January 13, 2018

Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville...Bill Anderson

Hello all...I just finished watching the remaining episodes of the Season Two DVD of Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville. Bill Anderson happened to be the guest star of episode 9. Ray opened the show singing "Walking the Dog" from his 2015 album, Here We Go Again!.

Ray welcomes to the show that night's guest star, Bill Anderson. Ray makes mention of Warren Roberts and how instrumental he happened to be in their early lives. Ray mentions that Warren happened to be a faculty member at his high school...and Bill mentions that Warren was responsible for him landing a job on a Georgia radio station in a Saturday time slot "when nobody was probably listening" but quickly adds that everyone has to start somewhere. Ray mentions that his association with Bill Lowery came as a result of knowing Warren.

Bill makes mention of Ray's first commercially released single, "Silver Bracelet", and how it was the biggest thing in Atlanta and it enabled Ray to become known as The Atlanta Heart Throb and for awhile young girls in the area would swoon over every word and in his recollection they'd coo out "woo, it's Ray Stevens!". Bill remarks with high praise the memoir Ray co-authored and said it took him three days to read it. Ray jokingly remarks that Bill must be a slow reader if it took him that long to read it (a reference to how short the memoir is by comparison with others). Bill mentioned that his upcoming memoir, Whisperin' Bill Anderson: An Unprecedented Life in Country Music, was also going to be released as an audio book. The book saw it's release in September 2016 in hardcover as well as paperback and the audio version hit the next month. Bill performs "Still" with Ray's "orchestra". I quote that because Bill referred to the band as an orchestra...and Ray questioned this choice of words. "An orchestra?!?"...implying that the band is far too down to Earth to be confused with the more haughty sounding 'orchestra'.

Bill follows up this performance with "Old Army Hat". Bill is seen playing the guitar on this song and he says that the guitar was given to him by Billy Grammer in the late '50s to take on tour and promote the line of guitars but it came up missing one day and for at least 50 years it was lost. He said that one day he got a call from somebody saying he had found a guitar in a pawn shop and it could very well be the one that's been missing for half a century. This event in Bill's life was part inspiration for a song he wrote with Jamey Johnson called "The Guitar Song"...that song is about what a lonely guitar might be thinking while sitting in a pawn shop awaiting purchase.

Following the performance of "Old Army Hat" the limited animation music video, "Power Tools", aired. Ray closed the show performing "The Higher Education of Ol' Blue". Ray originally recorded that song on his 1993 Curb album, Classic Ray Stevens. The song is based on a story that's been told for decades in the southern portion of the United States and had become the focal point of a Jerry Clower routine titled "Crack, W.L., and Rover". Jerry's story can be found on his Starke Raving! album from 1984. Be on the lookout for my next review...episode 10...guest starring Sylvia!

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