The world surely lost one of the greatest singers when Country Hall of Famer Ray Price passed away in 2013 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Luckily, we’re left with a myriad of Ray Price songs where his golden voice lives on.
So, here’s a quick recap of some of Ray Price‘s most memorable recordings within his wagonload of hit singles.
1. “Crazy Arms”
This honky-tonk classic was Price’s biggest hit. “Crazy Arms” did not only bring Price to stardom but also made history for staying on top of the charts for 20 weeks. It held the record for the longest standing song at No.1 until Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” took over in 2013.
2. “City Lights”
Written by country music mainstay Bill Anderson, “City Lights” is another hit of Price that made history. In 1958, Price brought the song to the top of the newly introduced all-encompassing chart for country music, called Billboard’s Hot C&W Sides, making it the chart’s first No. 1 track.
3. “Release Me”
Price may have had a number of major hits beforehand, but “Release Me” is often considered as his breakthrough hit. It has the elements of country shuffle Price is famous for, which were more evident in his future successes.
4. “For the Good Times”
After nearly eleven years of absence of No. 1 hits, Price came back stronger with “For the Good Times,” penned by none other than Kris Kristofferson. In addition to returning Price to the top of the country charts, it also helped him earn his first Grammy Award for Male Country Vocal Performance.
5. “I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)”
Co-written by Price and recorded during the early years of his career, the song became another hit for the country legend, reaching No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart. Since then, it has been cut by several various artists, including Wille Nelson, George Jones, and Tammy Wynette.
6. “Heartaches by the Number”
Written by Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Harlan Howard, the song finds Price singing about three heartaches. Firstly, when his lover left him. Then she returned but didn’t mean to stay, leading to the second round of anguish. Lastly, when she called him saying she’d come back, only to leave him waiting in vain.
But even though he has “heartaches by the number,” he stresses that the day he stops counting is the “day my world would end.”
7. “Night Life”
Country legend Willie Nelson wrote “Night Life” in 1960. Three years later, Price cut the tune for the album of the same name and started using it as the introduction in his shows, saying that it was “especially” penned for him by “a boy down Texas way.”
8. “Make the World Go Away”
This country-pop ballad written by Hank Cochran was one of Price’s first songs to feature an orchestra and female chorus, a trend that would go on with his other hits.
9. “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me”
This was Price’s final No. 1 hit, but that didn’t mean his commercial success ended there. The country legend would go on releasing singles for another two decades.
10. “Invitation to the Blues”
Before becoming a superstar in the 1960s with hits like “Dang Me,” “King of the Road,” and “Engine Engine #9,” Roger Miller was first a member of Price’s band, Cherokee Cowboys. He wrote this song in 1958, which Price released as the flip side of “City Lights.” It then ranked No. 4 on Billboard’s 1958 year-end country and western chart.
11. “I Won’t Mention It Again”
Cameron “Cam” Mullins wrote “I Won’t Mention It Again” using the pattern of Price’s chart-topper “For The Good Times.” And as expected, the song shot to the top of the charts, making it the first time in Price’s long career to have achieved back-to-back No. 1 singles.
12. “She’s Got to Be a Saint”
Letting go is an intense, confusing process – and Price found himself in a similar situation in “She’s Got to Be a Saint,” where he wonders if he should stay with such a great woman, or would it be best to leave her as he has done nothing but make her cry.
13. “A Mansion on the Hill”
Written and originally recorded by Hank Williams in 1949, Price cut the song nearly three decades later for his album, Hank’ n Me. Williams and Price were good friends and were once Nashville roommates.
14. “Beauty Lies in the Eyes of the Beholder”
One of the songs he recorded before passing away, Price’s ability to reach his higher registers still shines in this love song – in which he was joined by fellow country star Vince Gill.
15. “The Twenty-Fourth Hour”
This is definitely one of the best songs ever written in Price’s catalog, which sings about a man who has nowhere to go whenever the night comes. Pretty sure it would be a big hit if it’s re-recorded today.
Some More Ray Price Songs That Created an Era in Country Music History
We have here ten more out of the hundred songs Ray Price placed on the country charts for nearly four decades. Check them out below.
Undeniably, the impact of Ray Price songs is hard to beat.