October 28

Here’s How Ray Price’s “For The Good Times” Revolutionized Country Music

After more than ten years of absence at the top of the chart, Ray Price’s “For The Good Times” finally ranked No. 1 and made him a stalwart of classic country music.

Ray Price had his heyday in the 1940s and ’50s, changing the country music by developing his trademark fiddle and steel-driven traditional style – a rhythmic brand of honky-tonk that has been hugely influential ever since. 

However, his musical inclinations started shifting in the middle of the 1960s. He abandoned the cowboy suits and brought himself closer to the crooning styles of popular pop singers. He started exploring a more progressive, urban approach, heightened by a bevy of strings.

And Then One Song Changed Everything  

Unfortunately, Price’s change of musical taste did not sit well with hardcore honky-tonk fans, others took some time to warm with his new sound, and the momentum of Price’s career began to slow down. 

But not until 1970, when his cover of Kris Kristofferson‘s “For the Good Times” quieted down most of the unrest and became a blockbuster. 

In addition to reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart, the song crossed over onto the pop chart, peaking at No. 11 on Billboard Hot 100 – making it Price’s only release to hit the Top 40.

In 1971, the country ballad helped Price win his first and only Grammy as a solo artist, taking home the prize for Male Country Vocal Performance. Meanwhile, the Academy of Country Music honored “For The Good Times” as Song of the Year and Single Record Of The Year awards.

The success then jump-started Price’s career, resulting in a wider audience and more opportunities for appearances on national TV shows. Price then went on to record three more No. 1 hits.

Without a doubt, out of the many Ray Price songs, this tune will forever be regarded as his quintessential masterpiece. It was the release where Price revolutionized country music for a second time around. 

You can listen to “For The Good Times” by Ray Price by playing the video below.


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