Two for Tuesday: Ray Stevens (#blogboost)

I don’t know where I heard it, but up until today, I thought Ray Stevens had passed away. I’m happy to say that I was wrong; he’s still at it, making music and making people laugh. Harold Ray Ragsdale was born in Clarkdale, Georgia (not far from where I live, as it so happens). He started his professional career when he was still in high school, and recorded his first song, “Silver Bracelet,” in 1957, and has been at it ever since. He has a website and YouTube channel (who doesn’t these days?), so stop by and be entertained.

One of my favorite songs by Ray is his countrified version of Errol Garner’s “Misty.” He recorded it on his 1975 album of the same name, and it reached #3 on the US Country chart, #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #8 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Many of Ray’s songs are novelty tunes that appeal to children of all ages. When I was in seventh and eighth grade, Ray’s “Gitarzan,” which he released in January 1969 on the album of the same name, was a particular favorite. (My friends and I were pretty good at the “boogie woogie” break in the middle of the song.) The song reached #8 on the Hot 100 in April 1969.

Ray Stevens, your Two for Tuesday, July 8, 2014.

7 thoughts on “Two for Tuesday: Ray Stevens (#blogboost)

  1. I’m a big fan of Ray Stevens! I may have an answer concerning your assumption of Ray’s death. There happened to be a wrestler named Ray Stevens whose nicknames include ‘The Blond Bomber’ and ‘The Crippler’.

    He died in 1996 and since then a lot of people have been surprised to find that Ray Stevens (the singer) is still among the living.

    Apparently a LOT of people didn’t read the details of those death notices and just glanced at various headlines stating Ray ‘The Crippler’ Stevens had died and merely assumed the writers of those articles were referencing the singer. Last year I came across an article about ANOTHER person named Ray Stevens (this time a citizen from Florida) that had died of cancer…and yes, a lot of people that didn’t read the details took to social media sites reporting that Ray Stevens (the singer) died of cancer. Just like in 1996, people last year didn’t read the details of the story and began spreading erroneous information and presenting it as fact.

    I often ask people to visit my fan created blog page all about Ray to read about the happenings in his career from beginning (1957) to the present day. I’ve had it up and running since 2008 and have covered practically all aspects of his career at some point or another.

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  2. I always liked Ray, most of his stuff made me laugh. Until the “It’s Me Again, Margaret”. I never found him funny after that. For anyone who isn’t single, female and alone that song was probably hilarious.

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  3. I loved Misty and unlike your previous commenter, I thought It’s Me Again Margaret was very funny. I also used to love The Streak and the one about the squirrel in church.

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    1. I was still in high school when “The Streak” came out. At the time, we had a student teacher from Northwestern, and she was a little shell-shocked by the whole thing. I can remember going into class saying “boogity, boogity.” She didn’t appreciate the humor…

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  4. “It’s Me Again, Margaret” is hysterical!! I love the music video and I love the concert performances…and his vocal impression of a telephone dialing and then ringing.

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