Ray Price Biography
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"His timeless music, incredible voice, and innovative genius have yet to be equalled by any other singer in today's country-music world."
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, Darrell McCall, Buddy Emmons, 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.
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GOOD TIMES | Reviewer: GAYy& ROY BOSWELL | 5/6/13
HAD THE PLEASURE OF SEEING YOU AND YOUR BAND IN THE 60'S WHEN YOU WERE CALLED THE CHEROKEE COWBOYS SINGING AT THE MAJESTIC THEATER IN FORT WORTH ,TX THEN MY HUSBAND WORKED FOR GOOD TIMES VAN OWNED BY BEN BISHOP IN GRANBURY,TX AND YOU ENTERTAINED A WHOLE TOWN WITH DANCING AND GOOD EATS.OF COURSE YOUR SONG GOOD TIMES WAS THE HIT OF THE NIGHT IT GAVE A WHOLE TOWN A NEW MEANING OF THE COMPANY THAT HAD COME TO THEIR AREA AND TO YOUR WONDERFUL VOICE. THANKS RAY FOR SINGING ME TO SLEEP EVERY NIGHT.
HE is awesome! | Reviewer: Lea Armstrong | 3/11/13
I first saw Mr. Price in 1955 or 56 in Edmonton Alberta Canada. He
and Ferlin Husky were performing. Some 58 years later he has only gotten better. His music has helped me whether I was 'up' or 'down' No one will ever match him. Thanks Mr. Ray Price.
Many thanks.... For the Good Times | Reviewer: Richard from NC | 2/7/13
In the fall of 1971 I met a lovely young woman. On our very first date I played for her one of my very favorite songs, Ray Prices' For The Good Times. My Dear Sweetheart of every day since that night is sitting near me now as I type this. Thank you Ray for your talent and all the joy your music has brought to so many people for all these years. May Heaven above bless you every day. Richard from NC
The Moonlight ballroom | Reviewer: Rex Archer | 1/28/13
I was standing in front of the bandstand in 1953 at the Moonlight ballroom near Yuba City California while a 13 year old kid was singing Ray price songs on the band Stand. Standing next to me was Ray Price watching the kid sing. The Kid was "Little Johnny Guess" and after his voice changed, he was never heard of again, but Ray is still my Favorite Country singer, along with Buck Owens, Hank Williams, and they always will be.
The Best & Greatest No ONE COULD TAKE HIS PLACE IN MY HEART | Reviewer: June from Calgary | 11/18/12
Met Ray just once but I could never let go of that memory. I heard he is ailing and wondered if it were a rumor of the truth. We are praying for him to be as great as ever. Undying Fans
unmatched today | Reviewer: glenn | 9/21/12
ray had to have lived and learned about the issues he performed with his incredible voice. formulaic imitative lyrics and melodies of todays new jersey cowboys and girls can never compare. if theres a country heaven you know they gotta have a ray price. may ray continue to shine with us here and in the heavens forever.
Ray Price, The Icon | Reviewer: Helen Daneke | 9/15/12
Ray and I are almost the same age (what's a few years), but never had the pleasure of seeing him in the northeast, but no matter. I have his CD's and time hasn't aged him at all, has it? Growing up years ago country was country, not this crossover into the pops garbage. Very few true country artists anymore. Where are the Hank Snows, Hank Williams Sr., Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Willie Nelson, just to name a few. Although some are gone country singers can look to their music for the true fans of country music. Sing on Ray.
How I haved loved his music since I was a teenager. | Reviewer: Dorothy Randol | 8/26/12
I really feel he is the best in what ever he sings. When I was younger (I am now 75 years old and can't travel much now) I would go anywhere he wa having a show. I have seen many of his shows and always wished they were longer. My husband always teased me about being in love with him.
You're never too old to learn | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/27/12
I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, and spent many a Friday and Saturday night at the local honky tonks. I loved Ray Price. But then "the world came to an end!" Ray had deserted the country music fans and went "fancy." I continued to listen to his old sound, but refused to listen to his new sound. However, over the years I have grown to really appreciate Ray for his astounding voice. I still refuse to call his new sound country & western, but it sure is fantastic easy listening. See, you're never too old to learn.
Then and now | Reviewer: A. R. Meek | 3/27/12
Saw Ray Price for the first time at the Esquire Ballroom in Houston, Tx late 60's. I could hardly believe that I was standing no more than 12 ft from him and his voice was unlike any I had ever heard. Will see him again 4/29/12 in Kerrville, TX and can hardly wait.
The Master | Reviewer: felicia | 11/20/11
That is how the DJs on sirius radio refer to Ray how true that is.I am 78 and have been a fan since I was 18.Growing up in Brooklyn NY this was quite different from what my friends were listening to.How about it Ray is there any hope for a Ft Myers concert soon?
85 and still has the charm | Reviewer: Delores Starkey | 11/11/11
My son and I went to see Ray Price at a one night show at a casino in Phoenix. I had never seen Ray perform before in my life. We say the first show and I so mesmerized by his singing, I told my son we were going to stay for the second show too. When Ray Price is singing, you could swear he was singing only to you. I loved it, I didn't think anybody could ever cause me to have goose-bumps again at my age, but he sure did. I will go see him anytime again when he is in this area. I used to hear his records in yrs. back. and it hasn't changed at all. In fact get better with age. Stay healthy Ray for I will never have another idol except you.
Ray Price--The World's Best Singer | Reviewer: Dorothy Bowen | 9/23/11
I grew up with Ray Price music--60's and 70's--his singing haunts me. His voice is the best in the world--For the Good Times, Help me Make it Through the Night, How Time Slips Away. Every song he sings becomes a jewel. Wonderful man.
Magical voice | Reviewer: Norm | 4/9/11
Ray Price has that vocal style like no other, Hes got Magic in his voice.
Country Music would never be the same without him. He Ranks #1 around the world. Hank Thompson, Hank Williams, Faron Young, Buck Owens and many many more talented people have a style all their own, But Ray is truly ONE OF A KIND.
What a Trooper! | Reviewer: CLYDIA RENOLLET | 4/22/10
Jusst saw Ray Price tonight in Salina Kansas and he was fighting allergies but stood and sang when he wanted to turn lose and cough his head off...his nose ran constantly. He joked about it and went on with the show. We thought he was wonderful. He has such a distinctive woice that after one word you know who it is.....
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