January 7, 2018

Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville...Williams and Ree

It's Sunday morning and time to post a blog entry focusing on a Season Two episode of Ray Stevens' CabaRay Nashville. A couple weeks ago I received in the mail the DVD of Season Two episodes of Ray's PBS television series. Given the hectic nature of my work schedule during the entire month of December I never had a full weekend to watch any of those episodes. This is the first full weekend from work I've had since late November. So, taking advantage of that, I watched a couple of episodes from the Season Two DVD earlier this morning (found on Disc 1).

This DVD consists of 13 episodes and the thing I've always made mention of is 11 of these episodes were never aired on the local PBS affiliate in my area. Once KET2 began airing Ray's television show they broadcast 15 episodes (13 from Season One and 2 from Season Two) before shifting to the exclusive episodes made for PBS. The episodes that had been airing on PBS starting in January 2017 were repeats from it's original broadcast on RFD television (26 episodes originally aired on RFD...and they were repeated on PBS and billed as Season One and Season Two)...and with the release of the Season Two DVD it means that all 26 episodes that originally ran on RFD during the 2015-2016 season are now available on DVD.

Season Three of Ray's show began in the summer of 2017 and the first episode of that 13 week season repeated on KET2 last night. It's the episode guest starring Harold Bradley and Mandy Barnett for those curious. Season Four began with guest star Rex Allen, Jr. in the fall of 2017 and that 13 week Fourth season wrapped up last week on New Year's Eve. The previous 26 episodes that have aired on KET2 (encompassing Season Three and Season Four) will eventually be released on two DVD projects as Season Three and Season Four (13 episodes per season) if the pattern remains.

In the meantime, given KET2 is in their repeat cycle, I thought it would be neat to posts recaps of episodes from the Season Two DVD to fill in the gap and keep the continuity until new episodes start to air on KET2.

Reminder: I've never seen 11 of these 13 Season Two episodes and so they're all going to be new to me and I hope my enthusiasm comes across.

I watched the episode guest starring Williams and Ree, show 3 on Disc 1. It originally aired on some PBS stations in the summer of last year (it never aired here). Ray opens the show performing "Knock Him Out, John" from his 2015 CD, Here We Go Again!. I loved seeing the performance and was glad to see him incorporate the Jerry Clower holler during the performance. Even though I'd never seen this episode the first time around I knew the song selections and upon finding out that he performed this song I initially thought that his rendition of the Clower holler would've been played over the loud speaker so I was surprised to see that he performed it live. Later on in the performance they did dub in some sound effects of shotgun blasts. The banner on the video reading CabaRay Nashville 203 Promo is shorthand for Season Two, Episode 3.

Episode 1 and Episode 2 of this Season had previously aired on KET2 and I've provided recaps of those episodes already. Bobby Goldsboro appeared on episode 1 while Suzi Ragsdale and T. Graham Brown appeared on episode 2. You can search the 2017 archives here on my blog and find reviews of those specific episodes. Those episodes aired on KET2 in late spring or early summer of 2017. I did a recap/review of every episode that has aired, 41 so far, on the local PBS affiliate from March 2017 until December 2017...and with this blog entry I'm starting to review episodes (11 in total) I hadn't seen until the release of the Season Two DVD of his show...but moving forward to the recap...

He introduces Williams and Ree...and they come out and speak of their career. In one liner fashion Terry Ree (often referred as The Indian) tells of being a proud, card carrying member of his native Indian tribe. Their act is often referred to as The Indian and The White Guy. The latter half of the duo is Bruce Williams. Ray brings up his Get Serious! movie and they all perform "The Woogie Boogie". Ree sings the lead...Williams sings harmony and aids in the Indian chants...and Ray plays the piano. The performance by the duo is put across in their own style with Ree's high Indian cries being the hook of the song. Williams, in the meantime, was getting so animated during his Indian chants and cries that he looked as if he'd fall off the stool he was sitting on.

Afterward the duo perform "Sweet Thing"...their version of the country music class and later they comically tell of their origin. Terry mentions Columbus and how he discovered the Indies rather than America...and Bruce counters with Terry being lucky Columbus didn't land in Turkey. "Why?", asks Terry to which Bruce replies: "your nickname would've been Butterball". On that note they perform "San Antonio Rose". After this performance the limited animation music video, "Gourmet Restaurant", is shown.

The closing segment features Don Cusic giving some background on the upcoming song Ray's about to sing...one that was recorded for The Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music. "Alley Oop" had previously been recorded by a fictional group named The Hollywood Argyles...Ray himself recorded the song in 1969 for his Gitarzan album and I think Charlie Rich may have also recorded the song but I'm not sure about that. Ray re-recorded "Alley Oop" for inclusion in the Encyclopedia project (released in 2012). In the performance Ray omits the caveman howls that you can hear in the 1969 recording but he incorporates the exaggerated southern vocalization in parts of the song when describing the caveman's physical prowess (or brute strength) and his intimidating influence over all the other inhabitants in the jungle.

The next episode guest starred Leroy Van Dyke...and I'll have a recap of that episode posted shortly so be on the lookout for it!

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