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.
well 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 1976...one 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.
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"...one happened to be the image of Ray from the Misty album.
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.
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).