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My Memories of Ray Price

danny and ray price
Danny Merrell

In the early and mid-1980’s, I worked at KASE 101 radio in Austin.  We were heavily involved in an annual event called the Austin Aqua Festival which was held on the shores of Town Lake.  It was here that I got to meet Ray Price. 

I grew up on the music of Price.  My mom loved ‘For the Good Times’, but then again, who didn’t.  But she also played ‘Sweetheart of the Year’ over and over again.  So, even before I met him, I was very acquainted with the voice and singing style of Price.  It was a polished style, worthy of being compared to some of the smoothest deliveries of all time, like Sinatra and Martin.  So, when I first met Ray backstage after his show at the Aqua Fest, I was a little surprised at what I was seeing.

Ray Price looked like a rancher who just came in from tending cattle.  And that was wonderful.  I remember thinking it was so grand that God gave a million dollar voice to such a humble, country boy.  And the more times that I got to talk to Price through the next decades, the more apparent it became that he was indeed just as at home in the pasture or in the barn as we was on stage.  You can listen to one of those conversations I had with him here leading up to his 80th birthday concert in Lufkin.

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David Stallings is the promoter who brought Price to East Texas on several occasions.  I talked to David on the Merrell in the Morning show on December 17th to share his memories of his beloved friend.  One of the facts that Stallings brought to light that really stuck with me was how much of an influence and mentor Price was on so many of today’s legends and Hall of Famers.  Without Price, folks like Willie Nelson, Mel Tillis, Bill Anderson, Johnny Paycheck, Roger Miller, Harlan Howard, Hank Cochran and many more  may have never achieved their legendary success.

Price will be dearly missed but the words that he shared to the world just a few days before he died tell you of the kind of man he is “I am at peace. I love Jesus. I’m going to be just fine. Don’t worry about me. I’ll see you again one day,”

You’re invited to join me this Saturday morning from 8-10 on the KICKS 105 Gold Mine Show as we take a look back at the career of Ray Price.

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