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Ray Stevens

Probably one of the most popular novelty performers ever, Ray Stevens enjoyed an amazingly long career, having a stretch out of charting singles — a few of them main strikes — that spanned four years. Unlike parody ruler Strange Al Yankovic, Stevens produced probably the most of his effect with original materials, often predicated on ethnic trends of your day. However his knack for sheer silliness translated across years, not forgetting countless compilations and particular TV presents. Stevens was a legitimately competent singer and manufacturer who also performed direct nation and pop, credit scoring the occasional significant strike. However in general, comic novelty tracks were his loaf of bread and butter, and his make of laughter somehow were able to withstand seismic shifts in well-known taste and design. Stevens was created Harold Ray Ragsdale on January 24, 1939, in the tiny city of Clarkdale, Georgia. He began piano lessons at age group six and shaped a music group at 15 known as the Barons, which performed at local locations and social occasions. At 17, he shifted to Atlanta and captured on with radioman Expenses Lowery’s music posting company; one of is own tunes, “Metallic Bracelet,” got him a go at documenting for Capitol subsidiary Prep, however the solitary never strike beyond Atlanta. Stevens enrolled at Georgia Condition University to review traditional piano and music theory and for the time being continuing to record for Lowery’s NRC label. One of is own earliest novelty tunes, 1960’s “Sgt. Preston from the Yukon,” was creating a nationwide hype until a copyright infringement match required it from the racks. Stevens started performing regularly on the radio show known as The Georgia Jubilee, which helped result in employment with Mercury Information as a program musician, arranger, and A&R associate. In the mean time, in 1961, he got his 1st Best 40 strike using the novelty (certainly) track “Jeremiah Peabody’s Poly Unsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Performing Pleasant Tasting Green and Crimson Supplements.” Once Stevens became a member of the Mercury personnel, he recorded many even more novelty singles. “Ahab the Arab,” released in early 1962, was a smash strike, reaching the Best Five around the pop graphs and also crossing to the very best Ten around the R&B aspect. The follow-up, “Santa Claus Is certainly Viewing You,” simply missed the very best 40, but 1963’s “Harry the Hairy Ape” came back him to the very best 20. Still, Stevens wasn’t thinking about a singing profession; he concentrated even more on learning the ropes within the studio room. He caused performers like Brenda Lee, Patti Web page, and Brook Benton and occasionally sang as an alternative vocalist using the Jordanaires. In 1963, he used Elvis Presley himself in the periods for the Fun in Acapulco soundtrack. Without strikes of his have along the way, nevertheless, Stevens finished up moving towards the Monument label, where he agreed upon on being a manufacturer and arranger. There he caused a Dolly Parton and B.J. Thomas, amongst others, and shaped a a friendly relationship with manufacturer Costs Justis (most widely known for his Sunlight Records traditional “Raunchy”). Stevens started documenting again for Monument in 1968, delving into remarkably pointed interpersonal commentary with the very best 30 pop strike “Mr. Businessman.” Humor was still in his bloodstream, though, and Justis offered him a concept for a track known as “Gitarzan.” Stevens published the lyrics and voiced the heroes, and in 1969 “Gitarzan” became his 1st TOP pop strike in seven years. His follow-up, a edition from the Coasters’ “Along Arrived Jones,” reached the very best 30. Stevens also documented “Weekend Mornin’ Comin’ Down,” a track by a youthful up-and-comer called Kris Kristofferson. He was therefore pleased with the effect that he rejected an opportunity to record Burt Bacharach’s “Raindrops Maintain Falling on My Mind,” which needless to say strike number 1 for Thomas. Regrettably, Stevens’ edition of “Weekend Mornin’ Comin’ Down” flopped, but his intuition were directly on, as Johnny Money scored a significant strike with it shortly after. An appearance on Andy Williams’ range show resulted in Stevens signing using the singer’s Barnaby label in 1970. He strike immediately having a right pop music, the relentlessly cheery “Everything Is definitely Gorgeous,” which shown his heretofore unseen sentimental streak. “Everything Is definitely Gorgeous” was a massive