August 31, 2015

Ray Stevens: Australian Import CD

Hello once more! Tomorrow being September 1st I thought I'd remind you all that it's the final day to purchase Ray's Such a Night DVD at it's current selling price. It's more or less half-priced and so get your orders in TODAY if you're interested in purchasing a DVD of one of his concerts taped in Branson, Missouri at this low price. You can purchase your copy HERE. I mentioned this sale in my previous blog entry but since it's been a couple of weeks I thought I'd mention it once more.

There's to be another compilation CD on Ray Stevens to hit the market. This time around it's a project from Australia on a label called Fanfare Records. The project is titled The Very Best of Ray Stevens but there's no information about the songs. The CD's cover uses the image of Ray from 1971's Greatest Hits on Barnaby. This may be an indication that the CD is a re-issue of a previously released Very Best Of package or it's an all-new compilation featuring contemporary liner notes. The generically titled Very Best Of... prefix appears on numerous Ray Stevens compilation projects released domestically and overseas for more than 30 years. Almost all of them feature the same selection of songs such as "The Streak", "Gitarzan", "Misty" but in different sequential order. The only differences being the label/distributor of the project, cover art, and if it features liner notes exclusive to the release.

A site called JB Hi-Fi, from Australia, has the CD listed on their page. The site also provides cover art...something lacking on Amazon's product page for the same CD. Also, the CD is going to be released on September 4, 2015 via the Australian site but then a week later it's to become available on Amazon on September 11th.

It's hard to tell if this CD is going to offer anything different since there's no track listing available or if there's going to be liner notes from an Australian point of view. Once more information becomes available I'll put together another blog entry.

There needs to be a compilation CD of his country music hit singles, specifically the years 1976-1983. Those recordings, the bulk of them at least, are so scarce and so routinely unavailable it's long been an annoyance of mine as to their lack of exposure. It's been 20 years since the release of the 3 CD compilation package by Warner Brothers on Ray Stevens. The 1995 releases of Cornball, The Serious Side of Ray Stevens, and Do You Wanna Dance? did a decent job of bringing back his obscure catalog for the label but there's been nothing since and he recorded a lot more for the label than those compilations spotlighted.

To put it into perspective...even though it's 2015, fans still have to rely on their vinyl albums or search for the vinyl albums on-line because the studio albums he recorded for Warner Brothers (1976-1978), RCA (1980-1982), and the one he did for Mercury in 1983 have never been reissued on CD or Mp3 but all of his other studio albums that were originally released on vinyl have seen a CD or Mp3 release at some point.

Here's the link to Ray's store once again...and the DVD currently on sale at the moment... Ray Stevens Store.

August 22, 2015

Ray Stevens in Boomer Magazine...

As I often do I'm frequently on the lookout for anything about Ray Stevens I can find. Doing a routine on-line search Friday afternoon I came across a site called Boomer Magazine. The link I accessed took me to an article/interview that must have taken place at some point in April or late March...there is no date indicated on the website. The reason I say that is because the author refers to his current project as a "just released CD" and so that could mean the article originated anywhere from late March into April. I don't know anything about the publication that the article appears in and so I don't know the circulation procedure. A little further research led me to learn that the article also appears in hard-copy form in the issue dated April-May 2015 of Boomer Magazine. By mentioning I had no idea about the circulation procedure of the publication I happen to be referring to the magazine's actual month of release. Did the April-May issue hit the market in the month of April or did it arrive in May...or did it arrive in June but feature articles compiled during the months of April and May?

You can access the on-line copy of the article by clicking HERE.

As I looked through some of my blog entries from earlier this year I came across one I wrote in April about a certain music video from Ray Stevens called "If You Like Your Plan". The video debuted almost a year ago to the day on September 22, 2014. In the April 2015 blog entry I highlighted the fact that the video happened to be approaching 90,000 unique views. The totals I reported in the April 5, 2015 blog entry were 88,225. Today, a little over four months later, the video's sitting at 118,017. This is a pickup of 29,472 audience captures and those come from video sharing because there's been zero publicity for the video's existence by Ray on any high profile news or entertainment program.

