Sign up for newsletter
 

Ray Price dies at 87

Monday, December 16, 2013 – Ray Price, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, died Monday afternoon at 87 of pancreatic cancer.

Price, dubbed the Cherokee Cowboy, was best known for songs including For the Good Times and Crazy Arms.

Radio DJ Bill Mack reported his friend's death on Facebook. He said, "Janie just called me: Ray Price left for heaven at 4:43 p.m. central time. He went in perfect peace. Details later. Janie and the family so grateful for your prayers. Ray's body will be received at Restland Funeral Home in Dallas." Janie is Price's widow and manager.

Price was born in Perryville, Texas on Jan. 12, 1926. He served with the U.S. Marines from 1944-1946, and began singing for KRBC in Abilene, Texas in 1948. He joined the Big D Jamboree in Dallas the following year.

He moved to Nashville in the early 1950s, rooming for a short time with Hank Williams. Price first hit the charts in May 1952 with Talk to Your Heart, which reached number three on the Billboard charts. In 1953, Price formed his band, the Cherokee Cowboys. Members included Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Darrell McCall, Johnny Paycheck and Johnny Bush, Buddy Emmons and Buddy Spicher.

Price became one of the key figures of 1950s honky tonk music. He enjoyed hits with Talk To Your Heart (1952) and Release Me (1954). He had a big hit with Crazy Arms in 1956. The song remained first on the Billboard charts for 20 weeks.

During the 1960s, Price went for the Nashville Sound, which was considered more commercial and lush with strings, quite different from the honky tonk sounds. Country traditionalists were not pleased with Price's change of sound.

Price continued touring and recording for much of the rest of his life. Price won Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association and Grammy Awards including Album and Single of the Year for For the Good Times in 1970 from the ACM.

Price continued charting the top 20 until 1982 when Old Friends with Roger Miller and Willie Nelson hit 19. Among his number ones in the 1970s were She's Got to Be a Saint and You're he Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me. Price charted with 109 songs. His final one wasLove Me Down to Size in 1989. Price's last CD release was "Last of the Breed" with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, which came out in 2007. The three launched a nationwide tour.

In November 2012, Price confirmed he was battling pancreatic cancer.

More news for Ray Price

CD reviews for Ray Price

Beauty Is... CD review - Beauty Is...
On Dec. 16, 2013, Ray Price, succumbed to pancreatic cancer, and the world lost yet another great musician who during his career had helped change the face of country music. In the 1950s, the Cherokee Cowboy (he formed the Cherokee Cowboys in 1953, and Roger Miller, Buddy Emmons, Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck, and Buddy Spicher, among others, were members of the band) developed the sound that became known as the "Ray Price shuffle," which most famously can be heard on his hit »»»
Time
Fans of Ray Price's classics hardcore honky-tonk recordings of the '50s' and '60s have been hoping for one last return to form for quite a few years now - decades, actually - from the man who more or less created the style. And in spite of Price's legendary stubbornness, that return has finally come. Backed by a group of Nashville A-team studio vets, Price has finally abandoned the orchestra this time out for a long-overdue collection of shuffles, western swing and ballads like few other can deliver. »»»
Prisoner of Love
In spite of some fans' hopes that Ray Price would turn in one last great honky-tonk album, Price continues to mine the heavily orchestrated blend of country and pop that has dominated his career since 1967's "Danny Boy." In fact, the opening lines of the re-recording of Harlan Howard's terrific "Better Class of Losers" (which opens the album) could well be interpreted by some as a pointed message from Price to fans of his groundbreaking honky-tonk recordings of the '50's and '60's: "I said I'm »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: White follows his muse – John Paul White said he was unsure how many would bother showing up on this night. He expressed uncertainty even how big a crowd he would attract in his hometown of Florence, Ala. when this tour started a few weeks earlier. Perhaps White should not have been surprised. After all, he was one-half of the great late The Civil Wars, who turned in a... »»»
Concert Review: Parton rings true – Dolly Parton may be a brand - sometimes corny jokes about her chest, her blonde wig, rhinestone outfits, hillbilly trash image. But that would be cutting Parton way short because on her first full-scale tour in 25 years, the Tennessee mountain girl retained her lovely singing abilities, story telling and plethora of material from very old to not even released yet.... »»»
Subscribe to Country News Digest Country News Digest      Follow Country Standard Time on twitter CST      Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook CST

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Ladies and gentlemen, The Infamous Stringdusters Nearly 10 years on, The Infamous Stringdusters have carved out a singular place for themselves in the bluegrass/jamgrass world. The Stringdusters tour aggressively, are fixtures on the festival circuit and released several intriguing recording projects since late 2015: an EP of covers, including Tom Petty's "American Girl," and a full-length album of songs collaborating with some of the finest female singers in the Americana genre ("Ladies and Gentlemen").... »»»
Reams leaps into "Rhyme & Season" James Reams is one of bluegrass music's unconventional stalwarts. A son of Kentucky, Reams' journey has taken any number of unusual pathways since the mid-seventies. Producing albums for more than 20 years, Reams' ninth release of personable bluegrass, "Rhyme and Season," is a relaunch for Reams, an artist who has never followed a singular route. ... »»»
Solivan  turns to family, friends, heroes After scoring a 2015 IBMA nomination for Best Bluegrass Album for "Cold Spell," Frank Solivan tried something a little different this time around - an album of songs recorded by "Family, Friends and Heroes" (Compass). In an earlier musical life, Solivan served as stalwart in Country Current, the Navy's touring bluegrass band. Solivan left the service and formed Dirty Kitchen, a hat-tip to his background and continuing efforts as a chef.... »»»
Undercurrent CD review - Undercurrent
No longer just a startlingly talented young bluegrass musician, on her latest, Sarah Jarosz shows her growth both as a person and an artist. This is her first recording done while she wasn't in either high school or college, the first since her move to New York City three years ago, and the first time she has included only new original material. »»»
Big Day in a Small Town CD review - Big Day in a Small Town
There are two components to Brandy Clark. First is her songwriting, which gained her much street cred, penning songs for the likes of Miranda Lambert, The Band Perry, Keith Urban, Reba McEntire and a slew for Kacey Musgraves and Jennifer Nettles. And then there's her own artistic career with her major label debut finally coming close to three years after her extremely well-received (with good reason) debut, "12 Stories." »»»
EI Rio CD review - EI Rio
The rough-edged, soulful vocalist Frankie Ballard certainly receives some high-powered songwriting help on "El Rio." Chris Stapleton, considered country music's savior by some, contributes to a couple of songs, and hit makers Chris Janson and Kip Moore also each have co-writing credits on the release.  »»»
Someone to Take Your Place EP CD review - Someone to Take Your Place EP
Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark and Miranda Lambert have demonstrated that country music is loaded with smart, talented female singer/songwriters who aren't afraid to get a little risqué with their lyrics. Add Tara Thompson to that list, if the five songs from her debut "Someone to Take Your Place" EP are any indication. »»»
Hero CD review - Hero
Maren Morris scored a hit out of the box with "My Church," the best of 11 songs on her major label full-length debut. The Texan infuses the song she wrote with uber producer busbee with mighty vocals powering a midtempo, soulful reading extolling the redemptive powers of playing music with the windows rolled down. »»»
Deep Waters CD review - Deep Waters
The Lonely Heartstring Band offers traditional instrumentation, a jamgrass vibe, tight arrangements and a lot of heart. The band, a five-piece acoustic/bluegrass ensemble, is yet another product of the American Roots Music Program at Berklee College of Music in Boston. "Deep Waters," the band's first release, makes their presence known. »»»