Ray Stevens
February 16, 2022
Facts of Ray Stevens
Full Name: Ray Stevens
Age: 83 years
Birthday: 24 Jan, 1939
Birthplace: Clarkdale, Georgia, USA
Nationality: American
Gender: Male
Horoscope: Aquarius
Wife: Penny Jackson
Net Worth: $15 million dollars
Height: N/A
Profession: Singer, Songwriter, Comedian
Sibling: John Ragsdale

Ray Stevens is a singer and songwriter from the United States of America who specializes in country and pop music. Ray Stevens is a stand-up comic as well. He is best known for Grammy-winning albums such as “Everything Is Beautiful” and “Misty,” as well as comedic hits such as “Gitarzan” and “The Streak.”

Ray Stevens
Caption: Ray Stevens
( Photo: Country Music Hall of Fame)

How old is Ray Stevens?

Ray Stevens
Caption: Ray Stevens
( Photo: Ray Stevens )

Ray Stevens was born on January 24, 1939, under the given name Harold Ray Ragsdale. He is 81 years old and was born in Clarkdale, Georgia, the United States, a small cotton mill town twenty miles north of Atlanta. Ray Stevens went to Georgia State University as a music major after graduating from high school.

Ray’s mother is Frances Stephens Ragsdale, and his father is Willis Harold Ragsdale, to name a few members of his family. In addition, he has an actor and writer brother named John Ragsdale.

