Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

Country Music Giant, Ray Price Would Beat Today’s Tunes, Agree?


Ray Price’s Legacy

Ray Price’s career has been overwhelmingly complimented and criticized at the same time. Six years ago today, Ray passed away in his home in Texas. He was known as the one who saved the hard country when Nashville went pop. On the other hand, he was criticized as the man who went pop when the hard country was starting to call its own name.

In memory of Ray Price’s legendary career, let us take a look at what he has done through the years.

Early Years

Born in Perryville, Texas, Price spent most of his time as a youth in Dallas where he learned to sing and play the guitar. After graduating from high school, Price went to North Texas Agricultural College in Abilene to study Veterinary Medicine. But in 1942, Price left to join the Marines. Price remained in service throughout World War II.

Price returned home to Texas in 1946 where he initially went back to college. In his return, he played in local clubs and honky-tonks. KRBC, a local radio station, also invited him and named him Cherokee Cowboy.

The Big D Jamboree, later on, convinced Price to make music his full-time career. This, The Big D Jamboree, would, later on, helped him release a single,” Your Wedding Corsage”/” Jealous Lies”, as the show had been televised regularly by CBS.


The Price of a Nashville Career

In 1951, Price pursued a major-label record that eventually led him to move to Nashville. Trey Martin was instrumental for the first label contract that Ray signed with Columbia. Troy Martin, an A&R representative convinced Don Law, who was the label’s chief, that Decca was prepared to give Ray Price a contract. Price was unable to impress Don Law prior to the contract. Law turned down Price 20 times and told Martin to never mention his name again.

But the tides changed in the spring of 1952 when Price’s “Talk to Your Heart” became his number three hit. Hank Williams, Ray Price’s idol who immediately became a close friend, did Price some favor. Price recorded Williams’ “Weary Blues.” Williams also helped Price join the Grand Ole Opry. It was on those times that when Hank went missing or too drunk, Price became his permanent substitute and following Hank’s death in 1953, Price inherited The Drifting Cow Boys.

After the success attained by “Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes” in 1952, Price was off the radar in 1953. It was when “I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me) hit number 2 in 1954 that Price had another start of stringed success. Some of his singles that entered the Top Ten were, “Release Me’ and “If You Don’t, Somebody Else Will.”

Yet again, Price disappeared from the charts in 1955 as he spent more time forming the Cherokee Cowboys.

Price came into a realization that performing with the Drifting Cowboys made him sound like Hank Williams. In search of his true sound, Price formed his own group which was composed of members that came from “Lefty Frizzell’s Western Cherokees.” Eventually, gifted musicians began their career with this ban including Roger Miller, Johnny Paycheck, Buddy Emmons, Johnny Bush, and Willie Nelson. 

In 1956, Ray returned to the charts first with “Run Boy” and then with “Crazy Arms”, a honky-tonk number that became a country classic. This song was one of the few country songs that have been recorded with a Drum Kit. Country artists were reluctant in using the drums even the Grand Ole Opry banned the instrument from its stage up until Price.

“Crazy Arms” spent a shocking 20 weeks at the top of the country charts. The blockbuster single modified the situation and also established Price’s status as a star. Ray Price remained near or at the top of the charts for the next decade where he racked up 23 Top Ten singles between 1956 and 1966.

His chart-topping singles include, “I’ve Got a New Heartache” (Number two, 1956), “My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You” (number one, 1957), “Make the World Go Away” (Number Two 1963), and “City Lights.” “City Lights” spent 13 weeks at the top of the charts in 1958.

The Mid ’60s

Through the mid-’60s, Price’s career entered a plateau. Though he was producing hits, they weren’t as frequent and as big as it once was. Ray abandoned the cowboy suits to change his approach again. This time, he brought in strings to accompany him which made him one of the first to explore the approach that is brought by smooth, orchestrated sounds of the late-‘60s and early 70’s country-pop.

This new approach resulted in another round of Top Ten hits. But it was only until the 1970s where Price made a cover of Kris Kristofferson’s “For the Good Times” that marked his return to the top of the charts. For the succeeding years, he scored an additional three number one singles.

