My Backstage Pass
Musical Funnyman Ray Stevens
November 29, 2021
With Hosts Lee Zimmerman and Billy Hubbard
Ray Stevens is known mostly as a musical funnyman, no surprise really considering the novelty songs that he took to the top of the charts during a successful string of hits that dominated the radio waves throughout the 1960s. These days, songs such as “Ahab the Arab,” “The Streak” and “Gitarzan” might not find favor with those of a politically correct persuasion, but back in the day, they established Stevens as an artist with a clear affinity for sarcasm and satire. Indeed, after a career that spans some 65 years, Stevens remains committed to the cause of keeping his listeners entertained and engaged. After beginning his musical journey strictly as a songwriter, he got his big break when he was signed to Mercury Records in 1961, and it was there that he gained fame not only for the aforementioned comedy classics, but also with several “serious” songs as well — among them, “Everything Is Beautiful” and “Misty.” They were both big crossover hits that helped to establish him as both a country superstar and a reliable purveyor of pop songs suitable to be shared with any type of audience.
These days, at the age of 82, Stevens remains as active as ever. He made plans to release four albums in 2021 alone, and, equally impressively, all four — Great Country Ballads, Melancholy Fescue (High Class Bluegrass), Slow Dance, and Nouveau Retro (What’s Old Is New Again) — will be on the proverbial record store shelves by the end of May and also available as a special-edition box set, Iconic Songs of the 20th Century (The Soundtrack of Our Lives). Clearly, he’s showing signs of slowing down.
Learn more about Ray Stevens at https://raystevens.com/ and checkout Ray's Nashville show CabaRay at https://raystevenscabaray.com/ which is now fully open regular hours!
Host Lee Zimmerman is a freelance music writer whose articles have appeared in several leading music industry publications. A former promotions representative for ABC and Capital Records and director of communications for various CBS - affiliated television stations. Lee, who currently lives in East Tennessee, recently authored "Americana Music - Voices, Visionaries & Pioneers of an Honest Sound" which is now available on Amazon and other outlets. You can contact Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cohost/Producer Billy Hubbard is a Tennessee based Americana Singer/Songwriter and former Regional Director of A&R for a Grammy winning company, as well as a music and podcast producer. Billy is also the venue developer and booking manager of The Station in East TN. As an artist Billy is endorsed by Godin's Simon & Patrick Guitars. You can find Billy Hubbard online at http://www.BillyHubbard.com