0 Shouts - 343,356 Scrobbles
(For the actor and singer with The Village People, see Ray Stephens.)Read More...
Ray Stevens (born Harold Ray Ragsdale, 24th January 1939) is an American country and pop singer-songwriter, the musician being best known for a series of irreverent, quirky singles such as "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" and "The Streak". His recording career began with two singles released on Prep Records, followed by a short stint with Capitol Records. Both contracts were made with the help of Atlanta, Georgia music maven Bill Lowery.
Stevens joined Lowery's National Recording Corporation in 1958, where he also was a member of the NRC staff band, playing numerous instruments, arranging, and doing background vocals. When NRC went into bankruptcy, he signed with Mercury Records, and started a series of hit records in the 1960s that included "Ahab the Arab" and "Jeremiah Peabody's Polyunsaturated Quick-Dissolving, Fast-Acting Pleasant-Tasting Green and Purple Pills". The later song held the record as the longest title to hit the Top 40 chart until being surpassed in 1981 by the Stars on 45 Medley, whose official title included the titles of 10 other songs because of copyright requirements.
Stevens became a producer and well-known studio musician on the Nashville scene, and recorded hits for Monument, Barnaby, Warner Brothers, MCA and RCA. Perhaps his most famous hit is "The Streak" (1974), which poked fun at the early-1970s "streaking" fad of running nude in public; this was a No 1 in both the UK and the USA. His novelty song "Bridget the Midget (The Queen of The Blues)" made No 2 on the UK chart in 1971
Stevens' biggest hit was his gospel-inflected single "Everything Is Beautiful" (1970). A plea for love and tolerance during turbulent times in the United States, the song shot to Number 1 there. Stevens has won two Grammy Awards: one for "Everything Is Beautiful" and one for the arrangement of his country and western version of the jazz standard "Misty" (1975). He also recorded a version of Glenn Miller's "In The Mood" in the style of a clucking chicken, under the pseudonym Henhouse Five Plus Too. This was a Top 40 hit in the US and UK.
With the popularity of the song "Everything Is Beautiful", Stevens had a variety show on CTV. The Ray Stevens Show appeared in Canada in 1970 and soon appeared in the United States on NBC and the United Kingdom on the BBC. Although it only has eight episodes, it is mostly known for being the show that launched the career of regular cast member Steve Martin.
Ray Stevens was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1980. Since the 1980s, Stevens has appeared regularly at the country music performing venue of Branson, Missouri. 2005 was his last year for performances in Branson. Currently, there are no scheduled performances anywhere for the year 2006.
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- LyricsJesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Whether yellow, black and white
They are precious in his sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world
- LyricsHello, everyone, this is your action news reporter with all the news
That is news across the nation, on the scene at the supermarket. There
Seems to have been some disturbance here. Pardon me, sir, did you see
Yeah, I did. I's standin' overe there by the tomaters, and here he
- LyricsWell when I was kid I'd take a trip
Every summer down to Mississippi
To visit my granny in her antebellum world
I'd run barefooted all day long
Climbing trees free as a song
- LyricsWell, there once was a feller named Willard McVane
And he only had just one thought on his brain
Every evening about midnight he'd sneak off alone
And call the same lady on a pay telephone
"It's me again, Margaret.
(Erroll Garner/Johnny Burke)
Covered many times, this song has had at least
four top 40 appearances, with one of the best-known
- The Battle Of New Orleans - 8,008 plays
- Shriner's Convention - 10,405 plays
- Gitarzan - 11,206 plays
- Santa Claus Is Watching You - 8,382 plays
- I'm My Own Grandpa - 7,197 plays