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Gene Watson's peers within the country music industry believe in the sheer talent of this unassuming man from east Texas, so much so that Gene is regarded by many of them as 'the singer's singer' - and rightly so!
All of Gene Watson's Peers, who were contacted during 2011, were most gracious with their time and words. It is here, within this special part of the Gene Watson Fan Site, that you have an opportunity to read a quote from Ray Price, which he submitted to this site on Wednesday 18 May 2011.
Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to Ray Price who made a special contribution to this unique part of this online 'celebration of a Lone Star Hero'.
This quote was submitted on Wednesday 18 May 2011.
'I really like him. He's a fine singer.
I believe, if he is given the right opportunity and can get over the hurdle of today's music, he should be able to maintain a great career.
I like him as a person and only wish him the best'.
Thank you, Ray Price, for your support of Gene Watson.
About Ray Price...
Ray Price was born Ray Noble Price on Tuesday 12 January 1926 in Perryville, Texas; his wide-ranging baritone has often been praised as one of the best male voices within the country music genre.
Ray Price spent most of his youth in Dallas; it was there where he learned how to play guitar and sing. Following his high school graduation, he studied veterinary medicine at North Texas Agricultural College in Abilene before he left school to join the Marines in 1942.
Ray stayed in the service throughout the Second World War, returning to Texas in 1946. After leaving the Marines, he initially returned to college, yet he began to perform at local clubs and honky tonks, as well as appearances on local radio station KRBC, where he was dubbed 'The Cherokee Cowboy'.
Three years later, in 1949, Ray Price was invited to join the Dallas-based Big D Jamboree, which convinced him to make music his full-time career. It was shortly after joining Big D Jamboree that the show began to be televised by CBS, which helped Ray release a single, 'Your Wedding Corsage'/'Jealous Lies', on the independent Dallas label Bullet Records.
In 1951, Ray Price moved to Nashville in order to pursue a major-label record contract. After auditioning and failing several times, Ray finally signed to Columbia Records, after A&R representative Troy Martin convinced the label's chief executive, Don Law, that Decca was prepared to give the singer a contract.
Previously, Don Law was uninterested in Ray Price - he turned him down twenty times and threatened Troy Martin never to mention his name again - but he was unprepared to give a rival company a chance at the vocalist.
Prior to 'Talk To Your Heart' becoming a No.3 hit for Ray Price in the spring of 1952, he met his idol, Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 - Thursday 1 January 1953), who immediately became a close friend.
'Talk To Your Heart' was subsequently included on 'Talk To Your Heart' (Columbia Records, 1958), Ray Price's second album for the label, which was released in April 1958.
Ray Price's debut album for Columbia Records was 'Ray Price Sings Heart Songs' (Columbia Records, 1957), which was released in July 1957.
Over the next year, Hank Williams (Monday 17 September 1923 - Thursday 1 January 1953) performed a number of favours for Ray, including giving him 'Weary blues' to record and helping him join the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Ray also became the permanent substitute for Hank whenever he was missing or too drunk to perform. Following Hank Williams' death in the early hours of Thursday 1 January 1953, Ray Price inherited The Drifting Cowboys.
Following the success of 'Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes', which reached No.4 on the Billboard country chart in the fall of 1952, Ray was quiet for much of 1953.
It wasn't until 1954 that Ray Price returned to the Billboard country charts. He enjoyed a hit with a double-sided record; 'I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)' reached No.2, while 'Release Me' reached No.6.
Instead of capitalising on that success, Ray Price disappeared from the country charts during 1955, as he spent the year forming The Cherokee Cowboys. Over the previous two years, he had realised that performing with The Drifting Cowboys had made him sound too similar to Hank Williams, so he decided to form his own group.
Originally, most of the members were lifted from Lefty Frizzell's Western Cherokees, but over the years that followed a number of gifted musicians began their careers in this band, including Johnny Paycheck (Tuesday 31 May 1938 - Wednesday 19 February 2003), Roger Miller (Thursday 2 January 1936 - Sunday 25 October 1992), Buddy Emmons, Johnny Bush, Darrell McCall and Willie Nelson.
