23
Oct 07

RAY STEVENS – “The Streak”

FT + Popular76 comments • 7,154 views

#350, 15th June 1974

Ray Stevens - The Streak“The Streak” isn’t awful as comedy records go, in fact musically it slips down very easily, a perky country number with a few good rhymes for “streak” as its highlight. But not only does Stevens succumb to the blight of the comedy song and shove a laugh track on his record, he also insists on using it for his least funny gag, the laboured hick voice he puts on for the streak-witnesser. Goodwill in shortish supply here.

But anyway, streaking. I was nine years old when Erica Roe streaked and…. actually, I don’t remember it at all. Sorry! But I do remember streaking being a “thing”, though somehow I assumed it was specifically British – there’s something a bit Donald McGill about it, especially as it seems to happen a lot at cricket matches. A little Wikipedia research reveals that not only was I completely wrong but that Ray Stevens was highly topical – Time Magazine had only brought the word to light the year before and by ’74 the craze was full-blown. Wikipedia also confirms that streaking is with us still though these days the streakers tend to have the names of insurance websites painted on their backs. Poor show – in the metaphorical sense.

3

Comments

  1. 1
    Helen Highwater on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Í Júní 1974, þegar þetta (lag) komst á toppinn á Bresku listunum, var ég á leiðinni til Kanada fyrir sumarið . Ég heyrði ekki mikið af Breskri samtímatónlist það sumarið, og ég held ég hafi verið heppin/nn í þessu tilviki. Ég fékk ekki færi á að hlusta á það í önnur tuttugu ár. Það er slíkur hlutur sem er nýbreytni tónlist, en það er þetta ekki. Meiri smámunur en lag, hvað sem öðru líður. Hinu broslegu/fyndnu viðtöl eru veikar eftirhermur af þess konar hlut sem Dick Emery gerði í sjónvarpinu á þeim tíma. 2

    ;)

  2. 2
    Lena on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Most of Doctor Demento’s weekly top ten was better than this. Don’t remember it from the time & can only conclude this is what happened when Nixon was in power for too long.

    Can’t read the above, though I don’t know who Dick Emery is, I think I know who the author is…

  3. 3
    Mark G on 23 Oct 2007 #

    By hook or by crook, I get in before Marc JUST ONCE!!!

    These past few number ones were played for ages before they even made the charts, weren’t they?

  4. 4
    Mark G on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Oh, and one of those misheard lyrics: aint got nothin’ on but he’s peein’

    I wondered if that’s what they did in the strange USA!!!?

  5. 5
    Marcello Carlin on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Ah, Dick Emery, the erstwhile part-time Goon and later the Harry Enfield of his day with his gallery of wholly unfunny “characters,” the most famous of which was the lush lady who used to slap the bloke with her handbag and say “Ooh you are awful…but I like you!” received by the starved audience as though it were WC Fields’ golfing routine.

    He had two Top 40 hits; one with a “straight” ballad called “If You Love Her” in 1969 and the other inevitably entitled “Ooh You Are Awful” in 1973, written by Martin and Coulter, based around a refrain of “come on and do the conga” (unwise in Emery’s case since at the time of its release he was in St Mary’s Hospital recovering from the first of several heart attacks) and with a humour so impoverished it makes “The Streak” sound like Richard Pryor in comparison.

    As for Ray Stevens, I couldn’t abide “The Streak” at the time and still can’t – Benny Hill with added stetson. Ditto his peculiar veering between crass novelty (“Ahab The Arab,” “Bridget The Midget”) and Moral Majority echt-gospel (“Everything Is Beautiful,” “Turn Your Radio On”). Even on a basic level, his timing here is so lousy that even the slender resources of humour available are wasted and rapidly exhausted.

    I should mention here, of course, that the biggest selling album in Scotland during 1974, and possibly still Scotland’s all-time biggest selling album, was Solo Concert by Billy Connolly which I LOVED and which rather sadly I can recite from beginning to end, from “Hello pals…” to “…your patter’s ROTTEN, so it is!”

  6. 6
    Mark G on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Back to Stevens:

    His performance on TOTP classic:

    “Pardon me sir did you see what happened?”
    (puts on moustache, flat cap, glasses, takes 20 seconds of backing track to do this, turns to other camera”
    “Yeah, I did!”

