Ray Price





















































Ray Price
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Ray Price is one of American music's truly great stars. He was inducted into Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996, but has long shown his genius in other genres as well. After more than a half-century in the business, Ray can still belt out a song with the best of them, whether it's honky-tonk, country, pop, blues, jazz, or anything in between. With his May 2000 Buddha Records release--"Prisoner of Love"--Ray has delightfully proven this once again with a big-band-backed medley in many moods and styles. Audiences full of cheering fans still flock to his concerts whenever he's in town, and that's fairly often, for this vigorous Texan maintains a hefty tour schedule. On Inauguration Eve 2001, Ray was proud to be on stage in Washington, D.C., as one of the Texas performers who entertained enormous crowds at the Texas Black Tie and Boots Ball. This dynamic artist can be proud also of his role in the history of country music. In fact, he has helped to write that history as well as live it. He was born Noble Ray Price on January 12, 1926, near Perryville, Texas, and his musical talents became evident at an early age. While in college, Ray became a regular on KRLD radio's "Big D Jamboree" show in Dallas. On March 15, 1951, Ray signed with prestigious Columbia Records, and in 1952, moved to Nashville where his great friend and supporter was the legendary Hank Williams. Hank got Ray on the Grand Ole Opry and the two shared bachelor quarters during the last year of Hank's brief but memorable life. Ray's band was initially formed from the remnants of Hank Williams' band, the Drifting Cowboys. The band would later become the Cherokee Cowboys, and Ray himself would become known as the Cherokee Cowboy. Ray has always had an uncanny talent for recognizing quality in both music and musicians. The careers of many country music superstars, such as Willie Nelson, Roger Miller, Johnny Paycheck, and Johnny Bush, began with Ray Price and the Cherokee Cowboys. Ray Price became noted for his magnificent show-stopping voice and honky-tonk hits throughout the 1950's. On the way to the top, he also helped revolutionize more than a few changes in country music. In 1956, when rock and roll was threatening to drown out the sounds of traditional country music, it took Ray's rendition of "Crazy Arms" to knock Elvis off the charts. That recording's 45 weeks at the top of the charts got people listening to country music again and clearly established Ray Price as a leader in the field. But Ray has never been so traditional that he didn't innovate. During the "Crazy Arms" recording session, he added drums and a 4-4 bass and shuffle rhythm that redefined the way country music was played for years to come. Then, just when everyone else in country was turning to that sound, Ray, in 1967, went in a new direction and added a large string section and with his concert-calibre voice soared into a beautiful, show-stopping rendition of the classic, "Danny Boy." Audiences were stunned by its beauty. His "Danny Boy" album made him new fans in sections of the country far beyond the Mason- Dixon line. But some in Nashville and the South thought he had deserted country music and didn't take it well. Unperturbed, Ray went on to new heights with his early 1970's hits, "For the Good Times," and "I Won't Mention it Again." He refused to accept boundaries between country and pop. Music was music. A lot of Ray's strong feeling about artificial boundaries in music goes back to his close association with his mentor and close friend, Hank Williams. Ray resented the fact that Hank's songs were eagerly accepted by the pop world but the country singer himself was not. At least in that day and age. A few year later he would have been, according to Ray. But not then. Erasing the lines between country and pop became a vital issue for Ray Price. With his own brand of individualism, he continues to cross musical boundaries and create songs and sounds for everyone. His latest album, "Prisoner of Love," was recorded with a 50-piece orchestra. It combines old country standards with beautiful ballads from all eras, and includes a few new songs never before recorded. This Country Music Hall of Fame legend is the soul of country music. He continues to be creative and expand conventional boundaries with his music, while never forgetting his roots. His timeless music and incredible commitment to performing has made him a bridge between the early days of country to today's contemporary country music. The Los Angeles Times has declared Ray Price to be 'a national treasure.' Another newspaper has compared him to Frank Sinatra. Ask any Ray Price fan, however, if that's true. Most of them will tell you that Ray Price has no equal anywhere when it comes to delivering a song and pleasing an audience.
