Funnyman Ray Stevens Shows Serious Side With Incredible “Sunday Morning Coming Down”


Most people know Ray Stevens as country music’s funnyman, releasing songs like “The Streak,” “The Mississippi Squirrel Revival,” and “Taylor Swift Is Stalking Me.” In between the parody songs and making people laugh, Stevens is a real talent behind the mic.

He signed his first record deal at the age of 16 and his debut singles received very positive reviews from the start. He has GRAMMY Awards for his songs “Everything Is Beautiful” and “Misty,” and is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

While we all know Stevens as a bearded comic, but at one time, he was a fresh-faced singer-songwriter with dreams of making it big, and boy, did he. Not many people know this, but Johnny Cash covered a Ray Stevens song and it became a country music classic in 1970.

There have been many stories of how then-unknown songwriter Kris Kristofferson got The Man In Black to record “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” all including Kristofferson landing a helicopter on Cash’s front lawn to deliver the demo tape. A few days later, Cash performed it on his TV show saying, “Here’s a song written by Kris Kristofferson. Don’t forget that name,” and we never did.

Folks watching his program that day may have recognized the tune because Stevens released his version the year prior. His version reached No. 55 on the country charts, but resonated with live audiences at every show.

While performing on his 1970 summer television show, The Ray Stevens Show, he earned himself endless applause from the audience who were completely blown away by his rendition of the beautifully written song.

Upon finishing the iconic hit, he sat down at his piano to sing a soulful version of “You Are My Sunshine,” where he further showed off his incredible talent.

Watch the full video below.