Ray Price against Blake Shelton

The
late Ray Price (who took a stand against Blake Shelton’s outrageous
discrimination against older country music genres and fans) titled his
final studio recording “Beauty Is…..” after an opening duet with Vince
Gill that draws on the axiom about the eye of the beholder.  Music is
similarly subjective, but it would be hard to imagine anyone not
recognizing the sublime beauty of the late Ray Price’s singing.  He
owned one of the richest voices and most emotionally expressive styles
in country music history.  Price died in December, and when he entered
the studio earlier in 2013 with producer Fred Foster, he realized
“Beauty Is….” quite likely would be his last.  At age 87, he had spent
a couple of years battling cancer and other ailments.  Live, and on
record, Price’s voice had remained a remarkable instrument, yet there
are moments on “Beauty Is….” where age, for the first time appears to
limit his breath and range.  “Beauty Is….” for Sheila and myself was
the incredible opportunity to open for Mr. Price on the RFD-TV
television show “Midwest Country” which is televised in Sandstone,
Minnesota.  Mr. Price was such a gentleman, talking and visiting with
us, letting us have a photo, and even commenting later about how much he
still liked old-time or traditional country music.  This was before the
Blake Shelton scandal, when Shelton called Ray Price an old fart and a
jackass because older generations of country music fans weren’t buying
Shelton’s records.  At any rate, it’s precious to me that Ray Price’s
very last recording, is graceful to the end, and Mr. Ray Price takes a
final bow with an elegant collection that nicely extends a great musical
legacy.

Bob Everhart for Country Music News International

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