De Pasquale's Dozen: Ray Stevens

One afternoon I heard lots of laughing coming from the chairman’s office.  I was called in and told, “Get this guy for CPAC.” 

Ray Stevens’ recent YouTube videos, such as “We the People” and “The Skies Just Ain’t Friendly Anymore,” have garnered millions of views and are introducing Stevens to a new generation of fans.  It’s clear why songs like “The Skies Just Ain’t Friendly Anymore” are striking a nerve:

“I took off my shoes, my rings and watch
Then a guy said I need to check your crotch
And I’ll need to see all your liquid toiletries
He gave me a grope, a squeeze, and a pat
And I’ll tell you friends when I go to the vet
They treat my old bird dog with more dignity”

Stevens began his career in the 1960s with hit comedy songs such as “Ahab the Arab,” “Harry the Hairy Ape,” and “The Streak.”  In 1970s, Stevens won his first Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance with “Everything is Beautiful.”  In total, he has been nominated for a Grammy an amazing 11 times and has won twice.

Now entering his sixth decade in the music business, Ray Stevens is a welcome addition to the Tea Party movement and was fantastic at the Conservative Political Action Conference 2011 Presidential Banquet.  Let the Left (and Gaddafi) take the flash-in-the-pan pop stars.  We’ll take Ray Stevens.

Click here to purchase Stevens’ latest hit, “The Skies Just Ain’t Friendly Anymore.”

1.  If there were a television channel that only showed one movie over and over, what movie should it be?

STEVENS:  Patton.

2.  What’s one of your favorite movie quotes?

STEVENS:  “A man’s got to know his limitations.”—Clint Eastwood [in Dirty Harry]

3.  In A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell is strapped in with his eyes propped open and forced to watch images until he is “cured.”  If you could give President Obama, the “Clockwork Orange treatment,” what movie would you make him watch?

STEVENS:  Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

4.  What pop culture souvenir do you own that people would be surprised to learn that you cherish?

STEVENS:  A picture of Hopalong Cassidy

5.  What’s your current “guilty pleasure” non-news television show?


6.  What was your first job?


7.  What was the first rock concert you ever attended and where did you sit and who went with you?

STEVENS:  Ray Charles at the Wallehadji Ballroom in Atlanta in the late ’50s with my future brother-in-law, who was to later work for Elvis.  We were the only two white guys there and we sat in the back.

8.  Tell me about a public or private moment when you thought to yourself, “This is what Elvis felt like every day.”

STEVENS:  When I won a Grammy for Pop Male Vocalist of the Year.

9.  What’s the one thing you would do as President “just because you could”?

STEVENS:  Whatever was necessary to bring Iran into line.

10.  What do you enjoy most about your job?  What do you enjoy the least?

STEVENS:  Best: Coming in every day.  Worst: Having to leave.

11.  What question do you wish reporters would ask you?  What’s your answer to that question?

STEVENS:  Q:  What do you do to stay so handsome, virile, and young-appearing?  A: Barbecue.

12.  Tell me about the moment you decided to become more vocal about your political beliefs.

STEVENS:  I had become increasingly concerned about the direction of the country and its drift away from the values that had served me so well, and I realized that I could write and record some songs that might make a difference.