Monday, December 16, 2013

Rest in Peace Ray Price

Ray Price was one of my favorite singers of all time. I have had several of his albums and have enjoyed him all of my adult life. I got to see him in performance several times. Once, was about 25 to 30 years ago when I was in the Metro Council and attended a League of Cites convention in Houston (or was it Dallas). He was the entertainment for the final night's banquet. Being the entertainer for the League of Cities convention must be a tough gig for anyone. You have such a diverse group of people that half of the audience may never have heard of you no matter how big you are. The audience is not there to see you.  He did one set in the more traditional style of honky tonk and Western Swing with just a small band. He then took a break and came back and did a set backed up by the Houston Symphony that featured all of the lush string arrangements. I got right down front and was thrilled by the show. It was one the most memorable concerts I ever attended.

I saw Ray Price most recently about five years ago when he played a show at the Ryman for a WSM appreciation concert. He was great! Some great singers can't hit the notes anymore as they age. I like Willie Nelson, but if you listen to Willie Nelson now, compared to thirty years ago, he has lost a lot of his vocal range. Not with Ray Price. When I saw him at that Ryman show, his rich baritone voice was as smooth and as strong as every. Ray Price helped me deal with a lot of tough times in my life and brought me a lot of pleasure. He was one of the all time greats.

Goodbye Mr. Price. Thank you for all the good music.

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