Ray Price made a triumphant return to the Billboard country charts in 1955, first with 'Run Boy', which reached No.5.
Ray Price's musical experimentation culminated in the 4/4 bass-driven 'Crazy Arms', which was written by Chuck Seals and famed Texas steel guitarist Ralph Mooney; the track, which was the first of Ray Price's patented four/four shuffles, was recorded on Thursday 1 March 1956.
The intensely rhythmic sound Ray discovered with 'Crazy Arms' dominated his style of country music for the next six years, up until 1962; people in Nashville refer to a 4/4 country shuffle as the 'Ray Price beat'.
'Crazy Arms' went on to become a country music standard and spent forty-five weeks on the Billboard country chart, twenty of those at No.1, in 1956.
'Crazy Arms' was one of the first country records to be recorded with a drum kit, which gave it a relentless, pulsating rhythm. Until Ray Price, most country music artists were reluctant to use drums and the instrument was banned at one time from the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.
The astonishing status of 'Crazy Arms' helped change that situation; the single not only crossed over into the lower reaches of the pop charts, but it also established Ray Price as a star.
After the success of 'Crazy Arms', Ray Price remained at or near the top of the Billboard country charts for the next ten years, racking up twenty-three Top Ten singles between 1956 and 1966; 'I've Got A New Heartache' (No.2, 1956), 'My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You' (No.1, 1957) and 'Curtain In The Window' (No.3, 1958).
Roger Miller (Thursday 2 January 1936 - Sunday 25 October 1992) wrote one of Ray Price's classic songs during 1958 and also sang harmony on the track; 'Invitation To The Blues' reached No.3 on the Billboard country charts in 1958.
'City Lights', which was written by Bill Anderson when he was nineteen years old while working in Commerce, Georgia at radio station WJJC-AM, was recorded by Ray Price in 1958; the song was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for thirteen weeks between October 1958 and January 1959.
As a result, Bill Anderson took full advantage of his big break, moving to Nashville and landed a recording contract with Decca Records.
'City Lights' reached No.71 on the pop charts in 1958 and was subsequently included on 'Ray Price's Greatest Hits' (Columbia Records, 1961).
In 1959, Ray enjoyed a No.7 hit on the Billboard country music singles chart with 'That's What It's Like To Be Lonesome'.
It was also in 1959 that Ray Price recorded 'Heartaches By The Number', which was written by Harlan Howard (Thursday 8 September 1927 - Sunday 3 March 2002) and which reached No.2 on the Billboard country music chart, while 'The Same Old Me' was No.1 for two weeks in 1959.
In 1960, Ray Price recorded Mel Tillis' 'Heart Over Mind'; the track reached No.5 on the Billboard country charts.
George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) recorded Ray Price's 'I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)' (co-written with Rusty Gabbard) and included the track on 'George Jones Sings Country And Western Hits' (Mercury Records, 1962).
In 1963, Ray Price recorded Willie Nelson's 'Nightlife'; the track reached No. 28 on the Billboard country charts.
Connie Smith recorded Ray Price's 'I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)' (co-written with Rusty Gabbard) and included the track on 'Connie Smith' (RCA Records, 1965).
George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013), with Gene Pitney (Monday 17 February 1941 - Wednesday 5 April 2006) and Melba Montgomery, recorded Ray Price's 'I've Got A New Heartache' (co-written with Wayne P. Walker) and included the track on 'Famous Country Duets' (Muxicor Records, 1965).
Ray Price achieved a number of Top 10 hits on the Billboard country music singles chart in the 1960s, including 'Soft Rain' (No.3, 1961), 'Pride' (No.5, 1962), 'Make The World Go Away' (No.2, 1963), 'Burning Memories' (No.2, 1964), 'The Other Woman (In My Life)' (No.2, 1965), 'A Way To Survive' (No.7, 1966), 'Touch My Heart' (No.3, 1966), 'Danny Boy' (No.9, 1966), 'I'm Still Not Over You' (No.6, 1967), 'Take Me As I Am (Or Let Me Go)' (No.8, 1967) and 'She Wears My Ring' (No.6, 1968).