    The last of the Comedy timing dies.

  7. 7
    Marcello Carlin on 23 Oct 2007 #

    *camera cuts away to audience of bemused teenagers wondering when the Rollers are coming on*

  8. 8
    Rosie on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Though we have a while to go yet before the Rollers do arrive.

  9. 9
    Marcello Carlin on 23 Oct 2007 #

    At number one, maybe, but they were the biggest selling singles act of 1974.

  10. 10
    Erithian on 23 Oct 2007 #

    My auntie loved Ray Stevens to the point of training her budgie to say his name.

    But yes, this has dated particularly badly, and was one of the worst TOTP appearances in memory. The greatest streaking-related contribution to culture of course remains John Arlott at Lord’s: “We have got a freaker … not very shapely as it is masculine, and I would think it has seen the last of its cricket for the day … he is being embraced by a blond policeman and this may well be his last public appearance – but what a splendid one!”

    I saw Dick Emery doing that conga song on TOTP. I was too young to go “WTF?” but no doubt would have otherwise. One or two performers no doubt got on the show through Beeb connections back then – I also remember seeing Bruce Forsyth doing a ballad called “Sandra” (something else I should be sectioned for remembering). Dick Emery was one of a clutch of performers who gathered at Graftons in Strutton Ground (around the corner from my office) in the late 40s where the soon-to-be Goons held court in the bar. Spike Milligan lodged upstairs and wrote scripts hoping to get his break with the BBC.

    Number 2 Watch – at 2 behind The Streak was Showaddywaddy’s “Hey Rock’n’Roll”. A nice piece of original R’n’R, and if this had been a Number 1 they might have carried on with original material instead of hitting the top with a cover and getting into a career-long rut of retreads (see also UB40).

  11. 11
    Mark G on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Well, they kept at the (mainly) original stuff for a fair while, until the “Trocadero” albums singles stiffed, they made “Under the moon of love” and never looked um, not back!

  12. 12
    Billy Smart on 23 Oct 2007 #

    This was one of the very few number one singles of the sixties and seventies that I had never knowingly heard before today… and, by God, Sir, I wish that it had remained so.

  13. 13
    Alan on 23 Oct 2007 #

    clicky enlarge – me playin a ray stevens reckid circa 1970/71 (bridget the midget?)

  14. 14
    Rosie on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Yebbut – what’s the Apple record?

  15. 15
    Mark G on 23 Oct 2007 #

    “Early 1970” amirite?

  16. 16
    mike on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Massively popular at school, this one – and I know this FOR A FACT because we were Learning How To Conduct Surveys at the time, and so handed out questionnaire forms to everyone in the Upper School, one of the questions being “what’s your favourite pop song?” or some such. By far the most popular answer was “The Streak”. Which fits, given that I can’t imagine anyone much past the age of puberty finding much comic gold here. But if you were of age where the mere thought of middle-aged matrons called Ethel copping a peek at naughty-naked-nudie willies and bum-bums was mirth-provoking enough to make “Having A Little Accident” a distinct possibility, then “The Streak” was most assuredly for you.

  17. 17
    Lena on 23 Oct 2007 #

    The US #1 at this time was “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” followed by Gordon Lightfoot with “Sundown.” (Before that, a grateful nation wept when “The Streak” was replaced by “Band on the Run.”)

  18. 18
    scrogghill on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Is this the first number one to feature a plastic fan hooter/whistle? I think it was 1979 before anyone else followed suit.

  19. 19
    intothefireuk on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Ah yes Ray Stevens, I have to admit I do actually own a copy of Ray Stevens Geatest Hits – why you ask ? Well apart from the fact that I bought it for 50p in Camden I do actually like his countrified version of ‘Misty’ which is expertly executed by the accompanying musicians and is a mighty fine tune. Owning the album also allowed me to dip into his extensive ‘comedy’ work of which I was already familiar with ‘Bridget’ & ‘Streak’. Bridget thanks to Junior Choice & Streak well, thanks to nothing. It’s not a particularly great record but fortunately comedy singles are usually only short-lived and mostly of their time. Talking of comedy records, in 1974 there would have only been one comedy record which obliterated all others Monty Python’s ‘Live At Drury Lane’. This particular LP was so popular at our school that almost everyone I knew could recite at least one sketch word for word. Anyhow back to streaking – I remember the streaking craze, I also remember thinking ‘why?’ and I don’t think I’ve ever worked that one out.