The Mid-’70s

Almost a decade passed and the string-laden country-pop approach that Price has pioneered diminished. Price spent the rest of the decade struggling to get into the charts. He left Columbia Records, his home for a long time in 1974 and signed with Myrrh where he produced two Top Ten Hits for the next year.

Leaving Myrrh in 1975, Price signed with ABC/Dot where only 1977’s “Mansion on the Hill” gained much attention. He then switched to another label in 1978 with Monument which, again,  became an unsuccessful venture.

A reunion with his old bassist Willie Nelson sparked life to Price’s career. With the album “San Antonio Rose” that contained the number three hit “Faded Love” which rekindled Ray’s career. After the success of the said album, Price’s career cooled down.

The Late ’80s to Early 2000

With his career cooling down Price, as he always does, found a new approach now focusing in theaters where he mostly spends his time singing and performing. His album “Sometimes a Rose,” which was produced by Norro Wilson, was the most notable one. Several collaborations and tours were made in 2003 and 2007.

More than just being a great singer, Ray Price accepted the challenges that the music industry incessantly required. He adapted various approaches, developed his own sound, pioneered a new era for Music, and embodied his great passion for what he does.

Latest Stories

Keith Urban Still Tries to 'Impress' Wife Nicole Kidman with His Concerts

Keith Urban Always Aims to Impress Wife Nicole Kidman Onstage

To anyone who said love is dead hasn’t surely met Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman. The longtime couple of almost 18 years –with two kids, Sunday and Faith – is ...

Martina McBride + God's Will

Martina McBride’s “God’s Will” is a Message of Hope

Released in November 2004, “God’s Will” is a faith-filled country song that will lift up your spirits. Martina McBride’s chart-topping songs such as “A Broken Wing” and “Wrong Again” have ...

The Lumineers + Cleopatra

Unravel a Nostalgic Feeling with The Lumineers’ “Cleopatra”

Written by Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites, The Lumineers’ “Cleopatra” is a notable record for its raw and acoustic sound. Released on March 25, 2016, the song was a track ...

Montgomery Gentry + Lucky Man

“Lucky Man” by Montgomery Gentry is Indeed a Lucky Song

Kentucky natives Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry released a single, “Lucky Man,” in January 2007 to express gratitude and appreciation for life despite its negativities. It was the second single ...

Mo Pitney + Duct Tape and Jesus

Story Behind Mo Pitney’s Hit Song “Duct Tape and Jesus”

It seems that Mo Pitney has stayed true to his words and kept traditional country music relevant with his new song, “Duct Tape and Jesus.” American country singer Morgan Daniel ...

Dolly Parton + Power in the Blood

Dolly Parton’s Cover of “Power in The Blood”: A Gospel Classic Reimagined

With a career in the country music scene for over 50 years, Parton is known for singing several gospel songs, like “The Seeker,” “I Believe,” and “Daddy Was An Old ...

Al Dexter Death

Al Dexter: Honky Tonk Pioneer’s Legacy After Death

American country musician and songwriter Al Dexter has written and recorded numerous Western country songs like Pistol Packin’ Mama, which have become big hits. That is why the world was ...

The Statler Brothers + Rock of Ages

Believe in God’s All-Powerful Ability with The Statler Brothers Cover of “Rock of Ages”

In 1992, The Statler Brothers released a cover of the hit gospel song “Rock of Ages” on their album Gospel Favorites. The song was originally written as a hymn by ...

Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson + Everything's Beautiful (In Its Own Way)

Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson’s Amazing First Duet with “Everything’s Beautiful (In Its Own Way)”

In 1982, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson released their first-ever collaboration song, “Everything’s Beautiful (In Its Own Way),” as part of Dolly Parton’s studio album, My Favorite Songwriter, Porter Wagoner.  ...

Crazy Horse + I Don't Want to Talk About It

Meaning Behind Crazy Horse Song “I Don’t Want to Talk About It”

In 1971, known American country rock band Crazy Horse released “I Don’t Want To Talk About It” as part of their debut album of the same name.  The band consists ...