January 8, 2018

Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville...Darryl Worley and Lee Greenwood

It's me once more...in this blog entry I'm going to recap the eighth episode of season two of Ray Stevens' CabaRay Nashville series. I've been on something of a marathon recap spree most of the night as I've posted several blog entries in a row. This happened to be my first full weekend off work in a month and a half and so I decided to make the most of it. So, looking back, I've since watched 6 of the Season Two episodes from the DVD over the weekend. It's early Monday morning and so I won't be able to watch the remaining episodes in the DVD collection until this coming weekend.

Even though I've posted the image of the Season Two DVD on the right hand side of the page I realize that those that come here only read specific blog entries or have been led here by search engines that filter through the tags that I attach to each blog entry. For example I've added both Lee Greenwood and Darryl Worley in the tag section so anytime somebody searches blogs or does a routine on-line search for either performer then this blog entry should be among the search results even though, technically, this isn't a blog for either artist...they just happen to be guest stars on a specific episode of Ray's television series. But anyway...that's the Season Two DVD collection that I've been watching throughout the overnight/early morning. This particular episode is the Patriotic Episode that was originally scheduled to air on KET2 last year but for whatever reason was replaced by the episode guest starring T. Graham Brown and Suzy Ragsdale. So, at long last, I was finally able to see the patriotic episode and sure enough it was filled with patriotism. The first section of tables in the audience were filled with members of the military. Ray opened the show singing "Thank You", a song he co-wrote with a man named Larry McCoy. The song is the title track of a 2004 CD and it was made into a stirring music video.

Ray introduces Darryl who performs "Have You Forgotten?". After the performance Darryl mentions that he's been to the Middle East 14 or 15 times since 2002 and he tells the origins of the song. Ray had made the comment that in the hours and days after 9/11 both political parties and seemingly everybody in America got along but then the farther away it got from 9/11 the more complacent people became and how pre-9/11 normalcy (?) returned...meaning that political parties returned to being at each other's throats and the collective mainstream media returned to it's biased behavior. Darryl's song channeled the kinds of thoughts Ray spoke of. Darryl was also witnessing a growing frustration and angst directed at the political figures of that time period from an overall fed up, annoyed culture and so Darryl, in song, was asking if the people in just 2 short years, had forgotten everything that happened on 9/11 and given the public's growing weariness about bin Laden were they actually wanting the military to just forget their mission and forget 9/11 ever happened, too? The song hit number one on the country chart after it's 5th chart week...remaining number one for seven weeks...and crossing over to the Top-30 on the pop chart.

After the performance Ray singles out the branches of the military in the audience and specifically calls out Mark Woods, founder of Nashville's Operation Troop Aid.

This is followed by the introduction of Lee Greenwood. The two stand side by side and had this been 20 years earlier or even 30 years earlier the two would probably have looked like twins but the passage of time has changed their physical appearance somewhat. Lee performs "God Bless the USA" to his usual rousing applause...and afterward Ray asks about the song's origins.

Lee explains that he was on tour, doing over 300 shows a year, but he still wanted to find time to write songs and so he wrote the song and recorded it. At first he didn't think the record company would like it and was surprised when they okayed the recording session...and then he was surprised even more when they insisted that it be released as a single. They both agree that it's one of those rare moments when a record company made the proper decision. That's an in-joke centering around how recording artist's strive for creative control and expression while record companies strive for commercial dominance and total control...and it's almost always a conflict due to the differing objectives at work...and how 8 times out of 10 the record company makes the wrong decision in hindsight.

Breaking up the military flavor was the insertion of the limited animation music video of "Deerslayer". Afterward the scene shifts to Ray at the piano with a voice over from Bill Cody introducing the performance of "Dear America", which closes the show. This song was eventually released as a stirring music video in 2016 to rave reviews. In the performance a small choir of children enter the stage and sing the final refrain of the song's chorus as Ray plays the piano. You'll see that in the video clip above. The song was issued as a single-only and music video. It hasn't appeared on any album yet. The music video is one of the special bonus features of the Season Two DVD.

The guest on the following episode happens to be country music legend, singer/songwriter, and long time Opry member Bill Anderson. If you're keeping count it's Episode 9 of Season 2. I'll have a recap of that episode next weekend and so look for my next blog entry to be next weekend...but of course if any breaking news concerning Ray is released between now and then I'll of course blog about it.

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