  20. 20
    mike on 23 Oct 2007 #

    At around the same time that Ray Stevens hit #1, my friend Nigel and I actually co-wrote an entire streaking comic; it was a sort of parody of a “Streakers’ World” special interest magazine.

    Glad to see a mention for RS’s version of “Misty”, which I’ve always liked.

    I was also another Python Live At Drury Lane word-for-worder; it was bought on the strength of the promotional Monty Python’s Tiny Black Round Thing flexi-disc that was given away with the NME.

    (“What a silly bunt” confused the hell out of me, though… so, there was some sort of word which began with a C and ended with an UNT, which made people howl with laughter? OK, but what did it MEAN?)

  21. 21
    Caledonianne on 24 Oct 2007 #

    That’s three in a row for ‘Misty’, but The Streak is dross. Makes ‘Ernie’ seem Cowardesque in its wit and sophistication, after all,

    ‘He said, “D’you want it pasteurized? ‘Cos pasteurized is best,”
    She says, “Ernie, I’ll be happy if it comes up to my chest.” ‘

    is worth a smile. Unlike all that ‘Ethel’ schtick.

    And I enjoyed Dick Emery (Mandy, Hettie, Hello Honky Tonks, Lampwick, Gaylord). Not exactly the (sainted) Two Ronnies, but it always seemed to me an okay way to put in a wintry Saturday night

    I find it difficult to exorcise Connolly the luvvie friend of Royalty, the ridiculous purple goatee in the Lotto ads, the twat who used Desert Island Discs as a platform to publicly humiliate a teacher he’d disliked, to reclaim the gallus patter-merchant from 30-odd years ago.

    But it was always mostly a boy thing, wasn’t it? Can’t remember ever seeing one of les girls around the convent with “Solo Concert” or “Get Right Intae Him” tucked under their arm. Our counterparts at Gerry Rafferty and John Byrne’s alma mater across the road did seem to have the album welded to their mean-and-moody, I’m-an- intellectual,me greatcoats!

    But he was brilliant in that bank robbery play “Down among the big boys”.

  22. 22
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Yes, well in 1974 the Windsor mansion, purple goatee, abandonment of inconvenient first wife etc. were yet to happen; good job we couldn’t see what was coming, eh? I agree Billy was pretty much a boy thing, as was my childhood idol Alex Harvey…but he was also great in Just Another Saturday which was broadcast under the Play For Today banner in late ’74.

    The NME with the free Python flexidisc was the first NME I ever bought. Not a bad start since that week’s features included CSM ripping Sgt Pepper to shreds; talk about going in at the deep end…

    Meanwhile, apropos “bunt”; back in 1956, Tom very nearly had to write about “I’m Walking Backwards For Christmas” with its couplet “I’ve tried walking sideways and walking to the front/But people just look at me and say what a publicity stunt”…

  23. 23
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Good God, I remember “Sandra” by Bruce Forsyth (and his performing it on TOTP) – circa ’78 I think; it was about a bored housewife washing the dishes in the sink when she accidentally breaks a glass, cuts her wrist and bleeds to death. A strange thing indeed, like Reggie Perrin remixed by Lou Reed. Poor old Brucie; for a time he was always trying to get a hit and always allowed to jump the TOTP queue and always without success – senior readers may remember his “I’m Backing Britain” from ’68, a song which even its composer (Tony Hatch) subsequently described as “terrible.”

  24. 24
    Billy Smart on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Bruce Forsythe performed Sandra on Top of the Pops transmitted on October the 9th 1975 (the six hundredth edition) presented by Dave Lee Travis. Also in the studio that week were Sparks, Morris Albert, Chris Farlowe, Hello, Smokie and John Miles. No tape of this edition survives in the BBC Archives.

  25. 25
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2007 #

    That line-up looks more like Germany Beat Club than TOTP! I’m sure someone must have taped it and it’ll turn up somewhere sooner or later (Chris Farlowe!!).

