music videos may get a lot of publicity (including publicity from various Fox News programs) and then there are some music videos of his that don't cross over into high-profile television exposure.

Another reason for the video's brief stall in viewership is most certainly the national conversation at the moment. The national conversation isn't about Obama Care...it may indeed return to Obama Care by month's end as the midterm election cycles reaches it's peak...but at the moment the 2 topics dominating the national news cycle is the Ebola virus and ISIS. The latter stands for Islamic State in Syria.
Did you hear the news the other day? Obama stated in one of his speeches, and I'm paraphrasing: "I'm not on the ballot this November but my policies are!". So let it be known this midterm election cycle and shout it at the top of your lungs:

A vote for a Democrat this November is a vote for Obama!!

Obama...the guy that assured people that their health coverage wouldn't change or go away as a result of his pet project...

You can purchase the CD copy of Gospel Collection, Volume One HERE.

Amazon is nearly sold-out of the Nashville hardcover version of the memoir...the paperback's been sold-out/out-of-stock for several weeks. The Amazon product page for the hardcover format states there's only 2 left in stock. If you don't want to risk the possibility of the book being out-of-stock on Amazon the minute you decide to make an order I suggest you play it safe and visit Ray's on-line store. He's selling the hardcover format of the book and you can read more about it HERE.

I can't wait to see what else Ray Stevens has planned for the remainder of 2014 as we've since entered the fourth quarter of the year!!

October 2, 2014

Ray Stevens: If You Like Your Plan nearing 25,000 unique views...

Here it is October already...and in my first fan-created blog post for this month I take a look at the current YouTube video from Ray Stevens, "If You Like Your Plan". It's gotten a modest gain during the last couple of days as September turned to October. In my previous blog post on September 29th, three days ago, the video had gained 21,149 unique views by then. Since then it's gotten 2,768 additional views to bring it's total, as of now, to 23,917.

It hasn't reached the 25,000 level that I had predicted it might reach a couple of days back based on the pace it had been on. It needs 1,083 to reach the 25,000 plateau. I hope it accomplishes this as the day goes on. Once that happens let's see if it'll get to 30,000 in the not too distant future.

Feel free to share the video on the various social media sites so we can create even more awareness for it's existence.

If you've seen any of the midterm election campaign commercials there are many incumbents and challengers in the Democratic party that are steering clear of Obamacare and health care in general. They want to make it a non-issue so it doesn't become a talking point on the campaign trail...but the facts remain that those running as a Democrat, liberal, etc. etc. traditionally share the same values and beliefs of Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden.

By steering clear of Obama Care and having their names kept from being attached to the likes of Obama, Reid, Pelosi shouldn't be seen as those Democrats running for Federal or State office this midterm cycle disagree in any way with the things those three have done during their time in office. It's obvious, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, that candidates don't want to publicly address health care. An incumbent, however, has a record. A politician running for re-election doesn't have the luxury of saying they'll "be different" than the establishment.

It isn't a coincidence that since Obama Care's passage in 2010 several key members of Congress have conveniently "retired" or have decided not to run for re-election. Health care (Obama Care) and a string of unethical, illegal, and scandalous moments should rightfully define this midterm campaign season for the Democrats and it should be front and center in the campaigns from Republican, conservative/Tea Party challengers. The economy isn't booming and there isn't any proof that unemployment shouldn't be of concern anymore, regardless of it's national percentage rate.

The meat and potatoes issues of the economy, employment, and health care...coupled with military issues...are still important to a voter. The made-up "issues" by the Democrats (like equal pay, voter disenfranchisement, a so-called war on women) are simply non-issues, really. Those topics, as I refer to them, are elevated to relevant status by being constantly focused on in liberal blogs and on liberal news programs on a national level. By elevating those social topics nationally the Democrats obviously hope to distract voters from the real issues and to concentrate entirely on social topics. Obama's ascendency to the Oval Office clearly demonstrates the dangers of voters focusing on social topics and trendy buzzwords rather than seriously asking themselves if he's actually the right person for the job.

The majority of the voters failed in 2008 to recognize his incompetence during Obama-Mania and the 2012 re-election revealed that he couldn't maintain the Obama-Mania voter surge of 2008 because the popular vote in 2012 had Obama displaying 65,917,796 votes and Romney had 60,933,500 (a difference of 4.9 million). In 2008 Obama had 69,498,516 popular vote and McCain had 59,948,323...a difference of 9.5 million. Scaring seniors about medicare and portraying Romney as someone that'll take away senior citizen benefits played heavily in Florida and Ohio. California's notoriously liberal so it's often out of play for any Republican candidate. The fact that Obama still won re-election remains baffling but it reveals that in 2012 he could successfully be challenged...Romney didn't lose in a landslide, remember.

Ray visually refers to his "Mr. President-Mr. President" music video from September 2011. I made mention of it a couple of blogs ago. That particular YouTube video debuted on September 27, 2011 and it's gotten 1.5 million unique views so far...here it is...

On June 23, 2012 Ray Stevens gave us "Obama Nation". At the moment it's gotten 1.1 million unique views. Here's the video for that one...a nice blast from the not too distant past...