strike, climbing to number 1 within the pop graphs and earning Stevens a Grammy. Follow-ups included the serious-minded pop music “America, Talk to Me” (1970), the novelty music “Bridget the Midget (Queen from the Blues)” (1971), as well as the gospel-styled “Change Your Radio On” (1972), the second option which was his 1st Best 20 nation strike. It was, needless to say, a novelty music that would provide Stevens his following big achievement. “The Streak,” a 1974 ditty about the brand new trend of (what else?) streaking, zoomed in the graphs to be Stevens’ second number 1 pop strike and also produced the country Best Five. Within the years that adopted, Stevens’ singles started to graph higher on the united states part. His bluegrass-style rearrangement of “Misty” produced the pop Best 20 in 1975, nonetheless it was lots three nation strike and received him another Grammy. His nation Best 40 hits on the next many years included “Indian Appreciate Contact,” “Honky Tonk Waltz,” along with a version from the pop perennial “YOU HAPPEN TO BE So Gorgeous”; during this time period, he turned to Warner Brothers. In 1977, he had taken a breather from nation music to record an absolutely bizarre edition of Glenn Miller’s golf swing classic “Within the Disposition,” clucking all of the instrumental parts such as a choir of hens (the one was credited towards the Henhouse Five Plus As well). 1979’s “I WANT Your Help Barry Manilow,” a takeoff in the MOR superstar’s brand design, was his last charting pop one. Stevens turned labels again, this time around to RCA, and quickly had a high Ten nation strike with the funny “Shriner’s Convention” in 1980. Many more singles didn’t duplicate its achievement, and in 1984 he departed RCA for the greener pastures of MCA. On the next couple of years, he loved an interval of renewed recognition. Tunes like “It’s Me Once again, Margaret” (about an obscene telephone caller), “The Mississippi Squirrel Revival,” “The Haircut Music,” “Would Jesus Put on a Rolex,” and “I Noticed Elvis inside a U.F.O.” might not have already been his highest-charting (just “Squirrel” managed to get to the united states Best 20), however they all became market favorites and personal music. Furthermore, his albums marketed much better than they ever endured before; 1985’s He Feels He’s Ray Stevens reached number 3 on the united states graphs, as well as the 1986 follow-up, I’VE Returned, actually strike number 1. Both went silver, as do 1987’s Crackin’ Up, and Stevens released other albums for MCA up through 1991, when he charted with “Doing work for japan.” In 1991, Stevens opened up his own movie theater in Branson, Missouri, and performed frequently there until 1993, when he marketed the building to have a break. In 1992, he set up a video assortment of a few of his best-known materials and started a direct advertising campaign via tv; the tape finished up offering over three million copies, and Stevens offers since released additional video clips through his have business. He also documented new materials occasionally, coming back in 1997 with Hum It and the vacation recording Ray Stevens Xmas: Via a Different Windowpane. Within the wake from the Sept 11 episodes, Stevens came back with the brand new solitary “Osama-Yo’ Mama,” which became his 1st charting nation solitary in a decade, reaching the Best 50. It had been adopted in early 2002 by Osama-Yo’ Mama: The Recording, which climbed in to the nation Best 30. In 2005, Stevens released a television-only marketing campaign to market his three-disc Package Set, after that handed the collection to Curb for road launch in 2006. Laughter May be the Greatest Medicine appeared in ’09 2009 as do Sings Sinatra…Express What?, which presented Stevens’ variations of several music made well-known by Frank Sinatra. Stevens continued to be prolific in the first area of the 2010s, notching a high Five strike on Billboard’s humor graph with his politics humor album We individuals. Another focus on politically themed humor could be noticed on produces like 2011’s Heart of ’76 and 2012’s Patriots & Politics. 2012 also noticed the discharge of an enormous retrospective nine-CD container set known as The Encyclopedia of Documented Comedy Music in addition to Nashville Network Television series known as RAY-ality. Following a brief go back to gospel with 2014’s The Ray Stevens Gospel Collection: Vol. 1, he released another humor album, Right here We Go Once again in 2015 that presented the solitary “Taylor Swift Can be Stalking Me.”

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