Career line of Ray Stevens

Ray Stevens
Caption: Ray Stevens as a Singer, Songwriter, Comedian
( Photo: YouTube)
  • Ray Stevens’ early influences came from the radio and the jukebox at the village swimming pool, where he and the majority of the kids spent their summers. Radio stations back then were extremely diverse, broadcasting music of all genres. This, together with the records played by the jukebox, exposed Ray to a diverse range of music.
  • Ray discovered his interest in music as a seven-year-old taking piano lessons. Ray had soaked up many of the great Southern musical influences by the time he was a teenager in Albany, Georgia. From country to rhythm and blues, he dabbled in a variety of styles.
  • Ray began singing and playing piano in a band called the Barons at the age of fifteen, and they performed all over the area for the American Legion, the Elks, private parties, and anything else.
  • Ray moved to Atlanta at the age of seventeen, where he met radio personality and Georgia Tech football broadcaster Bill Lowery. Ray went to Nashville for the first time in 1957, while still in high school, and recorded his first song, Silver Bracelet.
  • He did so at the now-legendary RCA “B” studio. During this trip, he met Chet Atkins, RCA’s A&R director. The two became lifelong friends. Ray’s debut single was a smash in Atlanta.
  • Ray Stevens left Prep Records for Capitol shortly after that. Its parent company is Capitol. Ray Stevens recorded some songs for Capitol Records in 1958. Bill Lowery established the National Recording Corporation during this period (NRC).
  • NRC had a small studio that wasn’t exactly cutting-edge, but it served as a place to practice and record. Ray, Jerry Reed, and Joe South, among others, appeared on a daily basis, bugging the engineer to allow them to record.
  • Ray later returned to Atlanta and completed his high school education. He then enrolled in college, where he studied classical piano and music theory.
  • He dropped out of high school during his junior year and recorded Jeremiah Peabody’s Poly Unsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green and Purple Pills in 1961. The single peaked at number 35 on the pop charts.
  • His diverse abilities landed him a job with Mercury Records in Nashville at the time.
  • Ray arrived in Music City on January 2, 1962, and worked on numerous sessions as a pianist, arranger, and vocalist in his first year alone. Ahab the Arab was recorded during one of these sessions. In the year 1962, this song peaked at number five on the pop charts.
  • Ray has performed with the Jordanaires on several occasions. Ray also played on one of Elvis Presley’s sessions, which was his only Elvis session. Ray, like Charlie McCoy, played trumpet. He later published Way Down, Elvis’ final hit before his death, several years later.
  • He also recorded Harry the Hairy Ape and Santa Claus is Watching You for Mercury. His recordings then became less frequent. He spent most of his time in the studio producing rather than working on his own music. He soon left Mercury Records to work for Monument Records. He was the producer in charge of discovering new talent at the time. A young Dolly Parton was one of those new artists.
  • Gitarzan, a jungle band comedy, brought him back to the top ten of the pop charts in 1969. Ray recognized the talent of a young Nashville country and was the first artist to record Kris Kristofferson’s Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down.
  • Later that year, Ray returned to the pop charts with a new version of the old Coaster Pop/R&B hit, Along Came Jones.
  • Ray was also a member of Barnaby Records in 1970. Andy Williams is the owner of this label. Ray was Barnaby’s first contemporary artist after performing on Williams’ television variety show. Ray was given the opportunity to host the Andy Williams Show on NBC in the summer of 1970.
  • Ray also needed a hit song for the show, and Everything Is Beautiful fit the bill. Everything is Beautiful was the culmination of three days spent in his basement at his piano, surrounded by crumpled paper. This song was Ray’s first number one hit on the pop charts and earned him a Grammy nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year.
  • Ray Stevens released music ranging from gospel to comedy over the next few years. Then, on a flight to Los Angeles in 1974, he read an article about streaking, a new craze among college students. He was moved, so he scribbled some ideas down.
  • Later on, he decided to write a song about it. The Streak was born as a result of this, and it became Ray’s second number one hit on the pop charts.
  • Ray won his second Grammy award in 1975. It was for the remake of the Erroll Gardner/Johnny Burke classic, Misty, in the Best Arrangement category.
  • Ray’s band for an upcoming television appearance began clowning around with Misty one day while rehearsing in the studio, using a banjo, fiddle, and steel guitar. Ray requested that the arrangement be recorded because it sounded good.
  • This was one of his last Barnaby Records hits. Ray joined Warner Brothers just as Barnaby was about to close. Ray recorded In the Mood and I Need Your Help, Barry Manilow while working with Warner Brothers.
  • Ray was signed by RCA Records from 1979 to 1984. Shriner’s Convention, which was inspired by a real-life experience in a hotel packed with Shriners, was his biggest hit at the time.
  • Ray then signed with MCA Records in 1984, where he had hits with The Mississippi Squirrel Revival and It’s Me Again, Margaret. Until 1990, he also recorded for MCA. Ray signed with Curb Records shortly after that.
  • Ray Stevens Theatre in Branson, Missouri, opened in 1991, with a capacity of 2,000 people. From 1991 to 1993, he performed twice a day, six days a week, for 1,600,000 fans during the tourist season. Ray relaunched the show for a second season in 2004. The show was then permanently closed in 2006 when he sold the theater.
  • During his time in Branson, he created music videos for several of his biggest hits in order to bring the stage show to life. These videos were so well received that they were released in 1992 by Ray’s own Clyde Records, Inc. and made available for purchase through a mail-order and television advertising campaign.
  • Furthermore, over two million copies of Comedy Video Classics were sold. In 1995, Ray Stevens Live! was released. It’s a video from Branson’s show, which has sold over a million copies. Ray later made the feature-length film Get Serious in 1995. MCA Records released the film to retail outlets in late 1996, earning it platinum status through TV advertising.
  • Ray Stevens made the decision to record solely for his own label, Clyde Records, Inc., in 2007. He rebranded the label from a direct-market-only label to a full-service label with releases available for retail and download. It also gives Ray control over when new recordings are made available. Clyde Records’ debut album, New Orleans Moon, is available now.
  • Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans, Saint James Infirmary, and Randy Newman’s Louisiana are among the many great standards on the album.
  • Ray Stevens followed up with We The People, a CD/DVD package, in April 2010. It featured political and patriotic music and videos.
  • Ray recorded and released Spirit of 76, a CD of more patriotic and political satirical songs, in early 2011. Then he released a DVD titled Internet Video Hits, which included ten videos created specifically for the internet and received over 20,000,000 unique internet views.
  • Ray also wrote a book called Let’s Get Political, which was published after 2010. It expands his thoughts on those subjects in 34 essays by using the titles of the songs from the two CDs mentioned above.
  • Some of these essays have appeared in major newspapers and on popular websites such as Fox News Channel.
  • In 2012, Ray Stevens released Labor of Love, a “Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music.” This effort required him to spend over two years in the studio recording what he describes as the songs that made him who he is today.
  • Ray also researched and wrote extensive liner notes for all of the songs, which he included in the project’s “owner’s manual,” along with a piece written by Don Cusic on the “History of Comedy Music” and the writer/publisher credits.
  • He also released “Ray Stevens’ Nashville” in 2015. It’s a memoir about his time in the music industry. Ray went to a few Barnes & Noble book signings. Later that year, on RFD-TV, he debuted his 30-minute TV show of the same name.
  • Ray Stevens CabaRay Showroom, which opened in Nashville in January 2018, has received acclaim.
  • The music venue features a 700-seat Vegas-style dinner theatre where fans can be thoroughly entertained by Ray himself in full concert while also enjoying excellent dinner and beverage service.
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