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Trivia / Ray Stevens

  • Approval of God: Barry Manilow reportedly loved Stevens' parody of him in "I Need Your Help, Barry Manilow".
  • Black Sheep Hit: Although he was more known for his novelty songs, his biggest hit was the sensitive pop ballad "Everything Is Beautiful".
  • Hitless Hit Album: I Have Returned managed to go gold (in an era where that was rare for a country album) despite its best single only reaching #45. Crackin' Up! was also a hot seller despite not producing a top 40 hit, either.
  • No Hit Wonder: At least from the 1980s onward, he managed to stay on major labels and keep his name out there, despite little to no chart success.
  • Playing Against Type: While Stevens is best known as a novelty artist, he has shown he can be a fine balladeer and quite a fine singer of both mainstream contemporary pop and gospel. A prime example was the 1975 album Misty, which was covers of ballads from the 1920s to late 1950s, of which the title track was a top 5 country and adult contemporary smash and top 15 pop hit. "Everything is Beautiful," from 1970, was a plea of tolerance and unity, while he has also covered many gospel and contemporary Christian songs through the years.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: His 1960 single "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon" was withdrawn through fear of a lawsuit from the rights holders of the TV show Challenge of the Yukon.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: He's got a ton of them.
    • "America, Communicate with Me", mentions the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and Martin Luther King, as well as the societal turmoils of the late 60s-early 70s. It even opens with snippets of interviews of contemporary protesters.
    • "The Streak": Streaking is still done now and then, but the craze was the most popular in the 1970s.
    • "Would Jesus Wear a Rolex": The controversies surrounding televangelists in the late 80s.
    • "Working for the Japanese": A mocking (and uncharacteristically vicious) look at the invasion of Japanese-made products in America in The '90s.
    • "The People's Court": A 1986 parody of, well, The People's Court, referencing original judge Joseph Wapner (who left the show in 1993).
    • "Osama Yo' Mama": Obviously, a post-9/11 mockery of you-know-who.