The Essential Ray Price

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
There was a previous Ray Price compilation on Columbia/Legacy, The Essential Ray Price: 1951-1962, with an almost identical title to this 2007 release. This one is an entirely different anthology, however; not only is it merely titled The Essential Ray Price, but it's considerably bigger and its chronological span is much wider, as the two-CD, 40-track set covers material from 1950 to 1980. An astonishing 31 of these recordings were Top Ten country hits, which alone makes it a valuable summary of Price's most well known music. Of more importance, however, is how it charts Price's artistic journey from a fairly raw honky-tonker to one of country's most popular ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
There was a previous Ray Price compilation on Columbia/Legacy, The Essential Ray Price: 1951-1962, with an almost identical title to this 2007 release. This one is an entirely different anthology, however; not only is it merely titled The Essential Ray Price, but it's considerably bigger and its chronological span is much wider, as the two-CD, 40-track set covers material from 1950 to 1980. An astonishing 31 of these recordings were Top Ten country hits, which alone makes it a valuable summary of Price's most well known music. Of more importance, however, is how it charts Price's artistic journey from a fairly raw honky-tonker to one of country's most popular country-pop crooners. Hard country fans, of course, will be most impressed by the honky tonk sides (especially on disc one, all of which was cut in 1950-1961), and those who know Price primarily for smoothies like "For the Good Times" (which is on disc two, of course) will be surprised by the relatively hard-kicking tracks from his early years (including huge hits like "Heartaches by the Number" and "Crazy Arms"). There's a mixed blessing to a Price comp that covers thirty years, though; for all the success of his later work, there's no denying that it helped paved the way for bland countrypolitan, particularly when he started piling on strings and vocal choruses. Even in those years, however, he was recording songs by top composers like Willie Nelson, Hank Cochran, the team of Boudleaux Bryant and Felice Bryant, and (on his 1970 smashes "For the Good Times" and "I'd Rather Be Sorry") Kris Kristofferson. The Essential Ray Price: 1951-1962 is probably essential enough for those who prefer to remember Price in his honky-tonkiest days, but this two-disc anthology gives a more complete view of why he was a country music giant, without sacrificing much from the early years in which he was truest to his roots.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/29/2007
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969456224
  • Catalog Number: 94562
  • Sales rank: 7,960

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ray Price Primary Artist
Buddy Emmons Steel Guitar
Chet Atkins Electric Guitar
Floyd Cramer Piano
Crystal Gayle Background Vocals
Johnny Gimble Fiddle
Willie Nelson Guitar
Buddy Spicher Fiddle
Leon Russell Piano
Roger Miller Guitar
Pete Drake Steel Guitar
Jimmy Day Steel Guitar
Don Helms Steel Guitar
Grady Martin Guitar
Bill Pursell Piano
Will Ackerman Drums
Jimmy Belkin Fiddle
Harold Bradley Guitar, Electric Bass
Floyd Chance Bass
Hank Cochran Guitar
Ray Edenton Rhythm Guitar
Paul English Drums
Buddy Harman Drums
Walter Haynes Steel Guitar
Tommy Jackson Fiddle
Bob Keller Bass
Jerry Kennedy Guitar
Buddy Killen Bass
Douglas Kirkham Drums
Jan Kurtis Drums
Shorty Lavender Fiddle
Farrell Morris Percussion, Vibes
Jody Payne Guitar
Leon Rhodes Guitar
Jerry Rivers Fiddle
Hargus "Pig" Robbins Piano
Ray Sanders Guitar
Velma Smith Guitar
Pete Wade Fiddle, Guitar
Howard Watts Bass
Joe Zinkan Bass, Acoustic Bass
Cecil Brower Fiddle
Farris Coursey Drums
Marvin Hughes Piano
Marvin Montgomery Mandolin
Dale Potter Fiddle
Paul Blunt Steel Guitar
George McCoy Steel Guitar
Darrell McCall Rhythm Guitar
Bob Moore & His Orchestra Bass, Acoustic Bass
E.A. "Highpockets" Busse Accordion
Carroll Hubard Fiddle
Robert "Georgia Slim" Rutland Fiddle
Blondie Calderon Keyboards, Vibes
Rusty Gabbard Guitar
Wilson "Lefty" Perkins Guitar
Tommy Williams Jr. Fiddle, Guitar
Clay Allen Rhythm Guitar
Art Bishop Guitar
Jack Evins Steel Guitar
Don Poole Bass
Steve Bess Drums
Eddie Martin Steel Guitar
Buddy Griffin & His Orchestra Rhythm Guitar
Samuel K. "Sammy" Pruett Guitar, Electric Guitar
Fred Burkhalter Piano
Van Howard Guitar, Vocal Harmony
Donny "Johnny Paycheck" Lytle Guitar
Spider Wilson Guitar
Technical Credits
Willie Nelson Producer, Duet
Grady Martin Producer
Frank Jones Producer
Don Law Producer
Jim Weatherly Composer
Rich Kienzle Liner Notes
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Vic Anesini Mastering
Jim Beck Producer
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