This was one dollar. I have lost track of how many Ray Price albums I have posted. This maybe the third. Not much new to say about an artist the third time around. But what else can you say about one of the true pioneers of honky tonk country?
This was Price’s seventh album, released in 1964. This album marked a departure from his pure Ernest Tubb honky tonk sound with the addition of string sections and lush production values. In a way, it was the start of the Nashville Sound of the 60’s and 70’s. Backed with Nashville musicians such as Floyd Cramer, Pig Robbins, and Buddy Emmons, Price goes through 12 classic tracks written by such luminaries as Hank Cochran, Eddie Miller, Mel Tillis, Buck Owens, Conway Twitty, and Willie Nelson.
Some dude I ran into a year ago at Half Price Books told me that Price was blacklisted in the country circles for some time for embracing this new sound. I am not sure how true or false that is, but for now I take him at his word. If you know me, you know how much I like talking to strange guys. Anyway, if he was indeed blacklisted, it would not be for long.
Overall, this is a real good album. It contains two Price standards, “Make The World Go Away” and “Release Me”. The rest of the album is filled with songs that take advantage of Price’s rich baritone voice. There are a couple simplified songs but the vast majority are backed by the string section. Given this, there is still enough twang within the songs.
For a sample, I went with “Are You Sure” which still has that classic Price sound with subtle orchestration. I also went with “Here Comes My Baby Back Again” because after writing about the string use, I would be a fool not to post something that illustrates it a bit better.
Despite the shift and public attitudes at the time, this is a satisfactory record.