'one of america’s national treasures
'a true living legend'
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Born noble ray price in perryville, texas, on january 12th. Ray as a boy worked on his family farm in east texas. Ray left home and joined the marines in ww ii. Upon his return from service, he attended north texas agricultural college in arlington, tx, where he studied veterinary medicine.
In 1946, ray resumed his college studies but his love of music could not keep him away from playing as much as he could. He left his veterinary studies to pursue his dream of music. After leaving college, ray landed a spot on the prestigious big “d” jamboree, where he gained national exposure when parts of the show were broadcast over the cbs radio network. Ray's continued success gave him his first major break, by signing with colombia records in 1951.
He then moved to nashville, tn and became close friends with hank williams, and together they co-wrote the hit song, “weary blues from waitin." Ray performed many shows with hank and filled in for hank on many occasions when hank was unable to perform. At one time ray and hank shared a house in nashville. Ray is a protégé of his friend hank williams, who paved the way for ray to become one of the most significant artists in all of country music.
Ray's band, “the cherokee cowboys,” was a training ground for legendary artists and musicians. Some of the artists who have went on to become successful in country music, reads like a list of who's who in country music. Names such as willie nelson, roger miller, johnny paycheck, darrell mccall, johnny bush, steel guitar masters-buddy emmons and jimmy day, and guitarist pete wade. All were regular members of this great band, which still continues to carry on the tradition with ray price as their maestro.
From 1952 through the present time, ray has compiled one of the most distinguished list of hit records, of any artist who has ever recorded in all of country music. Ray price is credited, and rightfully so, with producing the most emotional honky tonk music ever made. The lushly arranged country-pop ballads have now become standards in country music.
Ray continues to play to sold-out audiences all over the world, bringing his fans the ray price sound that they have come to love, from numerous strings to the haunting sound of the ray price shuffle beat, he is still one of the most active touring artists in all of country music, taking his music to the white house, major casinos, symphony's, performing arts centers, fairs, large clubs and arenas.
In 1996 ray price received the highest honor in country music, when he was inducted into the country music hall of fame. He was presented his award by his long-time friend, kris kristofferson, who termed ray, “a living link between hank williams & the country singers of today.”
Ray continues to record, and with the release of his newest album in 2000, “prisoner of love,” he continues to receive critical acclaim by the major music trade papers, the live audiences and most of all, ray’s peers. With this new album, ray sounds like he “is eighteen again.” He has made this group of songs platinum by putting the ray price touch and signature on each individual song. Once again ray bares his heart & soul in his music.
To say that ray price helped make revolutionary changes, sometimes controversial changes, in country music, would be an understatement in all of music. Make no mistake about it, ray price at 74 years of age still. Has the velvety voice, and it has remained remarkably unchanged. He has stuck by his sound through all of these successful years, and commands the respect of the young country artists of today's music. Ray says, “i’ll stick with my sound, all the way to the electric chair." There'll be no electric chairs for ray price, but there is electricity in the air when he sings.
“time changes everything,” is a title of one of ray's arsenal of super songs in his career, and it carries with it a story that bears the fruit of what ray price means to country music. There are always good and bad changes in everything we do, but one thing is for sure, ray price is revered by all of country music and just music in general. He has been imitated, ridiculed, persecuted, praised and loved by his fans and fellow artists. He stands for what country music should be and he makes his stand for what he believes in. The one man who has stood the test of time and continues to bring his music to the world-there is only one and he stands alone with the masters touch, his name holds the magic of music. Long live "Ray Price"
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