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: With or without band, Isbell satisfies – Usually, when an artist performs without his regular backing band, it becomes about mathematics of subtraction. That artist is armed with far fewer artistic weapons at his/her disposal, after all. In Jason Isbell's case, though, when he performed with just his wife and fiddler Amanda Shires, it was more about substitution than subtraction.... »»»
Concert Review: Grammy nominations aside, Yola, Kiah are the real deal – Grammy nominations do not make the artist, but Yola and opener Amythyst Kiah underscored time and again on this night that the honors were well deserved. In fact, Yola and Kiah's other group, Our Native Daughters, are nominated in the same category - Best American Roots. Yola has three other nominations as well. The clear winners... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

The Mavericks "Play the Hits" When recording its album "Play the Hits," The Mavericks approached this covers album in much the same way the band creates any of its other studio albums. "Above all, we're always trying to reach a certain musical bar that we... »»»
Larue moves "Onward" The release of "Onward," his eighth studio album, finds veteran Texas Music/Red Dirt artist Stoney Larue at a crossroads. After almost two decades on the road, playing 200 shows a year across America and abroad, he has had success... »»»
Willis, Robison spin "Beautiful Lie" Eleven years ago, Kelly stepped away from music. She had just finished touring on 2007's exquisite "Translated From Love" and felt the angst of being a travelling musician with family at home. At that point, Willis and her husband, musician/producer Bruce Robison,... »»»
Nightfall CD review - Nightfall
Little Big Town gets billed as a country music vocal group, but "Nightfall" plays out more like a four-headed singer-songwriter effort. Many of these songs hearken back to some of the best '70s introspective songwriter efforts. »»»
Formations CD review - Formations
Hawktail features some of the finest players of a generation in traditional American acoustic music. The product of their collaboration, "Formations," is a testament to the musical milieu in which they create.  »»»
Fully Loaded: God's Country CD review - Fully Loaded: God's Country
Blake Shelton has been openly critical of the traditional album format. "Fully Loaded: God's Country" is his fourth greatest hits album and third in the "Loaded" series. In an effort to release music more often, he packages five new songs  »»»
9 CD review - 9
Hollywood may be pushing a broadminded agenda where there are more genders than one can even count, but in Jason Aldean's world, there are only two: tough guys, and the women that love them. There's no confusion  »»»
Ocean CD review - Ocean
Lady Antebellum may lean a little too closely to pop music for many tastes, but it's hard to argue with the trio's song choices. And its latest collection is filled with many memorable songs. The single "What If I Never Get Over You," »»»
Too Late to Pray: Defiant Chicago Roots CD review - Too Late to Pray: Defiant Chicago Roots
The first time we encountered the term 'insurgent country,' we were in the mid-90s. The roots-rock music world was quickly evolving, and a Chicago-based upstart called Bloodshot Records was putting out compilations featuring groups  »»»