Date Venue City State Note
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01/11/2011 - True country legend chooses to celebrate his birthday in Houston  - Read More
02/23/2010 - Ray Price at Gruene Hall on March 5th - Read More
09/21/2009 - Ray Price Remembers Good Times with Hank Williams  - Read More
06/29/2009 - Ray Price undergoes surgery - Read More
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Average Rating : 5              Total Reviews: 12


Ray Price  02/29/2008            
Vic_from_TX
I cannot believe "Last of the Breed" has no reviews, so here it goes...Ray Price has done more single-handedly for music from the Lone Star state than all other TX musicians put together and is the single most important figure in country music alive today. When he steps into the studio you know he's there to deliver a TOP NOTCH album. Before you even open it up, this cd is "Last of the Breed." Hatch Show Print did the cover artwork. Produced by the great Fred Foster and boy does this guy know how to get it just right. Titles represent some of the greatest songwriters ever, many of which come from the Lone Star state. The musical arrangements are absolutely brilliant...Great lyrics coupled with a great musical score, now; this is what makes real country music, real country music. Musicians include the legendary Johnny Gimble, Buddy Emmons and Boots Randolph along with Gordon Mote on piano each doing exactly what they was born to do. Highlights include; Ray Price, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard together paying tribute to and preserving the artistic integrity of Jesse Ashlock, Floyd Tillman, Mickey Newbury, Harlan Howard, Leon Payne and Gene Autry with Jimmy Long. Now, I actually lost sleep worrying and wondering if "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down" was going to be one of the lucky titles to make it on this record. The boys did Harlan Howard mighty proud!!! I also wondered why Willie Nelson did not include "Going Away Party" on his recent tribute to Cindy Walker album, I mean he had the Jordanaires in the studio...then, I heard this song again for the first time (if this makes sense) with Ray Price singing it the way it oughta be done with the magnificent Jordanaires backing him up and Willie, willie-ing it up...down to that last verse. Payne's "Lost Highway" is masterfully reworked, startin' out with Gimble's fiddlin', followed by Willie's vocals then Ray comes in backed by the Jordanaires to create a Grammy Award winning storytelling experience. Also included is Newbury's "Sweet Memories," one of the greatest "mood" songs of all time. This cut takes you back to that same place and magically recreates that same feeling you experienced the first time you heard this lonely song back in the day. This record's got it all, including Merle's great, real-deal country talkin' song: "Sweet Jesus." I truly admire Merle Haggard for this one. This 2 disc cd is by far without a doubt the best thing to come out of Nashville in years.
Ray Price  08/21/2007            
redtunictroll@hotmail.com
The towering talent of Ray Price split into two distinct periods. His works of the 1950s and early 1960s were country and honky-tonk whose twangy sound will be surprising to those familiar with the smooth countrypolitan work he began in the 1960s. Columbia/Legacy's new two-disc "Essential" collection admirably captures the high points of both eras, and in doing so provides an excellent overview of his transition from honky-tonker to crooner. Price's commercial popularity has ensured that his hits have remained in print, but single disc anthologies necessarily short-change either his early or late sides. The similarly titled single disc from 1991, for example, covers only the years 1951 through 1962. Disc one opens in 1950, before Price had signed with Columbia and began recording in Nashville. "Jealous Lies" was recorded in Dallas and released on the Bullet label. Price sings in the sweet croon then popular in Country & Western recordings, and to which he'd return in an even smoother form 15 years later. By 1951, with Lefty Frizell's "If You're Ever Lonely Darling" and Hank Williams' purpose-written "Weary Blues (From Waiting)," Price began singing more high and lonesome to match the twang of the accompanying fiddle and steel guitar of Don Law's production. Following Hank Williams' death, Price toured and recorded with his idol's backing band (The Drifting