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The Essential Ray Price

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Editors’ Notes

In the early fifties Ray Price was one of a handful of country bred pioneers who determinedly dragged hardcore honky-tonk, with its working class tales of bar-room violence, broken hearts, and hard times, into the cultural mainstream. Along with George Jones and Hank Williams he used sophisticated arrangements and crack instrumentalists to reawaken the mainstream to the pathos and artistry inherent in hillbilly music. But if early, rough hewn ‘50s hits like “Heartache by the Numbers” and “My Feet Keep Walking Back to You” helped to make Ray Price a star few fans of his early work could have anticipated the dramatic, and trend setting changes that Price would undergo in the following decade, when polished, string laden hits like “Nightlife” and “I’m Still Not Over You” would define the uptown sophistication of the burgeoning countrypolitan genre. It’s extraordinarily difficult to encapsulate a career as stylistically diverse and influential as Price’s in a single compilation, but the forty track Essential Ray Price serves as a fine introduction to one of the greatest vocal stylists of the twentieth century. Anyone with even a passing interest in country music ought to be familiar with Price and his work.

Customer Reviews

Great wish I had listened to more of this when I was young

When I as young I made fun of this kind of music. Now I love it.

good ol Ray

Makes me want to grab a cold beer and listen all night long!

Ray Price - True Country Music

During my childhood, Ray's great music played on WJJD AM 1160 at our house. I have fond memories of listening and knowing how much my Mother enjoyed hearing Ray's songs.

Biography

Born: January 12, 1926 in Perryville, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Ray Price covered — and kicked up — as much musical turf as any country singer of the postwar era. He was lionized as the man who saved hard country when Nashville went pop, and vilified as the man who went pop when hard country was starting to call its own name with pride. Actually, he was no more than a musically...
Full Bio

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