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.