January 8, 2018

Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville...The Gatlin Brothers

The guest stars on Episode Six of Season Two of Ray Stevens' CabaRay Nashville are none other than The Gatlin Brothers. In the show's opening performance Ray sings his version of "Witchcraft". He makes mention that it's from his salute to Sinatra on a CD called Ray Stevens Sings Sinatra...Say What?!?.

In introducing the guests Ray mentions that earlier he had Larry Gatlin on as a guest and remarked that he could only afford one of them but promised that should the series become something of a hit then he'd attempt to get all three brothers on the show. This promise was fulfilled as Larry, Steve, and Rudy appeared.

Ray asks the brothers about show preparation and if they rehearse, etc. and Larry explains that they're rehearsing at the moment and their entire act has been a work in progress from day one. Ray mentions that he sees Larry sometimes on the Fox News Channel and asks if he's a contributor to the channel. He says that he's a contributor rather than a regular and he makes the distinction between the two by saying contributors do not necessarily get paid for their contributions...leading Steve to ask Ray if their appearance on his show is considered a contribution and therefore free of charge.

The conversation turns to Slim Willet and the origins of "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes" and how it became a monster hit for Perry Como among other artists. The conversation about Slim and Texas leads into a performance of "Houston". This is followed by the limited animation music video of "This Ain't Exactly What I Had in Mind"...a song that is very funny and filled with a lot of visual gags...a song that can be described as the Abbott and Costello movie, Africa Screams, set to music. I'm baffled as to why the recording had never become one of his most requested or at the very least more familiar to the on-line masses.

After the airing of the music video Ray is back with The Gatlin Brothers and they discuss Roger Miller and there are plenty of stories and remembrances of Roger as told by Larry and Ray. The Gatlin's perform a song called "Ode to the Road" which they subtitled 'Road Rage'. When they first started singing I thought it was going to be a joke performance...but it's a fully completed, humorous song. In doing research of my own I discovered video footage on YouTube of Larry performing it solo at some venue in what looks to be the mid to late '70s but it could be the early '80s. If you're a super fan of all things Gatlin take a look at the video over there and see for yourselves. Search: Ode to the Road + Larry Gatlin and it'll be among the first results.

In the video clip above you'll hear a brief remark taken from this segment of the episode where they're discussing Roger.

Ray closes the show performing "Rub It In". This is a song that goes back a long way in the career of Ray Stevens. Oh yes the recording by Billy 'Crash' Craddock was a huge hit but the public at large doesn't realize that Ray published the song. It had originally been recorded by the song's writer...a man named Layng Martine...who happened to write for Ray's publishing company. Layng's recording was not a commercial hit but it became a monster hit for Craddock. Ray benefited from the success of the recording by virtue of being the song's publisher and during the mid to late '80s and into the early '90s Ray received publisher royalties due to the Glade Plug-In commercials using a parody of the song for their jingle. The parody was "plug it in, plug it in". Ray ultimately recorded the song and placed it on his Hurricane CD back in 2008.

On the next episode of Ray Stevens' CabaRay Nashville the special guest happened to be Collin Raye. Stay tuned for my recap of that episode!

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