Webster

The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)


Monday, March 3, 2014

"Monday Music" Ray Stevens "The Streak..."

   I decided to go with Ray Stevens " The Streak",  I first heard of Ray Stevens when I was home on leave in 1987,  The first time I heard this song, I laughed my a$$ off, it was so hilarious.    He was really able to tell a story with this song.

     In 1973, Stevens had a top 40 country hit with the title track of his album, "Nashville," and increased his exposure on television by performing on a variety of prime-time programs of the era. In 1974, Stevens recorded perhaps his most famous hit, "The Streak," which poked fun at the early-1970s fad of running nude in public, known as "streaking." It became number one in both the UK and the US and No. 3 on the country chart.
      "The Streak" is a popular country/novelty song written, produced, and sung by Ray Stevens. It was released in March 1974 as the lead single to his album Boogity Boogity. "The Streak" capitalized on the then popular craze of streaking.
One of Stevens' most successful recordings, "The Streak" was his second number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the USA, spending three weeks at the top in May 1974 and reached #3 on the Billboard Country singles chart. A major international hit it also reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart, spending a single week at the top of the chart in June 1974. In total it sold over 5 million copies internationally and ranked on Billboard magazine's Top hits of 1974 at #8.

     The song's story is a series of three "news flashes" featuring the "Action News Reporter" (Stevens) on the scenes of reported events about indecent exposure: at the supermarket, the gas station, and the basketball playoffs. The reporter interviews a man (also Stevens) who responds with his views of what happened. The man begins with the phrase "Yeah, I did." The responses contain several double entendres, and the man tries to warn his wife, Ethel, not to look ("Don't look, Ethel!"), but is always too late. After the third interview, the man sees the streaker again, but to his horror the streaker is joined by his wife, and the man changes his tune: "Ethel, you shameless hussy!", as well as "You get your clothes on", and "Say it ain't so, Ethel".

    I also enjoyed the "Mississippi Squirrel Revival"  He Thinks He's Ray Stevens was Ray Stevens' twenty-first studio album and his first for MCA Records, released in 1984. The front of the album cover shows Stevens spoofing French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

The track "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" is the only Top 40 single from this album, reaching No. 20 on Hot Country Singles (now Hot Country Songs) in early 1985. Stevens uses comic storytelling to frame what occurs when a young adolescent boy catches a squirrel (while visiting his grandmother inPascagoula, Mississippi), brings it into church, where several self-righteous members – all with sinful secrets to hide – are prominent members ... and the squirrel breaks loose from a box the boy has kept it in. As the squirrel wreaks havoc, several members admit to their fellow congregation members their faults, and by song's end they all make a vow to change.

"Furthermore" is a re-recording and partial rewrite of Stevens' 1962 single of the same name. "The Monkees (Theme From)" is a cover of the theme song to The Monkees but sung by Ray in broad German dialects under the guise of two fictional singers, Wolfgang and Fritzy. This album also marked the debut of "It's Me Again, Margaret," a chart single about an obscene phone caller.
A re-release on CD on August 15, 1992 (MCAD-20688), titled Mississippi Squirrel Revival, featured this album's first eight tracks in a different order.

4 comments:

  1. I'm a huge fan of Ray's. Based on some of the things I've seen on your site you may also like his Tea Party/conservative political songs of late. I like the songs...most of them are topical and therefore have become dated, but not all of them. He has a You Tube channel and you can seek out the video uploads if interested...the link is here... https://www.youtube.com/user/raystevensmusic/videos?shelf_id=1&view=0&sort=dd He hasn't uploaded a political song to his channel since about a year ago, a video called "Grandpa Voted Democrat" (a topical song about a certain scandal). Since that time he's mostly uploaded all of the video content that had previously been released on VHS home video and DVD and he's uploaded a lot of sketches and performances from his 1970 Summer television program, too. If you search his videos you'll easily find the political content...the songs have such titles as "Obama Budget Plan", "Mr. President - Mr. President", "Obama Nation", "The Global Warming Song", "Throw the Bums Out!", and others. He started including political commentary into his music in 2009. As mentioned, it's been a little more than a year since he last uploaded a political song (November 2012), but in interviews he often talks about politics if asked. Oh, I have a fan created blog page all about Ray Stevens just in case you or anyone else wants to see more about him. It's called The Ray Stevens Music Journey. He's been in the music industry, in some facet or another, since 1957.

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  2. Ray Stevens did and still does have 'a way with words'... :-) Always enjoyed his songs, as they DO tend to skewer the pompous asshats...

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  3. I remember when "The Streak" came out. I was in 6th grade.

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  4. Hey Country, I am glad you liked my little corner of the internet. I saved the links you provided and I will look when stuff slows down and I have a bit of time. I do enjoy Ray Stevens and I think I posted one of his songs against the present clowns in D.C.
    Hey Old NFO;
    Yes he does and I am glad that he still is performing and doing stuff rather than be "Retired" like a lot of the singers do.
    Hey Neil;
    Yep, When the streak came out, I was in the 4th grade;) I like finding songs that I listened to back then and forgot about then discovering them later. Link with the childhood.

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