August 27, 2017

Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville...Baillie and the Boys...

Hello once early Sunday morning here and time to re-cap the most recent episode of Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville. On this particular episode Ray opened the show performing "Little Egypt". For those that don't know this is a song that Ray recorded for his 1969 album, Gitarzan, but it had previously been a hit by The Coasters in 1961. In the 1969 recording from Ray he channels his Coasters inspirations and at various times slips in his vocal impressions of Coasters member, Billy Guy, a member that sang lead on most of the group's well known recordings...most notably, "Searchin"...but back to the television show...Ray performed a more informal, stripped down arrangement of "Little Egypt" but it still managed to carry a lively flair during his remarks to the audience as the background singers repeated the Ying-Yang phrase. The thing that the performance lacked was the very loud James Brown-like howls and hollers that you'll hear in the 1969 recording and the 'sock it to me' phrase clearly borrowed from the Laugh-In television series.

Ray tells everybody that the guests are Baillie and the Boys and to stay tuned. A recurring segment, Comedy Theater, airs a clip of Ray coming out on stage at his Branson, Missouri theater in the early '90s riding Clyde the Camel. It's, of course, a puppet in which Ray operates in a most unusual fashion. He steps inside a pair of "camel legs" while two "human legs" are sewn on either side of the camel. The head of the camel and it's "reigns" are in front and camel's hump and a set of puppet legs are in back. As he makes his way from behind the curtain and onto the stage he's running but it gives the appearance he's a passenger on a runaway camel. Ray then brings out Baillie and the Boys and they speak of their career and interact with Ray when the conversation turns to making music. Kathy Baillie and her husband, Michael, make up the duo and she mentioned that they're actually referred to now as Baillie and the Boy because it went from a trio to a duo.

Michael speaks of demo recordings and this causes both Ray and Kathy to remark about demo recordings...and Michael mentions that most demo recordings sound more real than an actual recording but demo's lack the bells and whistles of a studio recording. The duo perform "Wish I Had a Heart of Stone"...their biggest hit. Every so often I hear that song on a local Classic Country radio station to this day. As far as their commercial recordings go they recorded for RCA for five years (1987-1991) but had been a road/touring act for several years prior to and after that. The second song the duo sang happened to be a new one, "The House My Daddy Built". Along for the performances was special unannounced guest, Molly Cherryholmes, who sang the harmony and played the fiddle. Molly happened to be part of a Bluegrass family group, Cherryholmes, which research shows had been a top Bluegrass attraction for 12 years (1999-2011). I had heard of the group due to Bluegrass being a big part of the playlist on the local Classic Country radio station I listen to but I knew nothing about them. When Molly Cherryholmes was introduced a light bulb went off and I thought to myself "Cherryholmes? I had heard of that last name before...but where??" so I had to Google it and sure enough it reminded me that there once was a group called Cherryholmes.

Ray closes the show performing another classic made famous by the Coasters. After opening the show with "Little Egypt" he closes the show singing "Poison Ivy". This performance is more faithful to the recording and for visual humor Ray adds some body twitching and itching as he warns the people to be careful getting too close to the poisonous ivy. Coming up on next week's episode (airing here September 2nd) is one of Ray's long time music acquaintances, Tommy Roe.

In my previous blog entry I provided some updates on the episodes that'll be airing on KET2 through November 18th. I checked KET2's episode guide of CabaRay Nashville episodes and there's a slight error. They have September 23rd and September 30th listed with Angaleena Presley as the special guest. However, once you click the September 30th episode to read the details, you'll see that the special guests are actually The Riders in the Sky. The episode guest starring Angaleena Presley is going to air on September 23rd. I had wondered where the episode of The Riders in the Sky had vanished to because I know they recorded an episode for this season but it had never appeared on KET2's list. In fact, now that I think about it, the schedule had previously shown Duane Eddy as the guest on September 16th and then it would jump to September there was a missing episode from the list and now it's been added but with some confusion.

The next series of episodes...the air dates represent the first showing which are always on a airs here on Saturday...

Sept 1 – Tommy Roe
Sept 8 – Mark Wills
Sept 15 – Duane Eddy
Sept 22 -- Angaleena Presley
Sept 30 -- The Riders in the Sky
Those 5 episodes are followed by the 7 that I posted in my previous blog entry for the month of October and first half of November. If you're keeping numerical track The Riders in the Sky mark the 13th episode of the first PBS season. The November 17th episode guest starring John Berry is episode 20. This means there are 6 more episodes from this first season on PBS yet to air (there were 26 produced altogether). Several of those episodes are holiday themed...2 Christmas episodes and a New Year's Eve episode (26). There are no "repeats" and so more episodes are planned to start airing the weekend of January 5, 2018. In total there are suppose to be 52 first-run episodes that'll eventually air on PBS. As mentioned the New Year's Eve-themed telecast is episode 26 (it should air here on December 30th) and then the next round of 26 first run episodes should then begin airing come the first weekend of January 2018. I think those episodes are going to be taped at his CabaRay venue, edited, and then they'll hit the airwaves but don't quote me on that. I know from the things I've read on his social media sites that the goal is to start taping the show in the facility but I don't know if all 26 episodes set to air in the first half of 2018 are going to originate from there or not. His most recent taping session took place at the usual facility and those episodes haven't aired it will probably be that the first half of 2018's episodes will be in the familiar studio setting and the second half of the 2018 season the episodes will originate from the CabaRay. It's difficult to know for certain...but once it becomes more clear and an announcement is made I'll of course blog about it.

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