R.I.P. Ray Price: Iconic Country Crooner Passes Away at 87
|A promo photo of Price, late 1950s-early '60s|
Price titled his 1962 album after Nelson's song "Night Life," which is frequently but erroneously described as "written for Price." The album went to No. 1 and contained "Pride," which was a No. 5 single. Price's high profile rendition of "Night Life" brought Nelson's incomparable talent to its highest level of visibility yet.
Following up with Burning Memories, Price kept his hot streak going with "Make the World Go Away," 1963, No. 2 (country) and No. 100 (pop) and "Burning Memories," (No. 2). In 1965 he hit the charts again with "The Other Woman (In My Life)", (No. 2), and "Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me," (No. 11).
But with the arrival of the Beatles and Nashville's response to the rock and roll sea-change brought on by the British invasion, Price put down hard core honky tonk and began to experiment with lush, string-laden, ballads such as "Danny Boy," which peaked at No. 9 on the country charts but, more significantly, crossed over to the pop charts where it rose to No. 60.
While Price continued to chart regularly, he didn't hit No. 1 again until the release of Kris Kristofferson's bedroom ballad "For the Good Times" in 1970. Price followed up with an amazing streak of crossover chart success: "I Won't Mention It Again," (1971, No. 1 country, No. 42 pop); "I'd Rather Be Sorry, (1971, No. 2); 'The Lonesomest Lonesome," (1972, No. 2); "She's Got To Be a Saint," (No. 1, 1972); and "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me," (No. 1,1973).
For the Good Times catapulted Price's career to its highest point. The album and the single both went No. 1. The album and single won Academy of Country Music's highest awards in 1970, and the Country Music Association voted it the No. 1 album of 1971. Price also won his first Grammy in 1971 for Best Male Country Vocal.
Price released 52 albums in his career and scored nine No. 1 singles. His voice had remained in good shape throughout the passing of years. Only this past January, he performed a show in Stafford and by all accounts was still one of the great voices in the land.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS