Country Legend Ray Price Dead At 87

Ray_PriceRay Price, star of the 1950s honky tonk music boom, has passed away from pancreatic cancer, a family spokesperson has confirmed.

As one of country music’s early stars, Price helped transition the genre from hillbilly and cowboy music to the more danceable honky tonk variety, and set the stage for the rockabilly and outlaw country waves to come in the ’60s and ’70s. His band, the Cherokee Cowboys, included (at one time or another) future stars Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Buddy Emmons, and Johnny Paycheck. Price had a number of hit singles in the ’50s and through the ’60s (when he transitioned to the more commercial “Nashville sound”), and was the first artist to have a hit with “Release Me” (later a worldwide smash for Engelbert Humperdinck).

Price continued to tour and perform until his illness in 2012, releasing Last of the Breed, with Nelson and Merle Haggard, in 2007.

Enjoy some classic honky tonk and bid farewell to Ray Price.

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Honky Tonks Where Country Learned To Stomp

Riffs, Rants & Rumors: Celebrate the Weed Laws with Rock's Top 10 Stoners

Sure, there was some kind of election or something last week”at least we think that’s what we heard coming out of the mouths of the TV pundits. Honestly, we kind of stopped paying attention after a while, at least until the news broke about a truly earth-shattering political breakthrough. While the rest of the world was focused on whichever one of those guys with the suits and ties walked away with the prize, we were captivated by a revolutionary piece of legislation that proved to be election night’s biggest surprise: the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Washington and Colorado. While this monumental move has been the dream of stoners all over America for decades, it must be assumed that the passing of what we like to call The Bong Bill will be most widely celebrated in the realm of rock ‘n’ roll. To commemorate the dawning of a new era for uncontrolled substances, let’s look back at some of rock’s most notorious stoners, who are sure to be holding their lighters aloft in honor of these epochal developments.

Black Sabbath

Just for starters, one of their earliest albums introduced the much-covered metal marijuana anthem Sweet Leaf. But beyond that musical love letter to THC, Ozzy Osbourne is one of rock’s most titanic tokers, to the point that he ultimately changed his stance on legalization in recognition of the damage drugs had done to his neurological system. Granted, we’re talking about a lot more than merely pot in Ozzy’s case, but nevertheless, Sabbath are still stoner-rock (more…)

Metal Monday: How To Close A Career The Isis Way

Perhaps one of the touchiest subjects in all of music is the decision of when an artist or band should call it quits and throw in the towel“especially if they’re one of your favorites or an incredibly revered act. Some artists, such as Ella Fitzgerald or Willie Nelson, have the capacity to be great late into their lives; others perhaps not so much (at the risk of offending someone, I’ll let you think of your own here). In some instances, such as the case with Isis, they decide to call it a day before many fans were really ready or it seemed sensible to do so. Many people, including myself, were shocked and a bit saddened by the news that Isis decided to break with a fantastically crafted goodbye letter to everyone via their blog. But this wasn’t actually the end of Isis, not completely anyway.

Not long after their May 18th announcement, Isis announced the dates of their farewell tour, released information about the series of live EPs that would come a year later, and alluded to other plans that would would be announced in the future. Not too long ago now these plans came to fruition when Isis revealed the details for their upcoming collection, Temporal, which will be released on November 6th. This is a collection of rarities, unreleased remixes and each of the band’s music videos“not just a “best of” release.

Sound and Vision: Why Is the World So Obsessed with Lionel Richie Right Now?

Life is full of surprises, and sometimes, so is pop music. In recent weeks, it’s recovered its long-dormant ability to shock, or at least catch us off guard with the unlikely hit, or the unexpected comeback.

Several months ago, I never dreamed I would ever ask the question that is the title of this article. It had been more than twenty-five years since Lionel Richie’s commercial heyday, and on the charts, he had been succeeded by younger romantic leads in pop and R&B many times over (Babyface, Usher, Ne-Yo, among others).

Then came one of those surprise developments seldom seen in pop anymore: On Billboard magazine’s Top 200 album chart for the week following the March 26 release of Tuskegee, Richie’s first studio album since 2009’s Just Go (which didn’t make the US Top 20 and failed to go gold), he debuted at No. 2 with first-week sales of 199,000 copies, right behind Madonna’s latest, MDNA.


Exclusive Q and A: Darryl Worley Gears up for 'One Time Around'

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsDarryl Worley fans are in for a red-hot summer.

Worley’s first album in two years, One Time Around, is slated for June release, the same month he’ll host the three-day BamaJam music extravaganza, and that’s just for starters.

The man behind more than twenty charted hit singles including A Good Day to Run, I Miss My Friend, Have you Forgotten and more took some time from his busy schedule to talk to OurStage about his latest single, his new album and more.

OS: We’ve missed you! Where have you been?

DW: I took a little time off. I have still been touring but I put the whole routine of grinding out one album after another on hold for a while. I have a little four-year-old daughter and I needed to eliminate something from my busy schedule to be a better dad. We toured pretty heavily last year and had a good year, but we’ve been off the radio for almost two years now. I got back in the mood to work on music. I made my own record on my own dime. I had no problem putting a deal together…with complete funding from outside sources.

We have a real determined team of people together that are excited to make this thing work and we’re having a blast working it. Watching it start to grow is a hoot. It’s your baby and people out there are very receptive.


Farewell Chris Ethridge, Musician and Songwriter

Online sources are confirming the loss today of yet another great artist, Chris Ethridge, songwriter, pianist, and bassist with Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons, Willie Nelson, and more. Ethridge is said to have been battling pancreatic cancer.

Flying Burrito Brothers (Chris Ethridge, top right)

In addition to working together during and after their time as members of the enormously influential Flying Burrito Brothers, Ethridge and Parsons also co-wrote the classics Hot Burrito #1 (I’m Your Toy) and She, both of which have been covered over the years by artists as diverse as Elvis Costello, Nora Jones, The Pretenders, The Black Crowes, and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Ethridge also performed as a session musician with many legendary artists and was reportedly an active member of the Sacramento CA music community. He was 65 years old.

“@willienelson: WN&F are sad to hear of the passing of Family member & friend Chris Ethridge he was a talented musician & we were honored to call him Family”

“@BookerTJones: We knew it was coming – just thankful for his smiling face/loping bass – RIP Chris Ethridge – love to Necia, Karen, Miss Eleanor, John, Zach”