Friend of Ray Price reminisces about star's unique sound - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Friend of Ray Price reminisces about star's unique sound, illustrious career

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Disc Jockey remembers Ray Price's first albums. Disc Jockey remembers Ray Price's first albums.
East Texas native and Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Price has returned to his Mount Pleasant home for home hospice care.

In 2011, Price was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and, despite aggressive treatment, the cancer continues to spread. 

Hospital officials said Price has decided to leave ETMC in Tyler and not pursue any further treatment. 

Disc jockey Tom Perryman said he and Price both started their careers in the country music business more than 60 years ago.

"Ray was smart. He went to college, he was in the Marine Corps, he studied to be a veteran...really intelligent," Perryman said.  

Price started making records in 1949 and Perryman was there to play them over the airwaves.
"The first big record he had was in 1956, and it was a song called "Crazy Arms" that stayed number one for 20 weeks on the billboard charts; it was in the charts for over 40 weeks," Perryman explained. 

Perryman called Price a "trendsetter" whose song "Crazy Arms" featured a 4/4 rhythm, which eventually became known as the "RayPprice shuffle".

"A local East Texas boy is in the national Texas Country Music Hall of Fame from the CMA. We started a Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage and he is in that one. Everybody who is anybody in the national hall of fame that was born in Texas is in the Carthage Hall of Fame," Perryman said. 

"He's got every kind of award you can think of," Perryman said. 

Perryman said he was there when Price introduced his new song, "Danny Boy," which took his music in a new direction.

Perryman said some of the "old time traditionalists" called Price's new music "pop" and said they would not play his music anymore, but Perryman said he loved it, and others did too. 

"When he started using those arrangements and those strings, and those orchestras, and they fit his voice so perfectly ... I don't know how in the world he can still sound that good even until he began to get sick," Perryman said.

Perryman said he cannot wait to hear that sound again when Price's new album is released next year. 

Price released this statement as a final message to his fans:

"I love my fans and have devoted my life to reaching out to them. I appreciate their support all these years and I hope I haven't let them down. I am at peace. I love Jesus. I'm going to be just fine. Don't worry about me. I'll see you again one day."

If you would like to send Price a message, you can do so through Facebook, or mail a card to P.O. Box 1986, Mt. Pleasant, TX 75456.

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