  26. 26
    Mark G on 24 Oct 2007 #

    I don’t remember Brucie ever being on TOTP, however I do remember that particular episode quite clearly (Morris Albert! Chris Farlowe!)

    good old selective memory!

  27. 27
    Mark G on 24 Oct 2007 #

    .. for some reason, I remember “I’m backing Britain” w/ Freddie Parrot Face Davis. Am I a meringue?

  28. 28
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2007 #

    You might be a plate of semolina since Freddie Parrot Face Davies definitely did a song on that topic. No, “I’m Backing Britain” was Brucie, Pye Records ’68, and I’ve got it in the house. “In shops and supermarkets/Everybody start it/To work a little more without the PAAAAAAAAAY!”

    If mugs workers were being asked to sacrifice some of their income they probably couldn’t afford to buy the single.

  29. 29
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Currently I have “The Streak” on CD as part of one of those Readers’ Digest 3CD SOUNDS OF THE SEVENTIES (1974) ORIGINAL RECORDINGS NOT AVAILABLE IN THE SHOPS (well I found it in a charity shop but there you go) packages which is one of these compilations it’s handy to have to round up those elusive one-off hits, as well as other assorted oddities including Ronnie Corbett’s “Fanny,” which I distinctly remembering him performing on TOTP in ’74. Written by Herbie Flowers and double entendres were included.

  30. 30
    mike on 24 Oct 2007 #

    And then there was Ken Goodwin’s “Settle Down Now”, which turned the immortal catchphrase into a sentimental lullaby to a child, not played for laughs at all. I have a vague memory of Goodwin crooning it into a cot on The Golden Shot.

    Weirdly, I also remember Chris Farlowe’s 1975 TOTP appearance, but not Forsyth’s…

  31. 31
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Gawd, “Settle Down Now,” another one Hatch and Trent tossed off in their tea break. Very much in the mode of their unforgettable “Mr And Mrs (Be Nice To Each Other),” the theme from that fantastic daytime quiz show hosted by Derek Bailey.

  32. 32
    Erithian on 24 Oct 2007 #

    If Brucie did TOTP in October ’75 it wasn’t a long time away from Bing Crosby’s appearance on the show doing “That’s What Life Is All About”. Reportedly he emerged into the studio and drawled “Hi, gang!” to the astonished audience who promptly burst into a round of applause.

    Such a shame that as late as ’75 there are TOTP editions of which no tape survives. Billy, do you know how complete the BBC archives are after that date?

  33. 33
    mike on 24 Oct 2007 #

    I wonder if the BBC still have the tape of Bill Haley & The Comets’ March 1974 TOTP appearance, in support of the re-issued “Rock Around The Clock” (it reached #12). My abiding memory is of one clearly very pissed off young woman in the audience, dead centre in the shot, refusing to dance like everyone else, and instead standing stock still with her arms folded. I took this at the time as a wrong-headed, and yet somehow rather admirable, generational protest, i.e. she didn’t come all this way, to Britain’s most hip and happening pop TV show, only to endure a bunch of BORING OLD MEN…

  34. 34
    Billy Smart on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Here’s a list of how many episodes of Top of the Pops exist year by year. Its a sorry showing;

    1964 0
    1965 0
    1966 0
    1967 1
    1968 2
    1969 1
    1970 4
    1971 7
    1972 3
    1973 8
    1974 6
    1975 9
    1976 34
    1977 48 and from 1978 they all survive. Plus some freestanding clips of individual performances.

    The penultimate missing show includes Television performing ‘Prove It’ in the studio. Ngghh! How frustrating!

  35. 35
    Billy Smart on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Oh, and…

    Ronnie Corbett performed Fanny on the Top of the Pops of the 14th of November 1974, presented by Dave Lee Travis. Also in the studio that week were Ace, Cilla Black, Donny Osmond, Eddie Holman, Gary Glitter, Lynsey De Paul, Suzi Quatro and The Crystals (?! It says here, anyway). No, this one didn’t survive, either.

  36. 36
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Yes, “Da Doo Ron Ron” had been reissued and was back in the Top 20 so that is plausible.

