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Album Review

Stevens plies his stock-in-trade pop novelties on this 1969 album, replete with hayseed monologues, skilled mimicry of various voices (spoken and sung), and Vegas-soul female backup singers. It sounds hokey now — and probably sounded hokey then — but not to everyone, as the title track made the Top Ten, and the remake of the Coasters' "Along Came Jones" made the Top Thirty. The rest of the album's divided between Stevenized covers of vintage rock novelties ("Yakety Yak," "Alley Oop") and satirical originals that ensured his stature as the Top 40's answer to Hee Haw. The CD reissue adds three bonus tracks, including "Bridget the Midget," a small hit from 1970, and "The Streak," his #1 single from 1974. Better than anything else on the disc, though, is his 1974 single "The Moonlight Special" (included here). This satire of DJ Wolfman Jack's TV show is actually genuinely funny in places, complete with spot-on send-ups of Jerry Lee Lewis and a Gladys Knight-type soul group.


Born: 24 January 1939 in Clarkdale, GA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most popular novelty artists of all time, Ray Stevens enjoyed a remarkably long career, with a stretch of charting singles -- some of them major hits -- that spanned four decades. Unlike parody king Weird Al Yankovic, Stevens made the most of his impact with original material, often based on cultural trends of the day. Yet his knack for sheer silliness translated across generations, not to mention countless compilations and special TV offers. Stevens was a legitimately skilled singer and...
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Gitarzan, Ray Stevens
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