Harold Ray Ragsdale was born on January 24, 1939. He is an American country and pop singer-songwriter and comedian. He is best known for his Grammy-winning recordings like Everything Is Beautiful and Misty and comedic hits such as Gitarzan and The Streak. But did you ever wonder what inspired Ray Steven’s song The Streak?
Stevens stated that the song came to him while reading an airplane news magazine. Stevens thought it was a “great idea for a song” after reading a brief article about streaking in the magazine.
What Was So Special About the Song?
Ray Stevens was inspired to write this after reading an article about streaking, a craze among college students in which they ran around naked in public. A slew of other songs about streaking had already been released when Stevens recorded this.
A slew of other songs about streaking had already been released when Stevens recorded this. He took it to a Nashville radio station, and the music was well-received when it was played.
There were about a dozen other records about streaking on the market before I could get mine out, and I was pretty fast! I wrote the song the minute I heard about streaking, and got in the studio and cut it. People were just. I don’t know how they got their records out so fast, but maybe they weren’t all that good. When mine came out, it took the market. It was the one that radio liked.Ray Stevens
Five days later, one of the most high-profile streaks occurred at the Academy Awards, when advertising executive Robert Opel streaked past David Niven on live television. This heightened the public’s interest in streaking and contributed to the song’s success. (Source: Ray Stevens)
Why Did Ray Stevens Change His Name?
Bill Lowery founded the National Recording Corporation (NRC) in 1958, and Stevens was hired to play various instruments, arrange music, and perform background vocals for its band. He had taken the professional name Ray Stevens around that time, which was inspired by his middle name and his mother’s maiden name. (Source: Ray Stevens)
What was Ray Steven’s First Hit Song?
He needed a hit song for a show, and the result of three days spent in his basement at his piano surrounded by crumpled paper was Everything Is Beautiful. The song became Ray’s first number one pop chart hit and earned him a Grammy for Male Vocalist of the Year (Source: Ray Stevens)
Is Ray Stevens Part of the Music Hall of Fame?
Many of his songs became hits, with The Streak and Everything is Beautiful charting at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. He is well-known in the music industry and has received numerous awards and honors. He is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Christian Music Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the County Music Hall of Fame and Museum in 2019.
Stevens’ albums have sold over 40 million copies worldwide. Ray’s home base, the CabaRay, remains open for business daily. (Source: Ray Stevens)