    “Ronnie Corbett performed Fanny” – insert punchline of your choice (try to avoid invoking the Nolan Sisters)…

  37. 37
    Erithian on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Surely they’d all have been underage in 1974?!

  38. 38
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2007 #

    I’m sure there were a couple of significantly older ones even then, but if not I guess he would have had to make do with, um, the Beverley Sisters…

  39. 39
    intothefireuk on 24 Oct 2007 #

    There are some performances that still exist via some enthusiastic BBC VT ops making their own TOTP compilations and keeping them in their own private collections. Some of these have already appeared on ebay (see this recent one – http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=170156028931&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=007)and hopefully will see the light of day at some point.

  40. 40
    Mark G on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Rewind to comment 28:

    I’m old enoough to remember the badges and things re: I’m backing Britain…

    But remember folks: The ending of “Carry on up the Khyber” where the “I’m backing Britain” flag is raised, and Peter Barkworth turns to the camera and says “of course, you know, they’re all mad!”

    It was only the last time I saw this film where I got what he was REALLY meaning!

  41. 41
    Waldo on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Don’t look, Ethel!

    Was this a novelty record or was it not? Not only that but a very dated novelty record, for although streaking endured (I remember an absolute vision of a girl entertaining the chaps – and no doubt one or two females – as Richard Krajicek and Malivai Washington posed by the net before their 1996 Wimbledon Final. Krajicek merely twitched slightly but Washington’s look had to be seen to be believed, his eyes bulging like a cartoon wolf-whistler. No wonder Krajicek put him through the blender in straight sets), the practice was very much rooted in the seventies as a worldwide phenomenon.

    Ray Stevens’ streaker, of course, was male, a guy who appears on three separate occasions to the same middle-aged American couple. The husband (as told to an “action news reporter”) recounts these events and of his attempts to protect his wife’s eyes from them but is then left to stare incredulously at the streaker again as he sees that his wife has joined him.

    Dated it may be but this was a marvellous piece of comedy by a much underrated and clever artist, who was just as adept at Country and MOR pop as he was at off the wall humour and was for a time one of the biggest name entertainers in the United States. The OTT canned laughter tracks was a Stevens speciality. “The Streak” may have owed its success to simply seizing the moment (which certainly applies to an absolutely huge number one not far away from us now) but this was high jinks indeed and quite a period piece now, I think.

  42. 42
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Um, shouldn’t that be Peter Butterworth? (xpost)

  43. 43
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2007 #

    “Mr Businessman,” that was his other “socially aware” song.

    I preferred Jimmy Savile’s version of “Ahab The Arab.”

  44. 44
    Tom on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Some amazing stuff on this comments thread might I say – particularly enjoyed the dedicated streaking comic and the budgie who could say “Ray Stevens”.

  45. 45
    Caledonianne on 24 Oct 2007 #

    #31 Marcello

    That’ll be Derek BATEY “When your husband comes home at night does he put on his slippers

    (a) as soon as he gets home
    (b) after he’s had his tea
    (c) he doesn’t wear slippers?

    Does your wife
    (a) always buy a particular brand of toothpaste
    (b) buy whatever’s on special offer at the supermarket
    (c) wear dentures?”

    Cutting edge stuff at Border Television (Chairman, Lord Bragg of Wigton). And then there was the Julian Clary retread..

    And – yup – Just Another Saturday was smashing, even if set in (shudder) Greenock.

  46. 46
    Mark G on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Today, we are mostly getting surnames wrong…

  47. 47
    mike on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Having just looked up the lyrics to “The Streak”, I am shocked – SHOCKED, I tell you – to find that I have had the chorus all wrong for the past 33 years.

    MY VERSION: “Here he comes (boogity boogity (*)), there he goes (boogity boogity)…”

    CORRECT VERSION: “Here he comes (look at that, look at that), there he goes (look at that, look at that)…”

    (*) But pronounced “booga-dah booga-dah”, as per some imagined Deep South accent…

  48. 48
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Today we are missing DELIBERATE IRONY

    i.e. Derek Bailey presenting Mr & Mrs:
    “This is a quiz show, right? Does it go on like this? That’s my problem, you see. It goes on like a quiz show goes on and it brooks no argument. Doing quiz shows is fine except you’ve got this thing called a quiz show and it ascribes an endgame to a process which to me has no end. What do people do when they’re watching quiz shows? Have a cup of tea? That’s part of the problem. You’re not required to give your full, undivided attention to it. There seems limited scope for any improvisational stratagems here. You wouldn’t have this if Han were producing…”

    Derek Batey from control booth: “OK you’re fired, I’ll do it meself! Pah!”

