Ray Stevens... Unreal!!! was the seventh studio album of Ray Stevens and his second for Barnaby Records, released in 1970. Two singles were lifted from the album and were moderately successful on the Hot 100 pop singles chart; each single reached the Top-20 on the Billboard Adult-Contemporary chart, indicating that Stevens' appeal as early as 1970, lay with the adult music buyers rather than the kids and teenagers. All but two of the tracks were written by Stevens himself, with one of the others, "Talking," being written by Stevens's brother, John Ragsdale. On May 17, 2005, Collectables Records re-released this album and Stevens' previous album Everything Is Beautiful together on one CD. All songs arranged and produced by: Ray Stevens for Ahab Productions, Inc. Engineer: Charlie Tallent All songs published by: Ahab Music Co. Inc. Front cover photo: Keats Tyler Back cover photo courtesy of NBC-TV Album - Billboard Singles - Billboard
I Have Returned
I Have Returned was Ray Stevens' twenty-second studio album and his second for MCA Records, released in 1985. The pictures on both the front and the back of the album were taken in the Mississippi Sound near Biloxi, Mississippi according to the album credits; the cover depicts Stevens dressed as General Douglas MacArthur from World War II. "The Haircut Song" and "The Ballad of the Blue Cyclone" were released as singles from the album. "Santa Claus Is Watching You" is a re-recording of Stevens' 1960s pop single and was re-issued as a country single around the time of the album's release and was made into a popular music video. Stevens re-recorded "The Pirate Song" on his 1991 album #1 With a Bullet and re-recorded the song a third time in 2000 for a music video found on Funniest Video Characters; the first track, "Thus Cacked Henrietta", is a rendition of the popular fanfare portion from Richard Strauss' "Also sprach Zarathustra", performed in chicken clucks. The rendition by Stevens lasts a little over 1 minute and was his first chicken-clucking performance since 1977's "In the Mood," released under the alias The Henhouse Five Plus Too.
Arranged & Produced by: Ray Stevens Engineer: Stuart Keathley Recorded at: Ray Stevens Studio, Tennessee Mastered by: Glenn Meadows at MasterfonicsMusicians Keyboards & Synthesizers: Ray Stevens Drums: Jerry Carrigan & Jerry Kroon Bass: Jack Williams Electric Guitars: Steve Gibson Rhythm Guitars: Mark Casstevens Banjo: Mark Casstevens Dobro: Steve Gibson Saxophone: Denis Solee Trombone: Roger Bissell Trumpet: Ray Stevens Tympani: Ray Stevens Background Vocals: Lisa Silver, Diane Tidwell, Wendy Suits, Ray Stevens Art Direction: Ray Stevens & Slick Lawson Design: Simon Levy Photography: Slick Lawson Production: Susan Scott Landing Craft: Vincent J. Fusca, III, Captain USMC, 4th PLT CO. A, 4th ASLT AMPH BN, USMCR, Gulfport, MS Special Thanks To: Pony Maples-Weapons, Faye Sloan Costumes, George Nalley-Stevens Aviation
20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Ray Stevens
20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Ray Stevens is a 12-track collection of recorded songs by Ray Stevens, released in 2004. It consists of the biggest hits he had from 1961 to 1987, starting with his breakthrough hit "Jeremiah Peabody's Polyunsaturated Quick-Dissolving Fast-Acting Pleasant-Tasting Green and Purple Pills" to his hit "Would Jesus Wear a Rolex". Unlike many compilations of Stevens' music, this collection contains the original recordings of "Ahab the Arab" and "Harry the Hairy Ape", which were re-recorded for Stevens' fourth studio album Gitarzan; the selections of "Freddie Feelgood", "Mr. Businessman" and "Gitarzan" are album versions, the first and third of which were featured on Gitarzan. Inside the album cover are information on the featured singles and a biographical essay written by Gene Sculatti back in December 2003. In the essay, Sculatti mistakenly says that Gitarzan is the one who shouts, "Shut up, baby! I'm tryin' to sing!" in the song "Gitarzan", as it is Jane who shouts this phrase.
