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Friday, December 03, 2004

Is Ray Stevens a Floor Wax, or a Dessert Topping?
How do you categorize Ray Stevens? Is he a comedian, a serious songwriter, or both? His biography argues "both":

When Ray Stevens says he just thinks funny, his key word is thinks. Like many revered American wits -- from Charlie Chaplin to Jackie Gleason to Bill Cosby -- Stevens' humor is keenly observant and rich in nuance, yet he puts it across with such an unpretentious, unaffected style that it can be easy to overlook the fertile mind needed to create such guileless entertainment.

For more than 40 years, Ray Stevens has been entertaining us. From his novelty songs like "The Streak," to his socially aware pieces like " Mr. Businessman," to his tender ballads he has touched us....

Ray brought us the pop classic "Everything is Beautiful", the insightful "Mr. Businessman" and a grammy winning arrangement of "Misty." He has memorably spoofed everything from Tarzan movies ("Gitarzan") to trendy crazes ("The Streak") to taxes ("If 10% is Good Enough for Jesus - It Oughta be Enough for Uncle Sam") to tel evangelists ("Would Jesus Wear a Rolex"). He's even concocted cheerfully absurd classics based on a bumbling prank phone caller ("It's Me Again Margaret") and a squirrel that receives credit for causing miracles ("Mississippi Squirrel Revival").

Ray Stevens is at home with his genre of music, that's for sure. A genre of his own creating. A Pop, Country, rock and Novelty niche that can only be described as...Ray Stevens Music.

There is a 20th Century Masters CD that reflects these multiple aspects of Stevens' career.

1. Jeremiah Peabody's Poly Unsaturated Quick Disolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green & Purple Pill
2. Ahab The Arab
3. Harry The Hairy Ape
4. Freddie Feelgood (And His Funky Little Five-Piece Band)
5. Mr. Businessman
6. Gitarzan
7. Everything Is Beautiful
8. Turn Your Radio On
9. Streak, The
10. Misty
11. Shriner's Convention
12. Would Jesus Wear A Rolex

Unfortunately, this collection doesn't include "In the Mood" (credited to "Henhouse Five Plus Two").

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