An awful lot has been written about Ray Price, so for multiple reasons I’ll abstain from going on. However, it can’t be said enough that the man was awesome. Country music, people. It’s a weird thing and everyone knows it. It was back then, too. I’m posting a collection of Ray Price intros WFMU culled together that the ace of a session-fiddle player Tommy Jackson starts off almost the exact same way every time. And yet I still love these songs. This wouldn’t be acceptable today! Of course, in some ways the same thing still happens, but you get the point.
Back in the late 50s-early 60s people would very often go to dances and hear music for the first time, and The Cherokee Cowboy hit that circuit hard. One of my favorite records by Ray Price is “Night Life,” songs dedicated, you’d imagine, to the seeder and, admittedly, more fun times of life. “The night life ain’t no good life/but it’s my life.” That self-effacing seriousness is what gets me. Willie Nelson wrote the title song for him and spares the sauntering sermon that Ray delivers on his version, however I believe them both. And that doesn’t happen too much.
Here are some tunes to jam (click, then download/stream):