The Everly Brothers (Don and Phil Everly) recorded Ray Price's 'You Done Me Wrong', which was co-written with George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013), and included the track on 'Roots' (Warner Bros. Records, 1968).
'For The Good Times' was written by Kris Kristofferson, who originally included the track on his self-titled debut album, 'Kristofferson' (Monument Records, 1970).
On Monday 16 March 1970, Ray Price recorded a version of 'For the Good Times' which topped the Billboard country music singles chart and was awarded 'Song Of The Year' by the Academy of Country Music (ACM); the track was included on 'For The Good Times' (Columbia Records, 1970).
'For The Good Times', coupled with 'Grazin' In Greener Pastures', was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in September 1970 (Saturday 19 September 1970 - Saturday 26 September 1970) and spent a total of nineteen weeks on the country chart; the track also reached No.11 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, becoming Ray Price's only release to hit the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 pop charts.
Ray Price's 'For The Good Times' (Columbia Records, 1970) was awarded 'Album Of The Year' by the Academy of Country Music (ACM).
'I Won't Mention It Again' is a 1971 single from Ray Price; the track was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for three weeks in May/June 1971 and spent a total of seventeen weeks on the country charts; the track was included on 'I Won't Mention It Again' (Columbia Records, 1971).
Ray Price's 'I Won't Mention It Again' (Columbia Records, 1971) was awarded 'Album Of The Year' by the Country Music Association (CMA).
Ray Price's 'She's Got To Be A Saint' was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for three weeks in December 1972/January 1973; the track was included on 'She's Got To Be A Saint' (Columbia Records, 1973).
Ray Price's 'You're The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me' was No.1 on the Billboard country music singles chart for one week in October 1973; the track was included on 'You're The Best Thing' (Columbia Records, 1974).
By the mid-1970s, the appeal of Ray Price's string-laden country-pop hits had diminished and he spent the rest of the decade struggling to get into the country charts.
In 1974, Ray Price left his long-time home of Columbia Records and signed to Myrrh Records, where he enjoyed two Billboard Top 10 country music hits over the next year.
By the end of 1975, Ray Price had departed Myrrh Records and signed to ABC/Dot Records. Although he hadn't changed his style, Ray Price's records became less popular around the same time he signed to ABC/Dot Records.
Only 'Mansion On The Hill', which was released in 1977, gained much attention; the track was included on 'Hank 'n' Me' (ABC/Dot Records, 1976).
In 1978, Ray Price switched record labels again, signing with Monument Records, which proved to be another unsuccessful venture; Ray enjoyed hits with 'There's Always Me' (No. 30, 1978), 'Feet' (No. 19, 1979), 'Misty Morning Rain' (No. 43, 1979) and 'That's The Only Way To Say Good Morning' (No. 18, 1980).
In 1980, Ray Price reunited with his old bassist Willie Nelson and recorded the duet album 'San Antonio Rose' (Columbia Records, 1980), which was a major success, spawning the No.3 Billboard country music hit 'Faded love'.
'San Antonio Rose' (Columbia Records, 1980) also included 'Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Hurting Me', which was written by Hank Cochran (Friday 2 August 1935 - Thursday 15 July 2010); when released as a single, the track reached No.11 on the Billboard country music singles chart in 1980.
In 1981, Ray Price enjoyed two Billboard Top 10 singles, 'It Don't Hurt Me Half As Bad' and 'Diamonds In The Stars', for his new label, Dimension Records.
Ray Price's 'Town And Country' (Dimension Records, 1981) included the tracks 'Circle Driveway', 'It Don't Hurt Me Half As Bad' and 'Getting Over You Again', all of which have been recorded by Gene Watson.
Gene Watson recorded 'It Don't Hurt Me Half As Bad' and included the track on 'Beautiful Country' (Capitol Records, 1977).