  49. 49
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2007 #

    The parent album, if memory serves, was entitled Boogity Boogity.

  50. 50
    Waldo on 24 Oct 2007 #

    For fans of “Mr and Mrs”, may I refer you to a little piece by Derek and Clive called “Mona” from one of their albums. Wonderful.

  51. 51
    mike on 24 Oct 2007 #

    “Peter Fenn is going to play you three tunes on the Hammond Organ. Which one is your wife’s favourite?”

    1. Bye Bye Blackbird.
    2. Where Do I Begin? (Theme From Love Story).
    3. Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor.

  52. 52
    mike on 24 Oct 2007 #

    “Derek Bailey is going to play you three tunes, on a guitar which he has “prepared” especially for today’s show. Which one is your wife’s favourite?”

    1. ii………………ii………………ktooo………ah-uh-ah-uh………….KRRRKH……………..bi-doop!
    2. SQUIIIII THHHRPPPP KTUNNKKK HCHCHCHCHCHCH-RRRRRRUGH-HCHCHCHCHCHCH-RRRRRRUGH^^^@%&!!!##################
    3. Let Me Go, Lover.

  53. 53
    Waldo on 24 Oct 2007 #

    “Okay, Annie. When your uzbund comes ‘ome from t’labour exchange, what d’yoo ‘ave fer t’bugger’s tee?

    1. Dish of tripe with bread an’ drippin’?
    2. Ferret an’ chips with bread an’ drippin’?
    3. Fois gras followed by duck a l’orange and a bottle of Chateau Margeaux 1961?”

  54. 54
    Marcello Carlin on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Now why did he never do that all those years he was in the Op Knox house band? (xpost)

  55. 55
    Caledonianne on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Ha! Ha! Unforgettable Derek Bailey. Very good.

    That will teach me to read this at work…

  56. 56
    crag on 24 Oct 2007 #

    Speaking of Mr and Mrs one of my favorite TV (clutch clipboard to chest and adopt Nordenesque voice) “bloopers” was from the US version where the permagrinning host asked Wife #1 ‘Where is the most unusual place your husband has made love to you?’ to which, after some thought she innocently replied ‘In the ass?’
    Apologies if easily offended….

  57. 57
    crag on 24 Oct 2007 #

    As for the Streak…”Don’t Look Ethel?” More like don’t listen – offensively bad.

  58. 58
    Mark G on 25 Oct 2007 #

    OK (pinggg) NEXT!

  59. 59
    Marcello Carlin on 25 Oct 2007 #

    Ah yes, the next number one…tricky subject, officer…

  60. 60
    Nick on 2 Nov 2007 #

    When you are 72 years of age, any kind of comedy is definitely fruit for the soul. I thought “The Streaker” was one of Ray’s best. I used to have his record but I really dont know what happened to it.
    These days the pension does not run to buying disks.

  61. 61
    Marcello Carlin on 2 Nov 2007 #

    I think Ray himself has now approached the 70 mark. Didn’t have any more hits here after the mid-seventies but I guess he’s carried on in the States. He must have emitted a huge “GRRRRR” when Weird Al Yankovic came along, mind you.

  62. 62
    Marcello Carlin on 2 Nov 2007 #

    *checks Wikipedia*

    Ah right, he’s one of the Branson Missouri crowd now. His last hit in the States was “Osama Yo’Mama” in 2002. Not too sure I want to hear that one…

  63. 63
    Mark G on 13 Nov 2007 #

    Over the weekend, I got a 3CD set of “hits from 1970-1974” as it was cheap and all on it were the original versions (apart from a terrible remake of Baby Jump)…

    I’d forgotten the dubbed on laughing on this. Which made the difference between the record and the performance on TOTP all more visible (timing wise)

  64. 64
    Marcello Carlin on 13 Nov 2007 #

    Makes me wonder how TOTP tackled “Bridget The Midget.” Don’t remember RS coming on to perform it so it must have been left to the redoubtable Pan’s People to “interpret.”

