The 1976 Grammys got an incredibly special show when beloved singer/songwriter and comedian Ray Stevens took to the stage for an unforgettable live performance of his chart-topping rendition of “Misty”.
Having been signed to a record label since he was just 16 years old, the fan-favorite musical mastermind had experienced all parts of making an album and crafting a hit. It was due to this incredible insight into the craftsmanship of music that nobody was surprised that he landed a hugely successful tune after just two takes in the studio!
“Misty”, which became an international hit for Stevens just a year prior to his classic Grammy performance, was originally penned by pianist Erroll Garner in the early ’50s and first made famous by Johnny Mathis in 1959.
First written as a jazz standard, Stevens re-worked the arrangement of the song and crafted a much more up-tempo and brighter sounding country rendition of it for what would become his album of the same name. Stevens has often recalled the story of how the song came to be, saying that he hammered out the track on the second take while experimenting in his studio.
While also performing at the 1976 Grammys, Stevens took home a Grammy Award for the song – making it his second Grammy and ninth nomination overall!
Throughout the performance, you can definitely tell which era the video was broadcast in with shimmering and colorful accents overlaid on the screen giving a very groovy look to the show.
On February 28th, 2017 – the 41st anniversary of his tremendous Grammy win – Ray Stevens shared his memories of the event on social media and a link to his official audio track.
“Today marks the 41st anniversary of ‘Misty’ winning a Grammy for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist back in 1976! This was my 2nd Grammy win and it still makes me “feel like I’m clingin’ to a cloud”
“I recorded this classic, Grammy-winning song in 1975 based on a jazz standard written in 1954 by the pianist Erroll Garner. ‘Misty’ appeared on my album of the same name with the cover featured in this video. It was an international hit which made it all the way up to #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.”
Stevens is still performing the song along with other fan favorites and chart-toppers as he tours around the country and prepares for the opening of his venue called CabaRay in Nashville. Currently, he is still starring in a weekly TV series that airs on PBS titled Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville.
Watch this timeless performance of Ray Stevens at the 1976 Grammy Awards below!