This album received 4.5 out of five stars from Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic. In his review, Erlewine states that this collection of Stevens' music is one of the better ones because it consists of all of his biggest novelty hits in chronological order, he states that it might appeal to more casual fans than The Best of Ray Stevens because it "has all the big hits -- with the arguable exceptions of "Unwind" and "Santa Claus Is Watching You"—in a cheaper and more concise fashion." Compilation Produced by: Mike Ragogna Mastered by: Elliott Federman at SAIE Sound, New York, NY Product manager: Robin Kirby Art and production manager: Michele Horie Licensing: Robin Schwartz Editorial assistance: Barry Korkin Art direction: Vartan Design: Junie Osaki Photos: Cover by Marc Morrison courtesy of MCA Archives.
An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have focused on CD and MP3 formats; the audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s. An album may be recorded in a recording studio, in a concert venue, at home, in the field, or a mix of places; the time frame for recording an album varies between a few hours to several years. This process requires several takes with different parts recorded separately, brought or "mixed" together. Recordings that are done in one take without overdubbing are termed "live" when done in a studio. Studios are built to absorb sound, eliminating reverberation, so as to assist in mixing different takes. Recordings, including live, may contain sound effects, voice adjustments, etc..
With modern recording technology, musicians can be recorded in separate rooms or at separate times while listening to the other parts using headphones. Album covers and liner notes are used, sometimes additional information is provided, such as analysis of the recording, lyrics or librettos; the term "album" was applied to a collection of various items housed in a book format. In musical usage the word was used for collections of short pieces of printed music from the early nineteenth century. Collections of related 78rpm records were bundled in book-like albums; when long-playing records were introduced, a collection of pieces on a single record was called an album. An album, in ancient Rome, was a board chalked or painted white, on which decrees and other public notices were inscribed in black, it was from this that in medieval and modern times album came to denote a book of blank pages in which verses, sketches and the like are collected. Which in turn led to the modern meaning of an album as a collection of audio recordings issued as a single item.
In the early nineteenth century "album" was used in the titles of some classical music sets, such as Schumann's Album for the Young Opus 68, a set of 43 short pieces. When 78rpm records came out, the popular 10-inch disc could only hold about three minutes of sound per side, so all popular recordings were limited to around three minutes in length. Classical-music and spoken-word items were released on the longer 12-inch 78s, about 4–5 minutes per side. For example, in 1924, George Gershwin recorded a drastically shortened version of the seventeen-minute Rhapsody in Blue with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, it ran for 8m 59s. Deutsche Grammophon had produced an album for its complete recording of the opera Carmen in 1908. German record company Odeon released the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky in 1909 on 4 double-sided discs in a specially designed package; this practice of issuing albums does not seem to have been taken up by other record companies for many years. By about 1910, bound collections of empty sleeves with a paperboard or leather cover, similar to a photograph album, were sold as record albums that customers could use to store their records.
These albums came in both 12-inch sizes. The covers of these bound books were wider and taller than the records inside, allowing the record album to be placed on a shelf upright, like a book, suspending the fragile records above the shelf and protecting them. In the 1930s, record companies began issuing collections of 78 rpm records by one performer or of one type of music in specially assembled albums with artwork on the front cover and liner notes on the back or inside cover. Most albums included three or four records, with two sides each, making six or eight compositions per album; the 12-inch LP record, or 33 1⁄3 rpm microgroove vinyl record, is a gramophone record format introduced by Columbia Records in 1948. A single LP record had the same or similar number of tunes as a typical album of 78s, it was adopted by the record industry as a standard format for the "album". Apart from minor refinements and the important addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums.
