If Ray Price's entire career consisted of just one song, it would be enough. "For the Good Times" is epic in its simplicity. It was written by a young Kris Kristofferson, but Price totally made it his own. There's nothing whatsoever flashy about it. Every word of the lyrics are audible, there's no wild solos or craziness, and it's laced with strings. Everything about the song says I should hate it. Except for one thing. It's such a gut wrenchingly sad song that it transcends just about everything you can throw at it. It's old fart music, it's watered down country crossover schmaltz, it's sappy, and so on. But, if you've ever had the fire go out of a relationship (and most of us have), you'll relate. It's like trying to rekindle a flame with green wood.
Price had a long career, forty-plus years, and his pre-crossover stuff is really the good shit. A lot more of what you'd think of as classic country and western. Listen to "Kissing Your Picture" (below). Dude was one sad sack, even then, due in large part to that voice. It seems made for tearjerkers. Which makes his passing today even sadder. He died at home today after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 87.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
Ray Price - For the Good Times mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban 1970
Ray Price - Kissing Your Picture mp3 at Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban 1959
Ray Price - Heart Over Mind mp3 at Beware of the Blog 1961
Ray Price at Wikipedia
Ray Price discography at Wikipedia