Ray Stevens to Release Career Memoir
Ray Stevens has had an illustrious career, spanning more than 50 years, and now he is sharing details of his rise to stardom in a new memoir, 'Ray Stevens' Nashville.'
"There were no skyscrapers, no bustling sidewalks or jammed intersections, and there were no naked statues at Demonbreun and Division streets," he explains of his beginnings in middle Tennessee. "But there was music."
The 75 year old talks about his childhood in Clarkdale, Ga., and the music that pulled him to Tennessee, where he became one of the pioneers of country music.
"Nashville has been my home for over 50 years," he adds. "When I first came to this city, Music Row was not fully developed, and the music business was mostly in the downtown area. There was no 'Nashville Sound,' no major league teams or interstate highways, and no Opryland. The recording studios and publishing offices were scattered around town. It was very different then, but still today, it feels like home to me."
'Ray Stevens' Nashville' includes stories of his relationships with some of his famous friends, including Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings and Chet Atkins, as well as tales about playing on sessions with the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley. He also covers the stories of some of his biggest hits, such as 'The Streak,' 'Everything is Beautiful' and 'Misty,' as well as his personal battle with prostate cancer and his use of social media to continue earning new fans in recent years.
Cyrus 'Buddy' Kalb, who has been one of the hitmaker's long-term business associates over the years, co-wrote the book with Stevens.
"People are always asking me, 'Do you manage Ray Stevens?' My answer is, 'No ... Ray is completely unmanageable!'" he notes. "But I am honored to have helped him write his career memoir. 'Ray Stevens' Nashville' contains no shocking revelations about drug addictions or sordid affairs. It's simply an historical documentation of an all-American kid from a Georgia mill town who became a member of the inner circle of musicians on Music Row who helped produce the world-famous 'Nashville Sound.'"
'Ray Stevens' Nashville' will be officially released on June 22 and is available for purchase here.