Ray Stevens: Songs That Bring The Funny
A Legend of Music and Comedy
For nearly fifty years, Ray Stevens has been rocking audiences with music and laughter and catchy songs, whitty, downright hilarious lyrics. Today, I want to make sure that everyone has access to these joke-filled songs whether these are songs you are discovering for the first time or remembering from back in the day.
Born in 1938 as Harold Ray Ragsdale, the Georgia-native began his career as a signed recording before his 20th birthday releasing two singles with Prep Records before moving to the larger Capitol label. After working with a series of financially unstable record companies, Stevens found success with perennial favorites, such as Ahab the Arab, Harry the Hairy Ape and a string of other hits, including Jeremiah Peabody's Polyunsaturated Quick-Dissolving, Fast-Acting Pleasant-Tasting Green and Purple Pills, Santa Claus Is Watching You and Funny Man.
In 1962, Ahab the Arab reached number one on the billboard charts in the pop and rock categories. Traditionally known as a country artist, Ray Stevens way one of the first and possible the only artist to meld humor, country and crossover licks. Throughout the 1960s, Stevens continues to release Top 30 hits in the country genre and mainstream market. In 1969, Stevens released Gitarzan, which would become a Top 10 hit. Stevens was also a regular guest on the Andy Williams show and also hosted his own show in the summer of 1970.
Serious Musician and Silly Singer
Although Ray Stevens is best known for his comedic parodies, he is also an accomplished pianist, composer, arranger and Grammy-winning songwriter. Grammy awards were given to Stevens for his country interpretation of the jazz standard Misty, which he plays on piano as well as the serious single Everything is Beautiful. Throughout the 1970s, Stevens worked in the studio producing songs for Patti Page, Dolly Parton and some of the biggest names in Nashville.
Rays Stevens in the 21st Century - Celebrating 50 Years of Funny
After fifty years in the music industry, Ray Stevens continues to release new songs and videos and YouTube and other platforms. Within the past new years, Stevens has release a series of viral videos that have introduced his music to new generations and fans of the funny.
Gitarzan By Ray Stevens - Number 8 Hit from 1969
Gitarzan is my all-time favorite Ray Stevens song and one of my favorite songs ever. Originally released In 1969, this cutting-edge #8 hit on the Billboard top 100 follows Gitarzan, his rocking wife Jane and their pet monkey, who shares in the fun with a hilarious solo and other antics, which can be seen in the video. The title and inspiration came from fellow rock 'n roll artist Bill Justis.
Gitarzan Music Video - By Ray Stevens
He's free as the breeze,
He's always at ease.
He lives in the jungle
And hangs by his knees,
As he swings through trees
Without a trapeeze,
In his BVD's.
He's got a union card
And he's practicin' hard
To play the gitar.
Gon' be a big star,
Yeah he's gonna go far.
An' carry moonbeams home in a jar!
He ordered Chet's guitar course COD,
Makes A&E an' he's workin' on B.
Digs C&W&R&B an' an' me an' a chimpanzee
Agree that one day soon he'll be,
Get it! Get it! Get it! Get it!
He's a gitar man!
He's all you can stand,
Give him a hand,
He's gotta girl named Jane,
With no last name.
Kinda homely and plain,
But he loves her just the same.
'Cause she kindles a flame,
And it drives him insane,
When he hears her sing.
She really does her thing.
It's here claim to fame,
Come on, sing one Jane:
Baby, baby, Whaooooo Baby!
How 'bout that,
Lets here it for Jane!
Thank ya' folks.
Well, they gotta pet monkey,
He likes to get drunky,
And sing boogie woogie,
And it sounds real funky,
Come on, yo' time, boy,
Sing one monkey,
Here we go,
Lets here it for the monkey!
(He He He He)
On Saturday night they need some excitement,
Jane gets right and the monkey gets tight,
And their voices unite, in the pale moonlight,
And it sounds alright, yeah, it's dynamite,
It's outta sight.
Let's hear it, right nnnnnnnnow!
(Gitarzan, Jane, and monkery all together)
Shut up baby, I'm tryin' to sing!
Get it! Get it! Get it! Get it!
And his jungle band!
They're all you can stand,
Give 'em a hand, Gitarzan!
(repeats once while fading)
The Mississippi Squirrel Revivial - An Instnce Ray Stevens Classic
Panic ensures after a squirrel is unleashed in this Mississippi church
The Mississipi Squirrel Revival Album - 10 Laugh-Out-Loud Tracks
This CD is a release and repackaged edition of of Stevens 1984 MCA album, He thinks he's Ray Stevens. In addition to the title track "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" song, this CD includes a number of classic tracks that make this Cd a must have for collectors and new fans.
The Nightmare Before Christmas - By Ray Stevens
This hilarious song makes fun of political correctness with court official arresting Santa and charging him with discrimination for only hiring elves, not to mention the product liability lawsuits. Woo!
Christmas Through A Different Window - Holiday Classic From Ray Stevens
This unique holiday from Ray Stevens features 11 classic Christmas tracks including:
Guilt for Christmas
I Won't Be Home for Christmas
Nightmare Before Christmas
and The Little Drummer Boy-Next Door
More Great Ray Stevens Videos - See Them on YouTube
Here are a few more Ray Stevens videos to get you started.
I hope you enjoyed this lens on one of my favorite singers and comedians.