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Texan Ray Price was one of country music’s great crooners, a friend of Hank Williams and as many of his time were, very much into Bob Wills and Western Swing. Great credentials. Price had an ear for good song, and was forever placing his spin on other people’s material, everyone from The Delmores to tunes by Floyd Tillman by way of Roger Miller, Cindy Walker, Harlan Howard, Buck Owens, Bill Anderson, Don Gibson and Mel Tillis along with the aforementioned Bob Wills and Hank Williams and others too. Later in his career he also recorded and toured with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, the former like with Roger Miller and Buddy Emmons among others had seen a spell playing in Price’s band, the Cherokee Cowboys.
Price’s exemplary covers of swing favourites and the countless selection of tunes draped in stupendous fiddle, pedal steel guitar, upright bass and country guitar make this an essential collection for all fans of traditional country. For all those interested in hearing what vintage country music sounds like and sample the work of some great songwriters, as in those listed above there is no better place to start than right here.
Highlights, there is an abundance as he places his own stamp on classic fare “Heartaches By The Number” and western swing favourites “Bubbles In My Beer, “Home In san Antone”, “Time Changes Everything”, “Maidens Prayer” plus the song chosen as the title-track of the 1962 album they all come from “San Antonio Rose”. Doused in fabulous pedal steel, fiddles and a wonderful shuffling rhythm you would be hard pushed to better some versions, and with the likes of “You Don’t Care What Happens To Me” and from 1952 Ray’s barrel house piano etc plied version of “Don’t The Stars Get In Your Eyes”. And if you think that’s good you are bound to think “I’ll Be There If You Ever Want Me”, a song her co-wrote with Gabbard likewise is the business, and with “My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You”, “Heartbreaks By The Number” and “Crazy Arms” also included this is nothing other than true classic country. I could list a bunch more, but I will leave that to you on purchasing a steal of a record.
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