Happy Birthday, Ray Price (Jan. 12)


Country Music Hall of Fame Member, Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Member, and Grammy Award Winner Ray Price will be honored at a reception from 11am until 1pm on his 83rd birthday, Monday, January 12.

The public is invited to attend the event at the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and Tex Ritter Museum, 300 West Panola St. in Carthage, Texas.

Born Noble Ray Price in Perryville, Texas, on January 12, 1926, he worked on his family farm in East Texas during his early years. The family later moved to Dallas when Ray was a teenager. He attended North Texas Agricultural College in Arlington, Texas, where he studied veterinary medicine, but left college to join the Marines in World War II.

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 on the program gave him his first major break and he was signed by Columbia Records in 1951.

He then moved to Nashville and became close friends with Hank Williams. Together they co-wrote the hit song ‘Weary Blues from Waitin”. Ray performed on many shows with Williams and filled in for him many times when he was unable to perform. At one time Ray and Hank shared a house in Nashville . Hank Williams is credited for helping Price to gain a spot on the Grand Ole Opry and paving the way for him to become one of the most-significant artists in the history of Country Music.

Ray’s band, ‘The Cherokee Cowboys’ has been a training ground for legendary artists and musicians. Some of the artists who have worked in Price’s band include; Willie Nelson, Roger Miller, Johnny Paycheck, Darrel McCall, Johnny Bush, Frenchie Burke, Buddy Emmons and Jimmy Day.

From 1952 to the present, Ray has compiled one of the most distinguished lists of hit records in Country Music. He is credited with producing the most emotional ‘honky tonk’ music ever recorded. His lushly-arranged Country-Pop ballads have now become standards in Country Music. His hits include; ‘For The Good Times’, ‘Release Me’, ‘Night Life’, ‘Crazy Arms’, ‘Heartaches By The Numbers’, ‘City Lights’, ‘Danny Boy’, and hundreds more.

He continues to play to sold-out audiences throughout the world, performing more than 100 concerts each year. He is still one of the most-active touring artists in all of Country Music, taking his music to The White House, Symphonys, Performing Arts Centers, Fairs, Casinos, Nightclubs 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 the award by his long-time friend, Kris Kristofferson, whe termed Ray ‘A living link between Hank Williams and the country singers of today’. He was placed in The Texas Music Hall of Fame in 2000, He was awarded the ‘Pioneer Award’ from the Academy of Country Music in Los Angeles in 2004.

Ray continues to record, and with the release of his newest solo album , ‘Time’, he continues to receive critical acclaim by the major music trade papers, live audiences, and his peers. His new album is pure, traditional country. ‘You don’t hear a lot of that on the radio these days’, he says.

He recently recorded an album with his friends Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard. Titled ‘Last of The Breed’, the CD has received critical acclaim and the trio completed a 13-city sold-out tour in April, 2007.

To say that Ray Price helped make revolutionary, sometimes controversial, changes in Country Music would be an understatement.

At eighty-three years of age, he still has that wonderful, velvety voice which has remained remarkably unchanged since the beginning of his career. He has stayed true to his sound throughout his career and has earned the ultimate respect from his fans and peers alike. Over the years his songs have influenced many of the most famous artists in country music, including many of the popular young artists of today.

Leave a Reply