Birthday: January 24, 1939
Age: 81 Years, 81 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Also Known As: Harold Ray Ragsdale
Born Country: United States
Born in: Clarkdale, Georgia, United States
Famous as: Singer
Spouse/Ex-: Penny Jackson
father: Willis Harold Ragsdale
mother: Frances Stephens Ragsdale
siblings: John Ragsdale
children: Suzi Ragsdale, Timi Jones
U.S. State: Georgia
education: Georgia State University, South Cobb High School, Druid Hills High School, Albany High School
Ray Stevens is an American pop singer-songwriter and comedian. He is known for his recordings ‘Everything is Beautiful’ and ‘Misty’, which had won a Grammy Award. In his career so far, he has also worked as a producer, music arranger, and television host in addition to being a singer and a comedian. He was born in Clarkdale, Georgia. He formed his first band when he was in high school. He later studied at Georgia State University, where he majored in music. He began his career after signing with Capitol Records. His initial studio albums include ‘1,837 Seconds of Humor’ and ‘This is Ray Stevens’. Many of his songs became hits, with ‘The Streak’ and ‘Everything is Beautiful’ charting at the first position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Much respected in the field of music, he has received several awards and honors. He has been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Christian Music Hall of Fame. In 2019, he was inducted into the County Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Childhood & Early Life
Ray Stevens was born as Harold Ray Ragsdale in Clarkdale, Georgia, on 24 January 1939. Not much is known regarding his family.
He formed his first band while he was still in high school. It was named The Barons. After his graduation, he studied at Georgia State University, where he majored in music.
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At the age of eighteen, Ray Stevens signed to Capitol Records’ Prep Records division. He produced the single ‘Silver Bracelet’ and a cover of ‘Rang Tang Ding Dong’. A few years later, he signed with Mercury Records. He had several hits, such as ‘Harry the Hairy Ape’ and ‘Funny Man’.
In 1962, he released his debut album named ‘1,837 Seconds of Humor’. It stood at the 135th position on the US Billboard 200. The song ‘Ahab the Arab’ reached the 5th position on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the 9th position on the Billboard R&B Singles.
His album, ‘This Is Ray Stevens,’ was released in 1963. It included singles such as ‘The Great Sebastian’ and ‘Loved and Lost’.
His next studio albums were ‘Even Stevens’ and ‘Gitarzan’, in 1968, and ‘Have a Little Talk with Myself’ in 1969.
In 1970, he composed, wrote and performed the single ‘Everything is Beautiful’. The song was a huge hit and topped the ‘Canadian Top RPM Singles Chart’ and ‘US Billboard Hot 100’ chart. Stevens was nominated for several Grammy Awards, out of which he won one in the ‘Male Contemporary Vocalist’ category.
To capitalize on the success of the single ‘Everything is Beautiful’, his next album was named after it. It charted at the 35th position on the US Billboard 200. His next hit single was ‘Misty’ (1975), which also won a Grammy Award, and topped several charts. As for the album of the same name, it charted at the 106th position on the US Billboard 200.
In the ensuing years, he released the studio albums ‘Just for the Record’, ‘Feel the Music’, and ‘Be Your Own Best Friend’.
After joining RCA Records in 1980, he released the album ‘Shriner’s Convention’, which stood at the 132nd position on the US Billboard 200. It included singles such as ‘Shriner’s Convention,’ ‘The Last Song’, and ‘Hey There’.
He released the albums ‘Me’ (1983), ‘He Thinks He’s Ray Stevens’ (1984), ‘Crackin’ Up!’ (1987) and ‘Hum It’ (1997) in the following years.
In 2002, he released the song ‘Osama—Yo’ Mama’, which was a hit, reaching the top 5 on the country single sales chart. In the ensuing years, he put out the albums ‘New Orleans Moon’ (2007), ‘One for the Road Christmas’, (2009), ‘We the People’ (2010), ‘Bozo’s Back Again’ (2011) and ‘Here We Go Again’ (2015).
The song ‘Everything is Beautiful,’ which was written, composed, and performed by Ray Stevens, is one of his career’s most significant works. It earned Grammy Award nominations in five categories: ‘Best Contemporary Male Vocalist’, ‘Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist’, ‘Contemporary Song,’ ‘Record of the Year’, and ‘Song of the Year’. Ray Stevens won the award in the first category.
Another one of his successful songs is the 1975 single ‘Misty’, which stood at the 14th position on the US Billboard 100. It was nominated for two Grammy Awards, in the categories ‘Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist’ and ‘Best Country Vocal Performance- Male’. It won the award in the first category.
Family & Personal Life
Ray Stevens is married to Penny Jackson. His daughter is Suzi Ragsdale, a musician.
He was diagnosed with cancer in 1999 and he recovered after a successful surgery.