Cowboys) until treading water gave way to forging ahead. Trading out the honky-tonk band for a western swing combo he evolved a new approach through the hits "Please Release Me," "I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)," and a breakthrough cover of "Crazy Arms." The latter, Price's first country #1, was heavy on fiddle and steel, but also featured harmony vocals and the shuffle two-step beat that would become his trademark. The George Jones co-written B-side, "You Done Me Wrong" reached the top-10 as well. Having bumped Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel" from the country chart's top spot, Price was keenly aware of the coming changes in popular music. But as others softened and the Nashville sound descended upon Music City, Price dug in and continued to sing it straight and. His late-50s hits continued with lyrics of betrayal and broken hearts, promoting new songwriters who would become legends: Roger Miller ("Invitation to the Blues"), Bill Anderson ("City Lights"), and Harlan Howard ("Heartahces by the Numbers"). He hired Hank Cochran and Willie Nelson for his publishing company, and filled out his band with Nelson, Miller, Johnny Paycheck, Buddy Emmons and Johnny Bush. As the 1950s turned into the 1960s Price began to try new sounds. But rather than a commercial reaction to changes in popular music (as his hard shuffles were as commercially popular at the start of the 60s as they'd been in the 50s), the addition of strings, and the softening of his vocals appear to have been artistic decisions. You can hear the change coming as the fiddle line of 1962's "Walk Me to the Door" softens into something that's almost a string arrangement, and by 1963 he took on the lush violins and choral background singers of "Make the World Go Away." The transformation was surprisingly quick. Throughout the next decade Price reeled off a string of smooth hits that brought a second flush of commercial success. Turning to a crooning style that echoes his earliest side for Bullet, he landed top-10 singles throughout the 60s, culminating in 1970's brilliant reading of Kris Kristofferson's "For the Good Times." This was his first chart topper in 11 years, and the precursor to three more #1 that included "I Won't Mention It Again" and "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me." After moving to ABC in 1974 he returned to Columbia for a superb1980 duet with Willie Nelson on the Bob Wills classic "Faded Love" that neatly bridges his honky-tonk and western swing beginnings with his latter-day crooning. The album from which this last single sprung, "San Antonio Rose," is one of country music's most stirring returns. Compilation producer Gregg Geller's done a fine job of paring down Price's recorded legacy on Columbia to two discs. He's squeezed in 32 of Price's top-10 singles, and 7 of his 8 #1s. He's dipped into his pre-hit singles and included a few lower charting sides that help demarcate the arc of Price's career. This is a superb introduction to and rich overview of Price's legendary run at Columbia, and a must-have for any country music fan – honky-tonker, countrypolitan or both! [©2007 redtunictroll at hotmail dot com]
Ray Price  02/04/2007            
gary marchinke
ray price is the best and always has been!
Ray Price  01/25/2007            
Vic_from_TX
TIME by Mr Ray Price is a masterpiece! The gold standard done-me-wrong/hurtin' song of all time is "Pride" and nobody has ever come close to outdoing it until 50 years later when Ray Price outdid hisself with "You Just Don't Love Me Anymore"...it's just straight up cold! He makes me ache for him everytime I here it. "Ft. Worth, Texas" is a fun little shout out song and "Don't You Go Loving Nobody Else" is a great little dancin' number. Mr Price's voice on this cd is perfect...it ain't even a contest he's the best in the U.S. to ever cut a record (any genre). Mr Price is the Pride of Texas and the last of the true professionals.
Ray Price  11/18/2003            
Barbara W.
Ray Price is like fine wine, he just gets better with age. Thanks for all the years of beautiful music.
Ray Price  07/14/2003            
GEORGETTE GILL
RAY PRICE
Ray Price  07/14/2003            
GEORGETTE GILL
RAY PRICE
Ray Price  07/14/2003            
GEORGETTE GILL
RAY PRICE
Ray Price  07/13/2003            
GEORGETTE GILL
RAY PRICE
Ray Price  07/13/2003            
GEORGETTE GILL
RAY PRICE
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