Hello all fans of Ray Stevens!! I take a look at Episode Seven, Season Two of Ray Stevens' CabaRay Nashville...in which the guest star is Collin Raye. Ray opens the show singing "Hearts Made of Stone". The studio recording emphasizes echo and creates the feel of late '50s rhythm and blues. This is difficult to re-create in a live performance and so it lacks the echo effect heard on the recording. It's a good performance, though. The recording can be found on his Here We Go Again! album. One of the things I noticed is that Tommy White, the steel guitarist, happened to be playing the dobro on this performance. It's the first time I'd seen him play a dobro on Ray's show. After the performance Ray brings out Collin Raye.
I have liked hearing Collin sing for years...although I'm not what you might call a fan of his (someone that purchases music or attends his concerts) I nevertheless felt that he was among the better vocalists in the New Country wave that spread all over country music in the early '90s and even today if I find myself station surfing the radio and hear him I'll leave it at the station and continue listening to him. The thing that caused me to take notice of him was the fact that his first hit song happened to be a cover of "All I Can Be is a Sweet Memory" which had previously been recorded by Conway Twitty on a 1985 album called Chasin' Rainbows. The song's writer happened to be Harlan Howard.
Collin tells of how he first met Ray down in Branson, Missouri and the two of them recall how difficult and exhaustive it is doing live concerts day after day, week after week, year after year. Collin happened to be an artist in residence for half a year. Collin's encounter with Ray took place at the Moon River owned by Andy Williams...and that the people in the audience wanted an encore. Collin remarked that Ray, for an encore, walked on stage and sang one line of a song and went off stage...came back on stage and sang a line of another song...and then left...came back out and sang a line from a different song. It went on and on 6 times...and as a joke that's how Ray obtained 6 encores one night.
Ray brings up Collin's charity work and Collin talks of raising money for electric wheelchairs due to their being so expensive. He sings "My Kind of Girl" and it's followed by the limited animation music video of "Hang Up and Drive".
The video's still shot is of him performing "My Kind of Girl". After the animated music video concludes Ray asks about Collin's ballads and that he's recorded several that require a kleenex when listening. Collin performs "Love, Me" while Ray plays the piano...the only instrument heard during the performance. This emotional performance is followed up with a second limited animation music video...the cartoon video of "Jeremiah Peabody's Green and Purple Pills". Ray closes the show performing "Yakety Yak".
On the next episode of Ray Stevens' CabaRay Nashville the guests happened to be Darryl Worley and Lee Greenwood. It's Ray's patriotic episode. Lee nor Darryl appear together on-screen and the episode breaks formula somewhat...I'll explain in my next blog entry!