The reason for the lack of heavy publicity for the video is because a couple of other releases in 2014 (a memoir and a gospel CD) took major precedence. In fact the memoir, titled Ray Stevens' Nashville, sold out in paperback form on Amazon in less than 6 months.

If you visit it's AMAZON PAGE it still has the paperback unavailable. The hardcover and of course, the Kindle e-book version, are available for purchase. I purchased my copy the moment I heard of it's availability and I posted a review of it in April 2014.

The gospel CD, in the meantime, arrived right around this time last year. The actual day of release happened to be August 19, 2014. Titled The Ray Stevens Gospel Collection, Volume One it became heavily promoted on southern Gospel music outlets and Ray appeared on several Gospel flavored music programs both locally and nationally. Given that it's been one whole year since VOLUME ONE'S release...isn't it about time for the long-awaited Volume 2...hopefully the second Volume comes along by calendar's end!!

Time's running out to place your order for Ray's Such a Night DVD. The sale ends on September 1st and here's the PRODUCT PAGE. The price of the DVD is ordinarily $24.95 but the sale, which begun at the start of August, has the DVD marked down to $12.50. The concert comes from one of his sold-out performances in Branson, Missouri at The Welk Theatre in 2010 and it's the first half of his concert. The second half, politically oriented and released on DVD as Patriots and Politics, is also on DVD but it isn't on sale. The price has always been less than $20.00...currently sitting at $16.95.

I happened to be too busy yesterday to put much effort/concentration into a blog entry but I came across a Facebook posting by a user named Where Have All The Pop Stars Gone? featuring a post about Ray Stevens. I'm familiar with their FACEBOOK PAGE and I reply to posts that contain a Ray Stevens mention of some kind. One of their posts yesterday pointed out that on August 21, 1961 Ray's single "Jeremiah Peabody's Polyunsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green and Purple Pills" made it's debut on Billboard's pop music chart and eventually peaked just inside the Top-40. The song became his first nationally recognized hit recording (a series of singles from Ray dating back to 1957 made local/regional impact prior to Jeremiah Peabody hitting nationally in 1961). Even though it's his first Top-40 pop hit it's not exactly his breakthrough hit...that didn't come until 1962...but here's one of the vinyl single releases of his 1961 recording...

August 15, 2015

Ray Stevens: Additional Concert Dates Announced...

Hello fans of Ray Stevens!

In case you hadn't taken a look at the Ray Stevens tour page yet or hadn't seen his most recent Facebook post there have some additions to his Here We Go Again Tour. The tour date I previously mentioned for Ontario, Canada at the Casino Rama on October 9th is on his tour page now. A couple of other dates have also been added...first off on November 14th he'll mark his return to the Renfro Valley Barn in Mount Vernon, Kentucky. The other additions are far off in the future: a concert date scheduled in Bremen, Georgia for April 16, 2016 at the Mill Town Music Hall and a concert at the Blue Gate Theater in Shipshewana, Indiana on May 21, 2016.

You can read all about those additions and other concerts previously announced by going to Ray's EVENTS page at his official website. His next concert takes place on September 12th in Branson, Missouri. I've been thinking of what song from Ray's current CD could make for a comical music video and I've decided on "There Must Be a Pill For This". I also thought of Ray, in chicken costume, acting out "Pickin' on the Chicken" in video form. That one could also be rather amusing.


August 9, 2015

Ray Stevens: YouTube Top-15...

In a night time blog entry I've decided to post the Top-15 YouTube music videos from Ray Stevens based upon unique views. I often do this once in awhile just to periodically check up on older music videos that continue to gather an audience but aren't the most recent uploads. In reverse order here are the Top-15 videos including the most recent capture of unique view totals...

