Ray Stevens followed his own path into the Country Music Hall of Fame

Ray Stevens has made a career in country music from zigging when the rest of the industry zagged.

Looking to stake his claim on the music charts and stand out from other artists, he composed and sang clever and catchy novelty songs, such as “Ahab the Arab,” “Gitarzan” and “The Streak.” He would later countrify the American songbook with a breezy, banjo-driven version of “Misty.”

The 80-year-old performer, also known for heartfelt songs such as his Grammy-winning No.1 hit “Everything Is Beautiful,” was inducted Oct. 20 into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The honor, which he professed left him “flabber and gasted,” celebrates a prolific career that spans work as a session musician, producer and solo artist with 45 studio albums and more than 90 singles and two Grammys (for “Misty” and “Everything Is Beautiful”).

Check out the full interview at the Source: Ray Stevens, country music’s comedy hero, on being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame