Ray Price 000

Ray Price 000

Look closer for four song lyrics and two song titles: “If anyone should ever write my life’s story”(You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me); “Heartaches by the number, troubles by the score”(Heartaches by the Number); “Lay your head upon my pillow”(For the Good Times); “Well the night life ain’t no good life but it’s my life”(Night Life); Release Me; Crazy Arms

Why is Ray Price numbered as 000 ?

Ray Price @ Waterloo Park

Look closer for one song title, and following text: For the Good Times; “Perryville, Texas” (Ray’s hometown); “Cherokee Cowboys” (Price’s band); “Austin City Limits” (the show that covered SXSW)  

The first time I drew Ray Price was in February of 2000. A co-worker and friend of mine was preparing a South By Southwest (SXSW) program guide. SXSW is an annual music/technology festival held during spring break in Austin, Texas. Chris Houston and I were part of the Ginny’s Printing dream-team that serviced Dell Computer at the height of Dell’s global dominance. Chris and his friend Alan Goldstein had published a program guide for the music festival for five years. Sadly, after the publishing of the guide and the first musician portrait was illustrated, Chris became one of the victims of the Ford Explorer/Firestone Tires tragedies. Fifteen years later I started drawing the musician illustrations again. Recently, I ran into Alan and asked about the Ray Price drawing. The original could not be found, but he did in fact have one of the program guides (pictured above). 
Rest In Peace, Chris Houston. These prints are dedicated to your memory.

Noble Ray Price (01-12-1926 to 12-16-2013) was an American country music singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His wide-ranging baritone is regarded as among the best male voices of country music, and his innovations, such as propelling the country beat from 2/4 to 4/4, known as the “Ray Price beat”, helped make country music more popular. Some of his well-known recordings include “Release Me”, “Crazy Arms”, “Heartaches by the Number”, “For the Good Times”, “Night Life”, and “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me”. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996, and continued touring into his 80s.

Ray Price was born on a farm near Peach, which is near Perryville, Texas. Son of Walter Clifton Price and Clara Mae Bradley Cimini, he was three years old when his parents divorced and his mother moved to Dallas, Texas. Then he split time between Dallas and the family farm, where his father had remained. Price’s mother and step-father were successful fashion designers and wanted him to take up that line of work but it had little appeal to him.

Price began singing and playing guitar as a teenager but at first pursued a career in veterinary medicine at North Texas Agricultural College His studies were interrupted by America’s entry into World War II. In 1944 he was drafted into the United States Marine Corps, Pacific Theater. He returned to the college after the war, and later (1972) was honored as a distinguished alumnus.

After the war and college, Price rethought his decision to continue schooling to be a veterinarian; he was considered too small to work with large cattle and horses, the backbone of a Texas veterinarian’s practice. While helping around his father’s ranch he also began singing at various functions around Abilene. This led him to sing on the radio program Hillbilly Circus broadcast on Abilene’s KRBC in 1948. He joined the Big D Jamboree on Dallas radio station KRLD (AM) in 1949. The show was picked up by the CBS radio network shortly thereafter and Price had his first national exposure. Price soon became friends with Lefty Frizzell. The two first met at Beck Recording Studio in Dallas, and Price ended up writing the song “Give Me More, More, More Of Your Kisses” for Frizzell’s use. A few demos recorded by Price at Beck’s caught the attention of Bullet Records in Nashville, Tennessee, and he was signed to his first recording contract. However, his first single released on Bullet, “Jealous Lies” failed to be a chart hit.

He relocated to Nashville in the early 1950s, rooming for a brief time with Hank Williams. When Williams died, Price managed his band, the Drifting Cowboys, and had minor success. He was the first artist to have a success with the song “Release Me” (1954), a top five popular music hit for Engelbert Humperdinck in 1967. In 1953, Price formed his band, the Cherokee Cowboys. Among its members during the late 1950s and early 1960s were Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Darrell McCall, Van Howard, Johnny Paycheck, Johnny Bush, Buddy Emmons, and Buddy Spicher. Miller wrote one of Ray Price’s classics in 1958, “Invitation to the Blues”, and sang harmony on the recording. Additionally, Nelson composed the Ray Price song “Night Life”. Price became one of the stalwarts of 1950s honky tonk music, with hit songs such as “Talk To Your Heart” (1952) and “Release Me”. He later developed the famous “Ray Price Shuffle,” a 4/4 arrangement of honky tonk music with a walking bassline, which can be heard on “Crazy Arms” (1956) and many of his other recordings from the late 1950s.

The artwork:

The first print of this illustration was sold at a silent auction to benefit folks living with Down’s Syndrome. Down Home Ranch provides daily social, educational, residential and vocational opportunities to over 40 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, empowering them to become the best version of themselves.

Digital Print on Archival Matte – Original illustration done in graphite and the following prisma colors: Peach for the small town near Perryville where Ray was born and raised. Indigo Blue, Dark Brown, and Burnt Ochre for a Cherokee Cowboy look. . .
DERIVATIVE Work – photo credit: 1588069850Ray Price findcelebritywiki_com

What you get:
$40 (36.95 + 3.05 tax)
11 x 14 Print Package with Authenticity Sheet
signed and numbered (run of 30)
Domestic Priority Mail $8
(Free shipping)

Ray Price 000

Remix of the Club NelRay 2000 SXSW Tipsheet cover art.


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