15. Grandpa Voted Democrat: 650,783
14. Santa Claus is Watching You: 793,599
13. Sittin' Up with the Dead: 848,147
12. Everything is Beautiful: 946,509
11. Shriner's Convention: 1,023,848

10. God Save Arizona: 1,055,828
9. Throw the Bums Out!: 1,144,690
8. Obama Nation: 1,227,347
7. It's Me Again, Margaret: 1,511,117
6. Mr. President - Mr. President: 1,648,984

5. Obama Budget Plan: 3,910,972
4. The Streak: 4,852,790
3. Mississippi Squirrel Revival: 5,228,877
2. We The People: 5,286,198
1. Come to the USA: 9,170,419

For those curious his version of "Help Me Make It Through The Night" ranks at #19 with a current total of 557,348 unique views. The music video for "Ahab the Arab" ranks at #17 with 597,766. Unfortunately there had been an unofficial upload of "Ahab the Arab" on YouTube for several years prior to Ray's YouTube channel coming into existence. The unofficial upload has more than a million unique views due to it being available longer...much of the video's impact happened during the first several months of it's unofficial release. Once Ray uploaded the video onto YouTube via his channel, though, I happen to believe that it grabbed a lot of views that would've gone to the unofficial upload instead.

On a related note...the music video for "Too Drunk to Fish" that I posted about in my previous blog entry has indeed gone past the one million mark. Since it isn't part of the RayStevensMusic channel on YouTube it isn't being counted as an official video release on the video hosting site but as of this writing the unique view total is 1,000,253.

A year ago this month Ray Stevens released The Gospel Collection, Volume One. The release is associated with the Gaither Gospel Series and the marketing fell in the hands of the Gaither organization instead of it being under Ray's control. On the back of the CD and on the CD itself there are imprints of the various logos of production companies: Gaither Music Group, Clyde Records, Gaither Gospel Series, and Spring House Productions.

For a period of time Ray made the rounds of various country-gospel outlets and even appeared on the Praise the Lord series on the Trinity Broadcasting Network during the initial publicity for the CD and the main single, "If Jesus is a Stranger". In a video clip from the program, Larry's Country Diner, Ray performs "If Jesus is a Stranger"...

The clip begins in the midst of Ray speaking the opening to the song but that doesn't take away from the overall performance...

A couple of other uploads of Ray performing songs from the gospel CD are next...

Although the version of "Turn Your Radio On" on the gospel CD features the original lyrics from the late 1930s this performance includes the lyrics most commonly associated with the Ray Stevens version...

And "Amazing Grace"...the guitar player is Jimmy Capps (a regular on Larry's series playing the part of a Sheriff but in reality Capps is a legendary session musician).

Ray Stevens: The Taylor Swift Music Video, Entry 12...

Hello once more to the fan-created blog focusing on the music and goings-on in the world of Ray Stevens. In my previous blog entry I mentioned the sale of one of Ray's DVDs, Such a Night: 50 Years of Hits and Hilarity. The sale runs until the end of this month. You can visit the product page HERE and purchase your copy. This DVD has only been available exclusively on Ray's website since 2012 and offered at the merchandise table at concerts. It's never been the object of television advertising and so the general public is probably not aware of it's existence and it's not been officially marketed for sale on Amazon even though consumers often offer copies of it for sale in the Marketplace area. The concert footage comes from performances at The Welk Theatre and Resort in Branson, Missouri.

I had been noticing the increasing number of unique views of Ray's "Taylor Swift is Stalkin' Me" video and it passed the 300,000 mark earlier this morning.

One of the more bizarre things in entertainment news is the recent flap over the criticism of a current song from Taylor Swift by Miley Cyrus. I read the original commentary and the point Cyrus happened to be making about double standards, ageism, and sexism. Although this isn't the place for any kind of argue and debate, especially about non-Ray Stevens subject matter, I brought it up because half of the subject matter ties into Ray's music video. The current total of unique views for that particular video are 300,222. The song/music video had been heavily promoted by Ray through appearances on a couple of radio talk shows and a couple of appearances at the Grand Ole Opry...all of it leading up to the release of his current CD, Here We Go Again! in late March.

The CD spawned the current mini-tour he's been on...his next concert appearance is scheduled for September 12th at The Andy Williams Theatre in Branson, Missouri. Tickets to this concert became available awhile back and so it may be sold-out or a near sell-out. You'll have to call 1-800-MOON-094 to find out any information. I'd posted about this concert several months ago...several times...but now it's only a calendar month away from taking place. The tickets happened to go on sale back on May 18th. Click the upcoming link and you'll be able to read much more information about the appearance via this PRESS RELEASE. It contains a local number to call in case you're in the general area.

