The Essential

The Essential

by Ray PriceRay Price


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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.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/29/2007
Label: Sony
UPC: 0827969456224
catalogNumber: 94562
Rank: 25955

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ray Price   Primary Artist,Guitar
Buddy Emmons   Steel Guitar
Chet Atkins   Electric Guitar
Floyd Cramer   Piano
Crystal Gayle   Background Vocals
Johnny Gimble   Fiddle
Willie Nelson   Guitar,Vocals
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
Jimmy Belkin   Fiddle
Harold Bradley   Guitar,Electric Bass,Bass Guitar
Floyd Chance   Bass
Hank Cochran   Guitar
Ray Edenton   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Paul English   Drums
Chris Ethridge   Bass Guitar
Buddy Harman   Drums
Walter Haynes   Steel Guitar
Tommy Jackson   Fiddle
Bob Keller   Bass,Bass Guitar
Jerry Kennedy   Guitar
Buddy Killen   Bass,Bass Guitar
Douglas Kirkham   Drums
Jan Kurtis   Drums
Shorty Lavender   Fiddle
Bob Moore   Acoustic Bass
Farrell Morris   Percussion,Vibes
Jody Payne   Guitar
Leon Rhodes   Guitar
Jerry Rivers   Fiddle
Hargus "Pig" Robbins   Piano
Ray Sanders   Guitar
Velma Smith   Guitar
Bee Spears   Bass Guitar
Pete Wade   Fiddle,Guitar
Howard Watts   Bass,Bass Guitar
Tommy Williams   Guitar
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   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Bob Moore & His Orchestra   Bass,Acoustic Bass
E.A. "Highpockets" Busse   Accordion
Carroll Hubard   Fiddle
Robert "Georgia Slim" Rutland   Fiddle
William Paul Ackerman   Drums
Blondie Calderon   Keyboards,Vibes
Rusty Gabbard   Guitar
Wilson "Lefty" Perkins   Guitar
Tommy Williams   Fiddle,Guitar
Clay Allen   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Art Bishop   Guitar
Jack Evins   Steel Guitar
Eddie Martin   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
Floyd T. Lightnin' Chance   Bass Guitar
Buddy Griffin   Guitar
Red Kidwell   Bass Guitar
Georgia Slim Rutland   Fiddle
Van Howard   Background Vocals
Art Bishop   Guitar
Jack Evins   Steel Guitar
Lefty Perkins   Guitar
Bob Preston   Drums
Jim Belkin   Fiddle
Don Poole   Bass Guitar
Willie Ackerman   Drums

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
Jim Beck   Producer

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