Harold Ray Ragsdale was born on January 24, 1939 at Clarkdale, Georgia. Taking piano lessons as a preteen Ray began to be influenced by country and rhythm and blues music, playing and singing in a band in Georgia as a teenager.
He would begin his recording career as Ray Stevens in the mid 50’s before becoming a comedic superstar whose creativity continues to survive the passage of time.
Bursting on the Hit Parade in 1962, “Ahab, The Arab” gave Ray his first gold hit, “Gitarzan” followed in 1969, chart topper “Everything is Beautiful” in 1970, and “The Streak” in 1974. “Misty” earned him a Grammy in 1975 with several gold and platinum selling albums and video’s awarded during his long career. Few artists have been more effective in internet use with U-Tube counting multi millions viewing Ray Stevens videos.
Nominated eleven times and winning two Grammy Awards, Ray Stevens has been inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Georgia Music Hall of Fame and the Christian Music Hall of Fame. Plus the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame. The fan-voted Music City News named Stevens Comedian of the Year annually for nine consecutive years from 1986 to 1994. In 2012 Ray Stevens was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.