On September 19th he'll be in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina at The Alabama Theatre. You can click HERE for information. If you're like me you'll like the advertisement for his appearance...the image from the Ray Stevens Gospel Collection, Volume One is being used as a publicity photo.

On September 26th Ray appears for the third time this year as a guest on the Grand Ole Opry. I can't recall any other year that Ray's made as many guest appearances at the members-only Grand Ole Opry. In addition to that third Opry guest appearance Ray had also appeared on the Opry Country Classics radio series hosted by Larry Gatlin several months ago. Ray's never been a member of the Grand Ole Opry...can't understand why he's never become a member by now...he lives in Nashville, too...but nevertheless he'll make another guest appearance next month.

In addition to the current CD and the music videos, "Taylor Swift is Stalkin' Me" and "You Didn't Build That", let's remember that Ray has a memoir on the market titled Ray Stevens' Nashville. The book can be purchased on several sites but I often supply a link to my Amazon review located HERE. Once there you'll see the Add to Cart button over on the right hand side of the page.

Here's a Ray Stevens 50 year time capsule in 6 lines:

1965: Mercury Records releases the novelty single "Rockin' Teenage Mummies".

1975: Barnaby Records releases the single, "Misty", and it takes home a Grammy.

1985: MCA Records album He Thinks He's Ray Stevens is certified Gold.

1995: Direct-to-Home Video movie, Get Serious!, is released.

2005: Records the novelty single "We're Having a Baby (The Natural Way)".

2015: Releases 2 comedy music videos and the CD Here We Go Again!

Of course that's just a generic time capsule and nothing incredibly detailed at all and it only covers the previous 50 years, in 10 year increments, dating back to 1965...and we all know Ray's music career dates back to 1957. I thought it rather amusing to compress 50 years into 6 can be seen as a satiric look at modern day biographers, too, because of this lack of detail and depth I purposely gave the time capsule. If I wanted to get detailed I could've pointed out activity in Ray's career in every single year from 1965 through the present but I chose not to...this blog entry is long enough as it is...but there's some other things I want to highlight and so the blog entry is going to become longer...

In the 50+ year of Ray Stevens the re-releasing of studio albums is a part of the cycle. Record companies and their subsidiaries and independent labels getting license to issue previously recorded songs is commonplace. In 1997 Ray Stevens released a comedy album for MCA titled Hum It. The album features Ray on the cover as a referee in a picture frame next to a visual parody of Whister's Mother (also Ray Stevens). Curb Records reissued the 1997 CD in 2011...accompanied by a slightly different visual appearance in cover art...

The original release, from March 1997, tickled the funny bones of most of the music critics. A lot of attention tended to be given to the cover art...some mistakenly thinking that Ray appeared as Mother Bates instead of Whistler's Mother on the cover. I believe it took place in an interview with Crook and Chase but Ray was eventually asked why he dressed up as Norman Bates' mother on the CD cover and that led him to explain the concept behind the cover art. Ray explained that the album's title is based on the idea that Whistler's Mother is tired of whistling and from now on she'll just 'hum it' instead of whistling. The Ray referee in the picture blowing a whistle right next to the "mother" suddenly made a lot of sense to those that couldn't originally understand the concept behind the cover art. Once this little bit of curiosity was solved the focus became the music. One of the highlights of the album is "Mama Sang Bass" represents a rare time in the career of Ray Stevens that he performs a duet...but not in the conventional sense. In this case J.D. Sumner, famed bass singer, appears on the recording as Mama. Ray plays the part of Daddy in a high, tenor voice. The song's story takes place in a church setting, mostly, as Ray tells about a couple that work in factories that ultimately impact their chemical structure. Mama worked in a plant that made steroids and Daddy worked in a plant that manufactured birth control pills. As time goes by Mama seems to be developing attributes conventionally applied to men. Daddy, meanwhile, sees a reversal too...each going so far as to change habits. Daddy becomes family cook and Mama finds herself needing to shave her face. Ray performed this song only once on television...J.D. Sumner himself appeared on the program and had a lot of fun playing Mama. Ray promoted a couple of other songs from the album, though, in music video format: "Virgil and the Moonshot" and "Too Drunk To Fish". This being 1997 and years before the creation of YouTube and social media as we know it the videos didn't get the kind of exposure they currently do via social media. An audience of more than 64,000 have seen the video of Virgil's adventure in outer space. On the other hand an audience of almost a million have seen "Too Drunk To Fish". The current total number of unique vies for that video are 999,983!! The video needs 17 more discoveries to reach a million. Please note that the video's uploaded by a channel called RayStevensVEVO and not the usual RayStevensMusic. However, this music video's long been available on-line and it'll be nice to see it crack the million mark...the embed closes out the blog entry.