The term "album" was extended to other recording media such as Compact audio cassette, compact disc, MiniDisc, digital albums, as they were introduced. As part of a trend of shifting sales in the music industry, some observers feel that the early 21st century experienced the death of the album. While an album may contain as many or as few tracks as required, in the United States, The Recording Academy's rules for Grammy Awards state that an album must comprise a minimum total playing time of 15 minutes with at least five distinct tracks or a minimum total playing time of 30 minutes with no minimum track requirement. In the United Kingdom, the criteria for the UK Albums Chart is that a recording counts as an "album" i
Have a Little Talk with Myself (album)
Have a Little Talk With Myself is the fifth studio album by Ray Stevens and his third and final for Monument Records, released in 1969. Stevens signed with Andy Williams' Barnaby Records label; this album is quite unique from Stevens' previous albums, as he concentrates more on interpreting the works of other composers' songs and only contributes two of his own compositions. Cover versions include Bob Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight," The First Edition's hit "But You Know I Love You," two songs from the musical Hair, three songs of the Beatles, Sweat & Tears' hit "Spinning Wheel," and Joe South's hit "Games People Play." The back of the album cover contains an essay by John Grissim of Rolling Stone, which describes how Stevens handles his recording sessions praises his craft in music and describes Stevens' interpretations of the cover songs on the album. On the back of the album, there is a technical note from the album's co-producer, Jim Malloy: "In addition to doing all the arrangements on this album, Ray Stevens...sings ALL the voices...plays the piano, organ and any other special effect instruments...and plays the trumpet solo on'SPINNING WHEEL.'"
Two pictures are featured on the album's back cover as well - one with Stevens and Malloy laughing in the studio and another of Stevens playing the piano and singing into a microphone on the floor of the studio. Stevens' version of "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" was the first recording of the song. Although Kris Kristofferson recorded it for his 1970 album Kristofferson, he never released his version as a single; the song became a bigger hit for Johnny Cash one year after Stevens' release of the song. Aside from "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", two singles were lifted from the album: the title track and a cover of Bob Dylan's "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight." Musicians Piano: Ray Stevens Drums: Jerry Carrigan Guitar: Jerry Kennedy Bass: Norbert Putnam Percussion: Farrell Morris Violin: Brenton Banks Violin: Lillian Hunt Violin: Sheldon Kurland Violin: George Binkley Violin: Martin Katahn Violin: Solie Fott Viola: Marvin Chantry Viola: Gary Vanosdale Viola: Howard Carpenter Viola: Bobby Becker Cello: Byron Bach Trumpet: Don Sheffield Trumpet: George Tidwell Trumpet: Glenn Baxter Trombone: Dennis Good Trombone: Gene Mullins Sax: Norm Ray Sax: Johnny Duke Producers: Ray Stevens, Jim Malloy Engineers: Jim Malloy, Tommy Strong Recorded in the Monument Recording Studio Cover photo: Keats Tyler Art direction: Ken Kim Singles
Beside Myself (Ray Stevens album)
Beside Myself was Ray Stevens' twenty-sixth studio album and his sixth for MCA Records, released in 1989. It includes the singles "I Saw Elvis in a UFO" and "There's a Star Spangled Banner." The album was his last for MCA Records before he moved to Curb Records for his next studio album, 1990's Lend Me Your Ears. A repackaged version of this album, Ray Stevens — At His Best, was released on December 18, 1992 with most of the same tracks in a different order, eliminating the tracks "Bad Dancin'" and "I Used to Be Crazy." A different version of At His Best, with all ten tracks from Beside Myself in the original order, is available on iTunes. "Your Bozo’s Back Again" "Another Fine Mess" "Marion Michael Morrison" "Butterfly Inside a Coupe de Ville" "There’s a Star-Spangled Banner" "I Saw Elvis in a UFO" "The Woogie Boogie" "Stuck on You" "Bad Dancin’" "I Used to Be Crazy"All songs written by Ray Stevens and C. W. Kalb, Jr.. Compiled from liner notes. Ray Stevens - vocals, synthesizer Mark Casstevens - rhythm guitar Steve Gibson - electric guitar Vicki Hampton - background vocals Sheri Huffman - background vocals Stuart Keathley - bass guitar Terry McMillan - harmonica Gary Prim - keyboards Lisa Silver - background vocals Dennis Solee - tenor saxophone Diane Vanette - background vocals Tommy Wells - drums Ray Stevens discography
Hot Country Songs
Hot Country Songs is a chart published weekly by Billboard magazine in the United States. This 50-position chart lists the most popular country music songs, calculated weekly by collecting airplay data from Nielsen BDS along with digital sales and streaming; the current number-one song, as of the chart dated April 13, 2019, is "Beautiful Crazy" by Luke Combs. Billboard began compiling the popularity of country songs with its January 1944 issue. Only the genre's most popular jukebox selections were tabulated, with the chart titled "Most Played Juke Box Folk Records". For ten years, from 1948 to 1958, Billboard used three charts to measure the popularity of a given song. In addition to the jukebox chart, these charts included: The "best sellers" chart – started May 15, 1948 as "Best Selling Retail Folk Records". A "jockeys" chart – started December 10, 1949 as "Country & Western Records Most Played By Folk Disk Jockeys"; the juke box chart was discontinued in June 1957. Starting with the October 20, 1958 issue, Billboard began combining sales and radio airplay in figuring a song's overall popularity, counting them in one single chart called "Hot C&W Sides".
