Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Music: Are you ready for that? Driving your car down a desert highway listening to the seventies and eighties rise like zombies from the rippling sand? I hope so.

Along came Ray

Jerry Stratton, December 18, 2009

I’ve always liked Ray Stevens. He’s one of the reasons I haunt used record stores. When I was a kid, I enjoyed Gitarzan and Ahab the Arab on Dr. Demento. When I started picking up his albums, I discovered other songs, ranging from Would Jesus Wear a Rolex to Marion Michael Morrison. His humor ranges from musical slapstick to subtly in your face.

For a while, I thought I didn’t like his new stuff. But as they come up in rotation on iTunes, I find I like them more and more each time I listen. He’s a quietly enjoyable country artist and many of his less humorous songs grow with each listen.

I’ve recommended two collections below; I'm not a fan of collections. They almost always exclude lesser known gems, and this is definitely the case here. Among my favorite Stevens’ songs are The Minority, Would Jesus Wear a Rolex, Marion Michael Morrison, and I Saw Elvis in a UFO, which are not on either of these collections. But unless you want to haunt record stores too, collections are the only way to get some of the classics.

Some of the original albums are available on CD. You can still buy Crackin’ Up and Mississippi Squirrel Revival, which you should.

If you want to look for the original albums, here are some of my favorites:

Ahab the ArabAhab the Arab1962
The MinorityEven Stevens1968
The StreakBoogity Boogity1974
Would Jesus Wear a RolexCrackin’ Up1987
Marion Michael MorrisonBeside Myself1989
I Saw Elvis In A U.F.O.Beside Myself1989

People keep calling this healthcare reform. But it really appears to be taking our current heavily-flawed system and enshrining it at the federal level. That’s not reform, that’s retrenchment. Real reform would push power down to the individual, not move it even higher into the management rainclouds of DC.

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