Curb Records, as mentioned, reissued this CD in 2011. If you glance back up at the 1997 release the background color is a bit more green and this one is much darker. Also the lettering is changed. Instead of Ray's name appearing across the top of the cover it appears beneath the photo of the referee and the title appears in bigger letters underneath his name. Also the color of the lettering has changed from yellow to white. Also, the color is so dark that one can't see the chair as you can in the 1997 release. In addition to the songs I mentioned the rest of the CD features songs ranging from amusing to charming. One of the amusing is "She Loves Elvis Better Than Me"...a tale of a guy whose wife has a flirtation with the late King of Rock and Roll. The album opens up with a rollicking tale of family fun in an "R.V." that seems to create more chaos than comfort. On the charming level is "I'll Be In Atlanta". I love that song!! It's got a great arrangement/melody steeped in Dixieland and it's fun to listen to Ray incorporate imagery and characters from Gone with The Wind. Even though it's never explicitly stated that he's doing so you can't help but think of the film as he name drops the likes of Scarlett, Rhett, Melanie, Ashley, Prissy, Mammy, and the plantation house of Tara. Ray performed this song a couple of times on television appearances in the mid 1990s. Did I forget to mention I love the Dixieland arrangement??

August 5, 2015

Ray Stevens: You Didn't Build That, blog 2...

Hello once more...for those that hadn't purchased the Ray Stevens DVD titled Such a Night...50 Years of Hits and Hilarity (2012) it's on sale for the remainder of August. The sale ends on September 1st! Dropping in price from $24.95 to $12.50 and here's the LINK to view the product for yourselves.

In an update on the most current YouTube video by Ray Stevens, titled "You Didn't Build That", the numbers are 41,815. The song's about Obama's attitude toward American business and his Socialist ideals that nobody should claim anything they've earned for their own but rather share one's income, luxury, and fortunate circumstances freely and thank the Government, ultimately, for one's economical fortunes and opportunities. It's another serious, hard-hitting message but there's not been much, if any, publicity for it beyond the video sharing on-line. It's apparently become secondary given the busy schedule of concert travel, performances, and other activities...but let's also not forget that Obama's time as President is nearing entry into it's final year...and let's also not forget that Obama no doubt plans to speed up/accelerate whatever remaining goals he has in store for America's economy and society...and so don't be lulled into a sense of relief that 2016 is an election year and that he'll wind down and ease up on his socialistic agenda. If anything be prepared for hyper-activity and even more damage-inducing policies.

Don't forget that "You Didn't Build That" can be found on his current CD, Here We Go Again!, and that can be purchased HERE. At the moment there are 14 customer reviews on Amazon of the CD.

It must be a sign of the times but customer's nowadays don't seem to put much into their reviews anymore. My review (dated March 25) is lengthy and there's another review (dated March 24) that's expressive, too, but the remaining 12 are either one sentence or one word in length.

My guess is the reactions come from mobile devices...perhaps from customers used to the fast pace of character-limited social media chit-chatting and text messaging that it's become habit for super brief commentary no matter if there's not a character limit in place. It isn't just the reviews of Ray's music but it's across the internet landscape. Lengthy, descriptive, wordy commentary still exists but it hit me that it's becoming an endangered species ( takes me at least 5 or maybe 10 years, maybe longer, to realize cultural changes have occurred). Here's the image of the current CD from Ray Stevens...

