Ray Price: Still Going Strong At 82

Ray Price in his younger days when he was singing country music in a more traditional style.
Ray Price in his younger days when he was singing country music in a more traditional style.
Ray Price pictured singing in later years after he had switched to a more urbane country sound.
Ray Price pictured singing in recent years after he had switched to a more urbane country sound.

Ray Noble Price

Born: January 12, 1926 in Perryville, Texas

Ray Price is 82 and is now in his seventh decade of being a country music performer. He is only about three months from performing in eight different decades. He will be 83 in January.

Price was as country as you could get early in his career when he sang such hits as Crazy Arms which was his first No.1 single in 1956. His next No.1 single would be My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You which reached the top of the charts in 1957.

Then in 1957 City Lights (a personal favorite) went to No.1 in 1958. Then in 1959 for the fourth straight year Price had a No. 1 hit in Same Old Me. It would be his last No.1 hit till he recorded For the Good Times which reached No.1 in 1970.

Grazin in Greener Pastures’ also was a No. 1 song in 1970 but it must have been the flip side of For the Good Times since I don’t even remember that song.

By then Price had switched to a more sophisticated urbane sound that was more refined with more orchestration. For the second time in his career he would chart No.1 singles in four straight years.

In 1971 I Won’t Mention It Again went to No.1 followed by She’s Got to be a Saint in 1972. It was a song with a great story and is worth listening to if you get the chance.

He reached the top of the Country Singles chart in 1973 with You’re the Best Thing That Happened to Me. That would be the last No. 1 song for Price but 36 years later he is still going strong. He has appeared in concert with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard several times recently.

After switching to using violins instead of fiddles with his new sound Price was caught in the middle of having some of his traditional country fans not happy with the change. On the other hand he was winning new fans that liked his more polished sound.

In my book Ray Price was always great whether singing traditional country music or crooning with an orchestra backing him.

Ray singing My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You.

Ray singing City Lights which was written by Bill Anderson.

Ray singing his No.1 hit For The Good Times.

Ray singing She’s Got To Be A Saint with only audio but the words are so good that is what matters the most.

Ray singing the country and western swing classic San Antonio Rose.

This is Ray singing two of his early hits Crazy Arms and Heartaches By The Number in a more recent concert.

It is amazing that after 60 years of singing that Ray Price is still active today at the age of 82 with his 83rd birthday on the horizon.

Watching the videos of the older Price show that he still has a strong voice and sings with the same passion he sang with back in the 1940’s.

My mind is flooded with memories of  of the traditional country music of the 50’s and 60’s and those memories have came alive watching the videos of  Price over the years in this post.


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

4 thoughts on “Ray Price: Still Going Strong At 82”

  1. I saw Ray Price just a few weeks ago on the Huckabee show with Willie Nelson and he was in great intonation. The sang Crazy Arms and For the good Times.You are so right, violins cover up a multitude of mistakes and bad tone, which singers are discovering. I, too really enjoy music from the 50’s and 60’s and am always surprised when I hear an old timer like Price do so well even now.Nostalgia is my favorite web site.

  2. It has been about 39 years since I saw Ray Price. He had the Drifting Cowboys backing him up back then. I too think he is sounding very well for his age.

    He was a very good friend of Hank Williams and Hank helped him get on the Grand Ole Opry from what I read.

    I really enjoyed hearing Cal Smith sing Country Bumpkin on another post. It was as straight singing as you will find since it was only him, the guitar and some background music. What a great song!!..used to think it was a novelty song but it was the real thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s