Gene Watson recorded 'Circle Driveway' and included the track on 'Should I Come Home' (Capitol Records, 1979).
Gene Watson recorded 'Getting Over You Again' and included the track on 'The Good Ole Days' (Step One Records, 1996).
In December 1982, Dimension Records released Ray Price's 'Somewhere In Texas' (Dimension Records, 1982), which included the track 'You're Just Another Beer Drinkin' Song'.
Gene Watson recorded 'You're Just Another Beer Drinkin' Song' and included the track on 'Sometimes I Get Lucky' (MCA Records, 1983).
Ray Price left Dimension Records in 1983 and signed with Warner Bros. Records, where he remained for one year and recorded the album 'Master Of The Art' (Warner Bros. Records, 1982).
In 1983, Ray Price signed with Viva Records, a record label he remained with until 1984.
In 1985, Ray Price signed with Step One Records, an independent record label created by Ray Pennington and Curtis Potter, where he remained until 1989.
Ray Price recorded a number of albums for Step One Records, including 'Portrait Of A Singer' (Step One Records, 1985), 'Welcome To Ray Price Country' (Step One Records, 1986), 'A Revival Of Old Time Singing' (Step One Records, 1986) and 'Heart Of Country Music' (Step One Records, 1986).
Darrell McCall and Johnny Bush recorded Ray Price's 'The Twenty Fourth Hour' and included the track on 'Hot Texas Country' (Step One Records, 1986).
Darrell McCall and Johnny Bush recorded Ray Price's 'You Done Me Wrong' (co-written with Shirley Jones) and included the track on 'Hot Texas Country' (Step One Records, 1986).
Further Ray Price albums released by Step One Records included 'A Christmas Gift For You' (Step One Records, 1987), 'Just Enough Love' (Step One Records, 1987) and 'By Request' (Step One Records, 1989).
Ray Price's 'Just Enough Love' (Step One Records, 1987) included the track 'Old Loves Never Die' and included the track on 'Just Enough Love' (Step One Records, 1987).
Gene Watson recorded 'Old Loves Never Die' and included the track on 'Old Loves Never Die' (MCA Records, 1981).
Ray Price also recorded 'Memories That Last' (Step One Records, 1991), a duet album with Faron Young (Thursday 25 February 1932 - Tuesday 10 December 1996).
In the late 1990s, Ray Price stopped concentrating on recording and turned his attention to a theatre he owned in Branson, Missouri. For most of the 1990s, Ray sang and performed at his theatre in Branson and occasionally recorded.
Of all of his 1990s records, the most notable is the 1992 album 'Sometimes A Rose' (Sony Records, 1992), which was produced by Norro Wilson.
On Saturday 3 August 1996, Ray Price was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
Charlie Shearer recorded Ray Price's 'I Just Destroyed The World' (co-written with Willie Nelson) and included the track on 'Breakin' Out' (Universal Sound Records, 2000).
On Tuesday 10 May 2005, Robert Earl Keen saw the release of 'What I Really Mean' (Koch Records, 2005); the album included the track 'A Border Tragedy', which featured Ray Price performing a part of 'Streets Of Laredo'.
In 2007, Ray Price collaborated with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard on the album project 'Last Of The Breed' (Lost Highway Records, 2007).
'Last Of The Breed' (Lost Highway Records, 2007) was a two-disc set and was released on Tuesday 20 March 2007; the album debuted at No.64 on the Billboard Top 200, selling about 13,000 copies in its first week of release.
'Last Of The Breed' (Lost Highway Records, 2007) was No.33 on Rolling Stone's list of the 'Top 50 Albums of 2007'.
'Last Of The Breed' (Lost Highway Records, 2007) reached No.7 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart in 2007.
Garry Ash paid tribute to both George Jones (Saturday 12 September 1931 - Friday 26 April 2013) and Ray Price with the track 'Possum And Price' (written by Jim Massey); the track was included on 'Man In The Moon' (Self Release, 2011).