August 2, 2015

Ray Stevens: Lady of Spain at 40...

Hello one and all...a certain Spanish lady that Ray Stevens sang about in 1975 is 40 this year. Originating on the Misty album comes "Lady of Spain"...a pop music standard that up until 1975 had been performed mostly as a love ballad and in some performances as an instrumental on guitar and or accordion. In fact, in the performances that feature a vocalist (recordings from the likes of Bing Crosby, Eddie Fisher, Dennis Day, and dating back to 1931's recording by Al Bowlly and Ray Noble's orchestra) the singer is usually singing the song at a slower tempo against the up-tempo musical backdrop.

Although the instrumental performances carried an up-tempo flair in comparison to some of the vocal performances none could compare to the raucous, up-tempo lively performance by Ray Stevens. In the Ray Stevens recording his vocal matches the musical tempo...and on top of that he does a swell vocal impression of the legendary Fats Domino during the first half of the record before it explodes even further into a frenzy prior to Ray calling out the name of the saxophonist at the session, Norman Ray, who goes into a saxophone solo. The image off to the left is from the German release early in 1976. The recording itself took place in 1975 but commercially seen a single release in the summer of final single release on the Barnaby Records label several months after Ray had joined and already released his debut album for Warner Brothers. Given that "Lady of Spain" seen it's release after he left Barnaby meant that all of the media hype that could've been used for the single had instead gone to his current single release for Warner Brothers, "You Are So Beautiful"...but longtime fans of Ray are well aware of his cover of "Lady of Spain". It's one of my all-time favorites.

The image of Ray that the record distributors overseas used on the single release of "Lady of Spain" comes from his 1973 album, Nashville. Once upon a time international publicity of American artists utilized previously released publicity photo's or images from previously released albums instead of issuing an exclusive photo for each fact I came across an article on Ray dated from 1976 but it clearly used a photo of Ray from 1970 as a visual. This kind of thing continues to go on today but to a lesser extent. If you visit any number of sites that feature information or articles about Ray Stevens chances are you're going to see a publicity photo of Ray from the latter half of the 2000s or the familiar photo of Ray from his 1992 Comedy Video Classics home video...that release occurred 23 years ago (!) as hard as it is for me to believe...but sites use that photo of him to this very day.

One of the strange facts about the single release of Ray's cover of "Lady of Spain" is that it credits a writer by the name of H.B. Tilsley alongside Tolchard Evans, Stanley Damerell, and Robert Hargreaves. On almost all other single releases of the song by other artists the writers are credited as Tolchard Evans and Erell Reaves (a pseudonym for the lyricists). I'll post an image of the single release from Ray a little bit later. In the meantime "Lady of Spain", as the title of this blog entry points out, turns 40 and so does all of the recordings on the Misty album. Yes, the big hit from the album is the Grammy inning title track but the entire album is Grammy worthy. Even though Ray's performance of "Misty" is incredible, in hindsight, it's massive success over shadowed the remaining performances from the album with "Lady of Spain" being one of those over-looked gems. Another under-rated performance from that album is this single's B-side, "Mockingbird Hill"...oh, and then there's the splendor of "Indian Love Call" and the memorable vocals on "Deep Purple". Here's something to amaze your friends with...Ray Stevens, in 1975, visited The Great American Songbook decades before it became commonplace as a commercial endeavor. As mentioned, the image used on this picture sleeve comes from Ray's Nashville album. In some of my earlier blog entries I've posted other picture sleeves of "Lady of Spain" happened to be the image of Ray from the Misty album.

I came across an interesting item on eBay several hours album called Puzzle credited to Ray Stevens and the release year being 1978 and the country of release being Spain. I can't read foreign languages but common sense would lead one to assume that it's a double album (2 vinyl albums) based on the sticker that appears on the album's cover. The year of release being 1978 and the fact it contains 2 vinyl records has me thinking it's an earlier version of a United Kingdom double album project that surfaced a year later in 1979 called The Greatest Hits Collection or a re-release of a 1977 double album project called The Many Sides of Ray Stevens. The bizarre fact surrounding this Puzzle double LP is there's no picture of Ray on the album's cover but a familiar font of his name appears. The font comes from the 1975 Greatest Hits compilation with the rather large copy of the "S" letter. Any information about this Puzzle LP is appreciated. The back of the LP isn't on display and perhaps a picture of him and the list of songs on the album appear on that side of the cover but as you can see all that's on the front is the title, the number of vinyl discs, and the artist name.

