Hello once again...and on today's blog entry I'm recapping episode 11 from Season Two of Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville. On this episode the special guest happened to be Con Hunley. The episode was taped during recording sessions that took place in February 2017. Those episodes were among the first-run's that began airing on PBS stations in the summer.
Ray opens the show with a performance of "The Baptism of Stumpy Brown", from his Here We Go Again! album, from the pen of Buddy Kalb and Allison Speer. It's a funny story and it's a sing-a-long kind of performance if you happen to know the lyrics. It's about a non-believer that decides he wants to get baptized in his 90's and the chaos that ensues after the Preacher tosses him in the river. After this bit of funny business Ray welcomes Con Hunley.
Con speaks of his background and makes mention that during a period of more than 10 years he never recorded but that all changed after reuniting with Norro Wilson in the early 2000s and the two of them began working together once more. Norro, I had learned, was Con's record producer during the period of time he was signed to Warner Brothers. I was not too familiar with Con Hunley's career or his recordings but I knew of his name because he recorded several songs that became bigger hits for other artists...one in particular being "What Am I Gonna Do About You?". It hit the Top-20 for him in 1985 but yet the very next year a recording by Reba McEntire hit the charts and her version hit number one early in 1987. Con also recorded "You've Still Got a Place in My Heart" and it was issued as a single in 1978 and it hit the Top-20 but then several years later (1984) an abbreviated recording by George Jones would hit the Top-5.
During Con's discussion with Ray about Norro he was pointed out in the audience. The camera pans out to the audience and Norro is seated next to Buddy Kalb. Norro hollers from his chair to the area where Ray and Con are standing and everyone has a laugh. Norro has since passed away and this could very well be his final appearance in front of a camera. Norro passed away in June of 2017 and the taping of this episode occurred in February of 2017.
Con speaks of his love of Ray Charles and a current album called A Collection: By Request. If you look for the CD on-line by way of search engines you're going to find it listed on several on-line music sites but once you visit those sites you're not going to find it due to it not being available in general release anymore even though it's still listed. However, you can still purchase it on Amazon but there's a disclaimer of there only being 6 copies of the CD available. It's not available as an Mp3 and Amazon doesn't offer any song selection so you'll have to do some more investigating to find more information surrounding the CD. I did just that and found out the CD had been issued in 2014 but Amazon has it's release being August 2017...so that must reflect it's reissue date or it must have been exclusive to Con's website until 2017? Anyway...
Con speaks of his charity work/golf tournaments for underprivileged children. He and Ray perform a duet of "Georgia on My Mind". If you're not as familiar with Con Hunley you'll be blown away by his vocals during this performance. Ray Stevens is also a big fan of the late Ray Charles, as all fans of Ray Stevens should be well aware of, so having both Ray Stevens and Con Hunley perform the song as a duet should bring chills to fans and the public in general.
The segment is followed by the limited animation music video, "The Camping Trip". Upon it's conclusion Ray brings Con out once more and the performance is the much more uptempo "She Ain't You" from his 2003 CD, Sweet Memories. Don Cusic, as the professor of music, talks of Ray's recording of "If Ten Percent is Good Enough for Jesus" and Ray closes the show with a performance of that song. On the next episode the special guest is Jimmy Wayne...stay tuned for a recap.