Category: Ray Price

Ray Price – The Essential Ray Price

ARTIST: Ray Price rayprice

TITLE:  The Essential Ray Price

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation


SINGLES: Disc One much like the other collection. Disc two top 10: Pride (#5 Country), Walk Me to the Door (#7 Country), Make the World Go Away (#100, #2 Country), Burning Memories (#2 Country), The Other Woman (In My Life) (#2 Country), A Way to Survive (#7 Country), Danny Boy (#60, #9 Country), She Wears My Ring (#6 Country), You Wouldn’t Know Love (#8 Country), For the Good Times (#11, #1 Country), You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me (#82, #1 Country), Faded Love (#3 Country)


LINEUP: Ray Price and Nashville hot-shots.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The entire collection covers Price up through his heyday on the pop chart.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: As in the first review of a Ray Price collection, there’s two with basically the same title. The first review covered his honky-tonk phase. This one is a double CD with the first CD covering the same period and the second covering his Countrypolitan phase.

The weepy strings, lachrymose melodies, and sleepy, heartfelt vocals were all the rage, but they’re just too goopy and syrupy for me. I know that some country fans were NOT in favor of this trend, and that’s why Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, among others, became huge favorites with that crowd. It’s also why Outlaw Country became a big thing.

There are some decent songs here, but a lot of it is fluff that a pop crooner could have done.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Though not in these collections, he had Top 10 country hits as late as 1981.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. But there are other compilations out there that are quite thorough.

GRADE: B-. That grade mostly for the honky tonk stuff that’s let down by the country weepers.

Ray Price – The Essential Ray Price (1951-62)

ARTIST: Ray Price rayprice

TITLE:  The Essential Ray Price (1951-62)

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation


SINGLES: Lot’s of ‘em on the country charts: Talk to Your Heart (#3), I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me) (#2), Crazy Arms (#1, #27 Hot 100), I’ve Got a New Heartache (#2), My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You (#1, #63 Hot 100), City Lights (#1, #71 Hot 100), Heartaches by the Number (#2), The Same Old Me (#1), One More Time (#5), Heart Over Mine (#5)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: A lot of these have been covered by other artists.

LINEUP: Ray Price. Many with his band the Cherokee Cowboys, which included Roger Miller, Willie Nelson and Johnny Paycheck at times.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Country music HOF artist’s early works, which are quintessential honky-tonk songs.

 SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Ray Price had a long and storied career in Nashville, first as a singer of honky-tonk in the style of Hank Williams (expanding the genre to add some elements like walking bass), and then as a leading purveyor of “The Nashville Sound” tunes, ballads with strings and ornate production.

This is a collection of the honky tonk sound, which dominated country music in the 50’s. As you can see above, he cut his fair share of classic country songs in this period. However, for a novice country fan, a collection of this size may be overwhelming at first. I’d definitely recommend picking and choosing what catches your ear, like I did. However, you can’t deny Price’s legacy in the shaping of country music, and his voice is an important one.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: For a time he roomed with Hank Williams in Nashville.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION:  No, but another comp called The Essential Ray Price has many of these cuts with a second CD focusing on post-1962. I’ll review that one later.

GRADE: B+: There’s a lot of material here, and more on other CDs and collections around. This would be an A collection for those who love honky tonk, old country music, or Price himself.