Country music legend Ray Price went home to be with the Lord on Monday. Ray Price was 87 years old, and lost his battle with pancreatic cancer with his family and loved ones near at his ranch. Ray was a influential giant in the direction of country music, both in the past and the present.
Ray's massive hit "Crazy Arms" penned by Ralph Mooney introduced a new beat and sound to the Nashville scene, one that was copied and tweaked until the "Nashville sound" was created. Loved and hated by many, the Nashville Sound was a pivotal piece of country music history, no matter which side of the fence you sit on.
Ray had many other massive hits, including the fun " I'll Be There" and the timeless classic "Heartaches By The Number". Perhaps the greatest Ray Price song, and one of the best songs in country music history, is the great "For The Good Times", written by none other than Kris Kristofferson.
In his later years, Ray remained a solid voice in the fight for traditional country. He saw the spotlight shined on him once again in 2013 when he wrote a poignant and critical letter to Blake Shelton regarding his "old farts and jackasses" comment. Ray and Blake eventually made up, but the point had gotten across. Ray Price was not going to stand by and let the music he helped propel to greatness falter to mediocrity. Ray fought the good fight, and we are thankful.
There are a few solaces we can find in the death of a country hero like Ray Price. One is that his earthly suffering has ended, and he is in a better place. Secondly, while he may have left us physically, he will always live on through his music. So, lets look back on the music of Ray Price and remember a country music icon, for the good times.
"I'll Be There"
"Heartaches By The Number"
"For The Good Times"
Thank you, Ray Price, for always keeping it country. You will be missed.