  65. 65
    mike on 13 Nov 2007 #

    Ohhhh, that’s tickling a murky memory. I definitely remember seeing a “Bridget” figure on TV, most probably on TOTP. Long dark hair, china doll face, and a red dress. Other than that, nothing’s coming through!

  66. 66
    Mark G on 14 Nov 2007 #

    I do remember that one, there was a miniature bridget, all else like as Mike says. I’m fairly sure that Ray Stevens was the performer there.

  67. 67
    Geir H on 23 Dec 2007 #

    Is there anything more pointless than comedy records that aren’t funny at all?
    Would be an obvious 1 for me this one.

  68. 68
    ray stevens on 3 Jun 2008 #

    […] her budgie to say his name. … I&8217m fairly sure that ray stevens was the performer there.http://freakytrigger.co.uk/ft/2007/10/ray-stevens-the-streak/OLCOTT: Sabres alumni hold fishing tournament on Lake Ontario – Lockport Union-Sun & JournalBob […]

  69. 69
    wichita lineman on 26 Jul 2008 #

    Re 62 and 63: I’d REALLY like to hear Osama Yo’Mama AND a dreadful remake of Baby Jump. I wonder which one is funnier?

    Even as a 9-year old, me and my friends found this funny for the wrong reasons (though I could be under-estimating Ray Stevens). Which maybe shows that Britons have an in-built tendency to snigger at overt American crassness.

    Whenever the hick character appears the canned laughter is so loud you couldn’t hear the lines on medium wave. From memory they’re along the lines of “DON’T LOOK ETHEL but it was too late” (screams), “she’d already been incensed” (screams), “drivel” (screams), “right in front of the shop soiled” (screams).

    Which all makes it a lot funnier than most Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band records.

    Marcello, good call on Mr Businessman, one of the great 68/69 middle America crisis records. It uses the word “harlot” and Jimmy Young used to play it at least once a week. Bringing dear Bing Crosby back into this, he also recorded a ’68 45 in this vein called What Shall What We Do With The World about the futility of the space race. See also Roy Orbison’s 7-minute suicidal businessman epic Southbound Jericho Parkway. There’s a great compilation to be made.

    K-Tel/Ronco alert: The Streak is the opening track on Fun Rock. My very favourite genre.

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    DJ Punctum on 27 Jul 2008 #

    Not “drivel” but “dribblin'” and what is this “a lot funnier than most Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band records” madness?

    Agree about “Southbound Jericho Parkway”: definitive CD compilation of that period of the Big O’s career long overdue.

  71. 71
    wichita lineman on 28 Jul 2008 #

    So he does say “right in front of the shop soiled”? How queer.

    I think Ray Stevens produced, and maybe wrote, Dolly Parton’s ultra-rare Shangri-La’s-alike Don’t Drop Out. Just beautiful. It’s on the Girls Go Zonk comp, essential listening on high summer days.

    The Bonzos – on my own, I know, and almost feel the need to apologise. I suppose I prefer my eccentrics without “ECCENTRIC!!!” tattooed on their forehead: Joe Meek, Lt Pigeon, Lou Christie, Kevin Rowland…

  72. 72
    DJ Punctum on 29 Jul 2008 #

    No, it’s “right in front of the shock absorbers.”

  73. 73
    Billy Smart on 29 Jul 2008 #

    There was a documentary about Ray Stevens on Radio 2 a few months ago. I kept on hearing the trailer, where Tony Blackburn said “It’s incredible to think that the same man can write a song like ‘Everything Is Beautiful’ and ‘The Streak’. Amazing!”

    I didn’t share his incredulity.

  74. 74
    DJ Punctum on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Yeah, if he’d really thought that he would have said “sensational” rather than “amazing.”

  75. 75
    jimmy on 23 Sep 2009 #

    This is funny, lots of comments on this subject

    http://www.agentbuilderinc.com

  76. 76
    Peter Finneless on 1 Mar 2010 #

    ‘The Streak’ is one of the funniest records ever produced. A timeless classic. Beats anything by Robbie Williams.

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