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Ray Price

Background information
Birth name Ray Price
Also known as The Cherokee Cowboy
Born January 12, 1926 (1926-01-12) (age 84)
Origin Perryville, Texas, USA
Genres Country Music
Western Swing
Occupations Singer
Years active 1948 – Present
Associated acts Johnny Bush, Merle Haggard, Harlan Howard, George Jones, Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Johnny PayCheck
Country Music Hall of Fame
Grand Ole Opry

Ray Price (born January 12, 1926) is an American country and western singer, songwriter and guitarist. His more well-known songs include "Release Me", "Crazy Arms," "Heartaches by the Number," "City Lights," "My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You," "For the Good Times," "I Won't Mention It Again," "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me," and "Danny Boy." He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996.




1940s-50s success

Price, born in Perryville, Texas, served in the Marines from 1944-1946, and began singing on KRBC-AM in Abilene, Texas in 1948. He joined the Big D Jamboree in Dallas in 1949. He hit Nashville in the early 1950s, rooming for a short time with Hank Williams. When Williams died, Price took over his band, the Drifting Cowboys, and had minor success. He was the first artist to have a hit with "Release Me" (1954), a top five pop hit for Engelbert Humperdinck in 1967.

In 1953, Price formed his band, the Cherokee Cowboys. Among its members in the late 1950s and early 1960s were Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Darrell McCall, Johnny Paycheck and Johnny Bush. Miller wrote one of Ray Price's classics in 1958, "Invitation to the Blues," and sang harmony on the recording. In addition, Nelson penned the Ray Price classic "Night Life".

Price became one of the stalwarts of 1950s honky tonk music, with his such as "Talk To Your Heart" (1952) and "Release Me." He later developed the famous "Ray Price Shuffle," a 4/4 arrangement of honky tonk with a walking bassline, which can be heard on "Crazy Arms" (1956) and many of his other recordings from the late 1950s.

1960-2000s: Nashville sound to gospel

Ray Price exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame

During the 1960s, Ray experimented increasingly with the Nashville sound, singing slow ballads and utilising lush arrangements of strings and backing singers. Examples include his 1967 rendition of "Danny Boy", and "For the Good Times" in 1970. This stylistic shift gained Price some success as a mainstream pop artist, although he lost appeal to many of his more traditionalist audience.

Price's first number one since "The Same Old Me" in 1959 was "For The Good Times" in 1970. Written by Kris Kristofferson, the song also made it to #11 on the pop chart and featured a mellower Price backed up by sophisticated musical sounds, quite the opposite from the honky-tonk sounds Price pioneered two decades before. Price had three more #1 country hits in the 1970s, "I Won't Mention It Again", "She's Got To Be A Saint", and "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me." His final top-ten hit was "Diamonds In The Stars" in early 1982. Price continued to have songs on the country chart through 1989. Today he is singing gospel music and has recorded such songs as "Amazing Grace", "What A Friend We Have In Jesus", "Farther Along" and "Rock of Ages" [1].

In 2006, Price was living near Mount Pleasant, Texas and still performing in concerts throughout the country. In 2009, Price made two appearances on the FOX News show Huckabee. The first was with the Cherokee Cowboys and host Mike Huckabee, and he performed "Crazy Arms" and "Heartaches By The Numbers." Weeks later he performed with the Cherokee Cowboys and Willie Nelson (again with Huckabee playing bass). This time they performed duets of "Faded Love" and "Crazy."

Ray Price worked on his latest album entitled Last of the Breed with fellow country music legends Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. This album was released on March 20, 2007 on the Lost Highway Records label. The two-disc set features 20 country classics as well as a pair of new compositions. The trio toured the U.S. from March 9 until March 25 starting in Arizona and finishing in Illinois. This was Price's third album with Willie Nelson and first album with Merle Haggard.

College tradition

"For The Good Times" is the official song of Company A-1 of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. In the early 1980s, under threat of being disbanded and reflecting on their time in the corps, the seniors of A-1 sang the song before their last football game. Company A-1 seniors now sing it before every Texas A&M football game and at important outfit functions. "For The Good Times" has since become the company motto as well.


Industry Awards

Academy of Country Music

Country Music Association

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Grammy Awards

See also


  • Cooper, Daniel (1998). - "Ray Price". - The Encyclopedia of Country Music. - Paul Kingsbury, editor. - New York: Oxford University Press. - pp.422–23. - ISBN 9780195176087

External links


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