leejohnson's current selection is:
Everything Is Beautiful
by Ray Stevens


A very important tune for me back in 2005, which was the first time in my life I had suffered depression/bi-polar (and, thankfully, probably the last "crisis" year I ever had - well, so far, I suppose I have to say...). I have had a Ray Stevens compilation CD for many years now, mainly for the many comedy and novelty hits he released over the years but, fortuitously as it turned out, for access to this uplifting and lyrically insightful song at a time of personal need. By listening to the track over and over, I seemed to be able to summon up enough resistance to my woes to get medical help, and therefore to help resolve (happily, it turned out) the painful issue which had taken me down so far at that time (albeit without going into specifics).

Back-up info from "Songfacts" today:


A very popular and family-friendly entertainer throughout the '60s, Ray Stevens was given his own TV variety show in 1970 called "The Ray Stevens Show", which lasted just one season as a summer replacement [for "The Andy Williams Show"]. He wrote the uplifting "Everything Is Beautiful" as the theme for the show. Stevens explained to the website MyBestYears.com: "I needed a very special song for the programme. I went down in my basement for about three days. I had crumpled paper all over the place. And suddenly the idea for the song came to me. I wrote it in maybe 45 minutes. It was a very special song and one that a lot of people still remember and sing along when I do it in shows."

This is a rare hit for Stevens that was not a novelty recording. He was better known for comedy songs like "The Streak", "Ahab, The Arab" and "Harry The Hairy Ape".

This won Stevens his first "Grammy". It won for 'Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Male'.

Stevens was backed on this track by his two daughters and a second-grade class from Oak Hill Elementary School in Nashville, Tennessee. The song opens with the childrens' chorus singing the first two lines of a popular bible school hymn, "Jesus Loves The Little Children".


Back in the day, my mates and I tended to focus on the hit single "Bridget the Midget" when talking about Stevens, as I recall (his use of sped up tape recordings for Bridget's voice was most fascinating to us, I remember). Yet 'Bridget' hardly gets a mention these days when the subject of Ray Stevens comes up anywhere. Surely not a reaction to any misguided "heightist" agendas?

As well as a No. 6 singles chart position in the UK for the song in 1970, it also topped the following listings in the same year: the Australian Singles Chart, the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart, the US Cash Box Top 100, the US Billboard Easy Listening chart, and (most importantly of all perhaps) the US Billboard Hot 100.
1970 - CBS Records - United States
Posted: 19th March 2019
Born in 1954, leaving education by 1972, 'glam' was my thing, "Ziggy" Bowie my hero. I was even the only guy in my town with the haircut (though not the carrot red colouring!). Therefore every seventh selection is a Bowie track.
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