Ray Price, B. J. Thomas, Ray Stevens performing free in the Osage

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In case you missed it: In the coming weeks, Osage Casinos are bringing in three legendary singers for free, all-ages concerts.

OMDE-1351-April-Web-Updates_Free-Concert-Series_100x100_Ray-Price.jpgThis Friday, May 4, 2012, Ray Price will be performing at the Osage Casino west of Bartlesville. Ray Price was a pioneer of the honky-tonk sound in the 1950s; in the '70s he traded in his Nudie suit for a tuxedo, scoring big countrypolitan hits with "For the Good Times" and "Night Life." At 86, he's still going strong, as you can see from his April 2011 appearance on Huckabee, singing two of his big '50s hits "Heartaches by the Number" and "Crazy Arms."

OMDE-1351-April-Web-Updates_Free-Concert-Series_100x100_BJ-Thomas.jpgOn Saturday, May 12, 2012, B. J. Thomas will be performing at the Osage Casino in Pawhuska. B. J. Thomas had big pop hits in the '70s with the Oscar-winning "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," "Hooked on a Feeling" (with its distinctive sitar solo), and "Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song." In more recent years, Thomas's recordings have focused on country and gospel music.

Here he is on BBC's Top of the Pops from 1970:

OMDE-1351-April-Web-Updates_Free-Concert-Series_100x100_Ray-Stevens.jpgOn Saturday, May 19, 2012, Ray Stevens will be performing at the Osage Casino west of Sand Springs, north of U. S. 412 / U. S. 64 at the 129th West Ave. exit. Ray Stevens has had hits with a wide range of material over the years from message songs like "Everything Is Beautiful," "Mr. Businessman," and "Would Jesus Wear a Rolex on His Television Show," to novelty tunes like "The Streak" and "Mississippi Squirrel Revival," to creative covers like his banjo-fired take on "Misty" and his doo-wop version of "Indian Love Call," and, lately, musical political commentary on everything from Obamacare to illegal immigration.

I think of "Everything Is Beautiful" as the theme song for the summer of '71. (I have a specific memory of hearing it over breakfast in a diner in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, on our way to visit my grandparents in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas. It was one of those diners with the neon-trimmed clock with flipping ad cards.)

Here's Stevens' satirical take on post-mortem voter fraud -- "Grandpa Voted Democrat":

MORE: Pop music historian Dawn Eden's tribute to Ray Stevens' 1968 album Even Stevens and The Night Ray Stevens Cleared the Dance Floor.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 30, 2012 6:26 PM.

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