Country Music Hall of Famer Ray Stevens chatted with Digital Journal’s Markos Papadatos about his new comedy album “Ain’t Nothin’ Funny Anymore,” which will be released on Friday, October 8 via Curb Records.
Stevens is affectionately known as the “King of Comedy Music” and for over six decades, he has brought laughter to millions thanks to his smash hit singles and live shows.
‘Ain’t Nothin’ Funny Anymore’ album
Several of the comedic tunes on the new album apply to current events. “The Quarantine Song” is a track all about living basic life through COVID-19, while “Gas” tackles rising fuel costs and of course, flatulence. There’s a song about “Disorder Down on the Border” and on “Dis-connected” Stevens sings about the woes of social media.
“The Gambler and the Octopus” is a barroom tale about, you guessed it, a gambler and an octopus. Complete with gorillas and monkeys, “CoCo Cabana Band” is reminiscent of Stevens’ classic hit, “Gitarzan.” It’s the story of a group of ace musical primates who take up residence at a juke joint in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
On the song selection process for the new album, Stevens said, “I approached it the way I have always done. I picked some songs that I liked.”
He listed the first single “Hoochie Coochie Dancer,” as well as “CoCo Cabana Band” and “The Gambler and the Octopus” as his personal favorite songs on the album. “They are all good,” he admitted.
A 12-time Grammy-nominated and two-time Grammy award-winning artist, Stevens has spanned the generations with more than 60 years of comedic musical talent, including songs such as his multi-million selling hit “The Streak” and his classic pop standard “Everything Is Beautiful.”
Throughout his respected career, Stevens has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. In 2018, the music legend opened his very own Nashville entertainment venue, the CabaRay Showroom, a 35,000 square foot music venue where Stevens performs weekly live concerts. “CabaRay is going great. We had to close down for almost two years because of the COVID situation, but we are slowly starting to open back up. We are doing Saturdays right now, and as soon as it lightens up a little bit, we will add some more dates,” he said.
“Eventually, I hope that things will loosen back up,” he added about CabaRay show dates.
Regarding the key to longevity in the music business all of these decades, he said, “It’s just liking what you do, and I’ve always loved my job. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had a job. I am not ready to stop doing what I like to do.”
For young and aspiring actors, he said, “Be sure that you really want to do this. A lot of people get into the music business and they don’t know what it’s really about. I knew from day one that this is what I wanted to do.”
On his dream duet choices, he responded, “I am a fan of a lot of artists out there and I would welcome the opportunity to work with quite a few folks.”
Regarding the title of the current chapter of his life, he said jokingly, “I’ve never titled my chapters and I never divided my life into chapters. I will have to sit down and do that the first chance I get.”
The digital age
On being an artist in the digital age, he said, “It is hard to understand sometimes. It’s hard to get your arms around all of the things that are happening these days but that’s progress I guess or change anyway. One thing is for sure, everything is going to change.”
Country Music Hall of Fame
Stevens is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, has a star on the Music City Walk of Fame, and was formally inducted into the prestigious Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the fall of 2019.
“Making the Country Music Hall of Fame was a great honor,” he said. “I am very honored to have been inducted.”
He defined the word success as “being happy with your life and being happy with yourself.” “If you can achieve that, then that’s the gist of what is important,” he said.
“Ain’t Nothin’ Funny Anymore” is available for preorder on digital service providers by clicking here. “I’ve always had a reputation for writing and recording comedy songs, and I am still doing that. I still get a kick out of a good comedy song and I wanted to put out another album and reconfirm that position,” he concluded.
To learn more about Country Music Hall of Famer Ray Stevens, visit his official website.