The chart was published under the title Hot C&W Sides through the October 27, 1962 issue and "Hot Country Singles" thereafter, a title it would retain until 1990. On January 20, 1990, the Hot Country Singles chart was put to 75 positions and began to be compiled from information provided by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, a system which electronically monitors radio airplay of songs. Four weeks on February 17, the chart was retitled "Hot Country Singles & Tracks". Beginning with the January 13, 2001 issue, the chart was cut from 75 to 60 positions, all songs on the chart at the time had their tally of weeks spent on the chart adjusted to count only weeks spent at No. 60 or higher. Effective April 30, 2005, the chart was renamed "Hot Country Songs". Starting in 1990, the rankings were determined by Arbitron-tallied listener audience for each spin that a song received; the methodology was changed for the first chart published in 1992 to tally the amount of spins a song received, but in January 2005, the methodology reverted to the audience format.
This change was brought on because of "label-sponsored spin programs" that had manipulated the chart several times in 2004. The Hot Country Songs chart methodology was changed starting with the October 20, 2012 issue to match the Billboard Hot 100: digital downloads and streaming data are combined with airplay from all radio formats to determine position. A new chart, the Country Airplay chart, was created using airplay from country radio stations. Following the change, songs that were receiving airplay on top-40 pop were given a major advantage over songs popular only on country radio, as an unintended consequence, such songs began having record-long runs at the top of the chart; the first song to benefit from this change was Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", declining in popularity but shot up to number one on the chart the first week the change took effect and stayed there until it set an all-time record for the most weeks at No. 1 by a solo female. This was followed immediately by Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise", which had the longest stay at number one of any song in the country chart's history, until it was surpassed by Sam Hunt's "Body Like a Back Road" in 2017.
The record was subsequently broken by Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line's "Meant to Be" in 2018. Billboard has not explicitly defined how it determines what songs qualify for the country chart and which ones do not, only that "a few factors are determined first and foremost is musical composition" and that a song must "embrace enough elements of today’s country music" to qualify; the 2019 country rap record "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X was a subject of controversy over this ambiguous standard after it appeared on the country chart, where it debuted and peaked at number 19, before Billboard took the song off subsequent charts, claiming it had made a mistake in including it. The song gained popularity through viral memes rather than radio, as only one country station, Radio Disney Country, had played it at the time of the charting; these are the songs with 16 or more weeks at number one. Fifteen songs accomplished this feat between 1946 and 1964, but none did so again until after the 2012 reformulation.
Prolonged runs became commonplace again in 2012 As of October 2018. Note: Songs marked achieved their runs on the Most Played in Juke Boxes chart. Songs marked achieved their runs on the Best Sellers on Stores chart. Songs marked. All songs listed for the period when multiple charts were in operation had shorter runs at number one on the other charts not indicated; the three charts were merged to create Hot C&W Sides in 1958. As of the issue of Billboard dated November 17, 2018 List of number-one country hits American Country Countdown List of years in country music List of artists who reached number one on the U. S. country chart Country Airplay Whitburn, Joel. Top Country Songs 1944-2005 - 6th Edition. 2006. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart – online version