Here's that image of the single release I made mention of earlier. The writers are credited as R. Hargreaves, T. Evans, S. Damerell, and H.B. Tilsley. I did some research in the past and Tilsley happened to be a composer often credited as Henry B. Tilsley...and his name appears on other works featuring the other credited writers. Further research at some future point in time may provide me with answers as to the reason Tilsley is credited as a writer in some pressings of "Lady of Spain" but yet he's uncredited as a writer in other pressings. If you're familiar with the long running program hosted by Lawrence Welk (1951-1982) then you'll immediately be familiar with "Lady of Spain" as the theme song for Myron Floren, an accordionist and right hand man on the program for pretty much it's entire run (both locally, nationally, and in syndication).

Ray Stevens in Canada this October...

Although the date hasn't been posted on his official site I came across an upcoming concert date for Ray Stevens scheduled for this coming October 9th at 9pm. The venue is a Canadian casino located in Orillia, Ontario, Canada and you can read about the upcoming concert HERE. Judging from the site and the photos it's a state of the art facility...housing a massive performance area that regularly converts from being a traditional concert hall to a venue that offers boxing matches (based on the photos on display). According to the page I linked to the tickets became exclusive to members of the casino on July 19th and then to the general public on July 22nd.

Presumably the audience for this event more than likely are going to be much more familiar with the pop music era of Ray's career or perhaps not familiar with him at all and are just attending due it being part of a night out at the casino. Ray's career seems to have limited coverage, internationally, once you go beyond 1979/1980...except in Canada.

There's a lot of websites originating outside of the United States that offer detailed information on Ray Stevens' career pre-1980 but typically offer little to no information on his country music and country comedy successes post-1980. Of course a lot of that has to do with the limited exposure of country music, especially country comedy, internationally, and so a lot of people abroad may in fact genuinely believe that Ray's career ended around that 1980 time period (his single, "Shriner's Convention", became a massive hit in Canada early in 1980). Canada's had a country music chart for decades and so a lot of artists from the U.S. crossed over into Canada's music scene and vice-versa...some artists that originated in Canada ended up having their biggest successes in America.

Venue: Casino Rama Resort

Where: Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Time: 9pm

Date: October 9th

Site: Casino Rama Resort 

Ray Stevens appeared in Hiawassee, Georgia last night (August 1st) at the Anderson Music Hall. The concert was promoted rather heavily on his Facebook page. By that I mean several posts leading up to the concert appear in succession on his page. Posts from July 10th, July 28th, July 29th, and lastly July 30th centered around last night's concert appearance. He's appeared at the venue before...a publicity piece from June 2010 is still available for viewing that 2010 article the author of the promo tended to balance a tight rope between factual information and somewhat hostile personal opinion of Ray's performance style. As mentioned in several of my previous blog entries Ray Stevens is currently on his Here We Go Again! Tour. The tour is named after his current comedy CD...being displayed in the image above. This tour is not the conventional night after night venue appearance for weeks on end...those days are a thing of the past...this tour is more or less a batch of concert appearances spread out over the course of the latter half of 2015 and into 2016. Yes...there's a 2016 appearance already scheduled. It's an appearance at the annual Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Florida on March 9th! I haven't mentioned it too much because the appearance is obviously months from now and tickets aren't even available yet.

According to his site the next concert appearances are in September. An appearance at the Moon River Theatre on September 12th in Branson, Missouri and then an appearance at the Alabama Theatre in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on September 19th. I provided links to those venue's in a previous blog entry but I'll post them again as we get close to those dates.

On October 2nd he'll be at the SKyPAC venue in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on October 3rd he'll be doing 2 concerts at the Country Tonite Theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and then on October 9th (not posted on his official website yet) he'll be up in Canada at the Casino Rama Resort (details at the beginning of this blog entry!!).