September 23, 2017

Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville...Duane Eddy

Hello out there to all the fans of Ray Stevens! In this blog entry I'll be spotlighting the September 16th episode of Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville. The episode, as you can see, aired last weekend but I'd been busy with off-line activity. The guest that night happened to be legendary guitarist, Duane Eddy. Ray opened the show with a highly energetic performance of "Searchin'", a song that should be familiar to most of Ray's fans. The song had originally been a hit recording by one of Ray's favorite groups, The Coasters. Ray recorded a version of the song for his 9-CD box set, Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music (released in 2012).

In the installment of the Comedy Theater we're treated to a clip from Ray's sitcom, We Ain't Dead Yet. The clip features Phil Everly playing the role of William Maurice (a pun on talent agency William Morris). Afterward Ray introduces Duane Eddy and they speak of his upbringing. Duane mentions that be was born in Upstate New York but later the family moved out west to Arizona. The reason given by Duane is that his father got tired of shoveling snow. Duane speaks of his record producer, Lee Hazlewood.

Duane talks of his innovative 'twangy' style of guitar playing and speaks of the mechanism he added to the guitar strings to create that effect. He and Ray perform a duet version of "Forty Miles of Bad Road"...and the performance is something to behold. It was as if the two of them were competing with one another: Duane on the twangy lead guitar and Ray playing piano. The image off to the left is a single release showing Duane as a co-writer. In smaller print the record producers are credited as Sill-Hazlewood, a reference to Lester Sill and Lee Hazlewood. Since I wasn't too familiar with the production credits of Duane Eddy recordings I had to look them up and that's how I learned of Lester Sill being one of the producers along with Lee Hazlewood. Upon the conclusion of "Forty Miles of Bad Road" Duane performs another one of his instrumental classics. This time around it's his signature instrumental, "Rebel Rouser". It, too, is performed as a duet. Ray's longtime saxophone session musician, Denis Solee, does his rendition of the instrumental while Duane performs it on the guitar. This performance also carries a kind of competitive presentation, too, with each legendary musician matching note for note on their very different instruments.

This episode seemed to be a bit shorter than the others but maybe it's because the guest happened to be an instrumentalist...or maybe because the episode was peppered with various instrumental performances it just seemed like it had a shorter running time? Whichever the reason this particular episode seemed to fly by...and he closed the show with a performance of "Three Legged Man". He had performed that song in a more recent episode but in that performance he did some vocal effects during the performance. This time around he had his sound effects played over the speaker system. The next episode of the series, which aired tonight (September 23rd), guest starred Angaleena Presley. I'll be doing a re-cap of that episode in a couple minutes so be on the look out for 2 blog entries from me tonight...maybe a third one by early Sunday morning...

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