Thursday, December 17, 2009
Jango Song Of The Day-Ray Stevens
Album:The Best Of Ray Stevens
Most of the time humour in music or novelty songs are a one shot deal. So no one comes close to the success and longevity of Ray Stevens. He's been around since the early 60s and is still going strong today. He also had success with straight songs like Everything Is Beautiful. Gitarzan was one of his biggest hits. He was born Harold Ray Ragsdale Jan. 24, 1939 in Clarksdale, GA. He was recording for a small label in Atlanta when he was hired as a staff songwriter and musician by Mercury Nashville. Ahab The Arab was his first top five pop hit in 1962. Stevens continued to record his own music while working with other artists like Brook Benton, Brenda Lee and even Elvis Presley. He moved to Fred Foster's Monument label in 1967 and started recording again in 1968. Sun Records rockabilly legend Bill Justis suggested the title Gitarzan and Stevens wrote the song. It reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969 and was his biggest hit since Ahab The Arab. In 1970, Stevens struck up a friendship with Andy Williams and signed with his Barnaby label. Stevens had his biggest hit with Everything Is Beautiful and got his own TV variety show. Stevens had another monster hit in 1974 with The Streak. As the 70s progressed, Stevens' chart success was limited to the country charts. He recorded for Warner Bros., MCA & RCA through the 80s. This 1997 Rhino comp has most of his hits. Curb Records has released a Ray Stevens box set. In recent years, Stevens has successfully sold his vintage recordings on TV and continues to record for his own Clyde label. Here's the video for Gitarzan by Ray Stevens as it appeared on his variety show.