Ray Price in Hospice Care; Down Under Drama Continues; MerleFest Plans BanjoRama

Juli Thanki | December 13th, 2013

  • Ray Price has left the hospital for home hospice care. His statement 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.”  
  • Singer-songwriter Roger Tillison passed away on Monday at the age of 72.
  • After John Williamson resigned as president of the Country Music Association of Australia due to the Americanization of the Golden Guitar Awards, Troy Cassar-Daley and Adam Harvey (whose album Williamson singled out in his comments) withdrew their record from contention. Harvey posted on his Facebook page that he and Cassar-Daley withdrew because they didn’t want the awards show to be overshadowed by any drama over their nominations.
  • Chris Parton of CMT Edge posted Truth & Salvage Co.’s “Appalachian Hilltop” video.
  • Reba talks about her acting history in an interview with Jewly Hight.
  • Iron & Wine, Calexico, Kathleen Edwards, and Glen Hansard teamed up to cover one of the best Christmas songs of all time, “Fairytale of New York.” Watch here.
  • Jens Kruger, Sammy Shelor, Alison Brown, Scott Vestal, Mark Johnson, Jim Mills, Rob McCoury, Terry Baucom, Ned Luberecki, and Graham Sharp will perform at MerleFest’s “BanjoRama” next spring.
  • Kelly Clarkson’s going to appear on Nashville. 
  • Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison talk about Cheater’s Game and their annual holiday shows in this interview with Chris Gray (Houston Press).
  • Paste premiered the video for Noah Gunderson’s “Ledges.” In other Gunderson news, he’s on the new Sons of Anarchy soundtrack, which you can stream here.
  • Philly roots rockers Marah are coming out with a new record on February 25. Marah Presents Mountain Minstrelsy of Pennsylvania is based on a book of song lyrics “gathered in the mountains of Pennsylvania by folklorist Henry Shoemaker and published in 1931.” 
  • Rolling Stone premiered the video for “Spread the Love,” a song Kenny Chesney recorded with The Wailers. Proceeds from song sales go to the Spread the Love Fund, which helps provides prostheses and care to those injured during the Boston Marathon bombing.
  1. Andrew
    December 13, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    If there was every anyone who was simply born to sing, it’s Ray Price. Even in his 80s still a golden voice. He certainly didn’t let anyone down. Glad he’s at least at peace with everything.

  2. TX Music Jim
    December 13, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I saw the last of the breed tour Ray did with Willie and Merle and Asleep at the Wheel. My goodness what pipes he had. I saw him again about three years ago he would havbe been 84 and the voice was note for note perfection. One of a kind. God bless Ray and his family.

  3. Luckyoldsun
    December 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    With all the songs mentioning Hank, Lefty, Jones, Haggard, Cash, Conway, Waylon and Willie, I know of only one that names Ray Price: Dale Watson’s “Truck Stop in La Grange”!

  4. Both Kinds of Music
    December 13, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Dale has a song about riding on Ray Price’s bus, but dang if I can remember it.

  5. Rick
    December 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Sad news about Ray Price but he’s been in terrible physical condition for years.

    This Aussie country kerfuffle is very entertaining! I don’t think it will change anything in the slightest, but I applaud John Williamson for standing on his principles.

    So Kathleen Edwards is trying to fill Kirsty MacColl’s vocal shoes in “Fairytale of New York” eh? Good luck with that…

    I’m much rather see Merle Haggard on ABC’s Nashville than Kelly Clarkson. Oh well, guess I’m the wrong demographic…

    It’s a shame Valerie June didn’t sing the Hazel Dickens song “Working Girl Blues” instead.

    Quick review of last night’s Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay show at the El Cid restaurant in Silverlake, CA: It Was Awesome! (lol)

  6. Paul W Dennis
    December 15, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Lucky – the problem lies in the short succinct name – Ray Price – one syllable names without any of the ‘liquid’ vowels or consonants that can be rolled or elongated.

    Charley Pride has much the same problem – his last name has no sing-song qualities to it so unless his first name can be worked into the verse, he doesn’t get name checked much either (“Johnny’s Cash and Charley’s Pride” by Mac Wiseman is the only English language song that comes to mind)

  7. Luckyoldsun
    December 15, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Travis Tritt sang, as I recall,
    “I was raised a country singer,
    I love Charley Pride,
    Raised on ‘He Stopped Loving Her,’
    Cut my teeth on ‘Mama Tried.'”

    I can’t think of any others, off hand.

    Anyway, phonically speaking, I think “Ray Price” rolls off the tongue a helluva lot easier than “George Jones” (Unless you come to a stop between the first and last name, it’s going to come out “Georjones”) –and Jones’ name gets worked into scores of songs.

    I think it’s more about the MOR direction that Price took starting in the early ’60s. His latter music is more Perry Como than Hank Williams.

  8. Adam
    December 15, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Re: Charley Pride…

    “On a package show in Buffalo, with us and Kitty Wells and Charley Pride”- Willie Nelson, “Me and Paul”

  9. Luckyoldsun
    December 15, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    I just checked some of the major national news sites–CNN, NBC, FOX, NYT. None of them have Ray Price’s death on their front page. All of them have the death of Peter O’Toole–and CNN also has the death of Tom Laughlin of “Billy Jack” fame.

    Makes me wonder: Who among country music’s senior citizens will get Page 1 treatment in the national media when they pass?

    I’d bet on Willie, Merle, Loretta, Dolly and Kenny.

  10. Luckyoldsun
    December 15, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    So maybe Price will receive proper recognition when the time comes!

  11. Arlene
    December 16, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    @LuckyOldSun- I’d also bet on Kris Kristofferson and Glen Campbell.

  12. Luckyoldsun
    December 16, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Absolutely–Those two, as well as the ones I mentioned, were quite successful outside of country music–either in pop music, network TV, movies, or all three, so they’ll be recognized.

    And I expect Price will get some fairly substantial obits in the major newspapers. One positive aspect of the suddenly public nature of Price’s battle with death is that it will at least give some of the news and entertainment editors the opportunity to learn who he is and how big he was.

    (Several years ago, Willie was being interviewed by Larry King on CNN and in response to a question about influences or other singers, Willie mentioned Ray Price. Larry King indicated that he was unfamiliar with the name. I couldn’t tell if King really didn’t know who Ray Price was or if he was just goofing a bit. I’d have thought that an old radio veteran like King–even if he never worked at a country station–would at least know who Price was.)

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