Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday Snapshot - Legends of Western Swing Festival

Every year about this time, my husband (the music critic) and I cover the annual Legends of Western Swing Festival here in Wichita Falls, Texas.

This year, the Festival is celebrating it's 25th anniversary, and the kickoff concert for the weekend featured the legendary singer, Ray Price.

Here is what my husband Don had to say about this evening -

"A certifiable legendary figure in American country music, Ray Price has always been one of my favorite people to interview in my work as a music journalist, and it has been my privilege to speak with him several times over the years. He has always remembered my name, and he always passed along some of the liveliest stories and thoughtful insights into his personality during conversations that were initially supposed to go for ten minutes or so, but usually ended up lasting closer to an hour.

Considering the fact that his has been one of the most historically significant names not only in country music but American popular music for around six decades – and he helped launch the careers of many other successful entertainers whose names have become equally legendary – I never cease to be amazed that he could be so warm and friendly, so gracious, to what is, after all, just another journalist looking for a story. Maybe it's because he knew I was also a working musician for so long, too.

The last time I spoke with him, he started out by saying, “Now don’t print this, Don, but . . .” And then he told me something I'ill never forget.

He’s told me many things over the years that he didn’t want included in my final stories – his firm political opinions, some religious beliefs, what he really thought of some of the celebrities he has known over the years, his views on the modern state of country music, that sort of thing – and I sensed early on which parts he wanted me to use and which parts I should leave out. And I guess he came to trust me.

Because of his trust, I still can’t divulge what he told me in that conversation. But after just spending an evening at a show featuring him and his music, I’m amazed that he can sing with as much power, as much voice control, as much feeling, as much subtlety as ever.

Some country artists don’t truly deserve to be considered legendary figures. Their private lives become public caricatures of the songs they sing, and their self-destructive behavior is often remembered as long as the words and music they make. Hank Williams is one of those, in my opinion.

But at 86, and with no plans to ever stop performing for the fans, or “wasting the music,” as he expressed it to me, Ray Price definitely deserves the esteem he has earned in his sixty-plus years as one of the most beloved hardscrabble country boys to step up to a microphone and sing a country song.

It was beyond a pleasure to see him perform this evening, it was an honor I’ll always be grateful for."

It was truly a special evening for everyone attending!

To read Don's interview with Mr. Price - check out this link - http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/2012/jun/13/price-to-swing-thursday/

Saturday Snapshot is a weekly meme sponsored by Alyce at At Home With Books.  Click here to check out the other blogs that are participating this week!



Mary (Bookfan) said...

Wow! Thanks for telling us about Ray Price, Don!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Great shots! And what a wonderful event...thanks for sharing. And for visiting my blog.

bermudaonion said...

How fun!

Christine Harding said...

Sounds like you all had a wonderful time. My Snapshot is at http://goo.gl/vTUc8

Trish said...

What a fun evening!

Sim said...

Wonderful reading. Of course I'm very curious to know what he didn't want you to put into print...I hope it wasn't anything to do with his health; he did look a bit frail.

Bev Hankins said...

Thanks for sharing Don! Sounds like you had a great time.

Here's my Snapshot.

Pooch said...

Wonderful set of pix to go with your wonderful time!


Alyce said...

A neat way to feature info about him! Now I'm curious about what he didn't want you to share. :)

Cathy said...

This reminds me of an old jukebox that, regardless what buttons you pushed on it, would always play a certain Ray Price song. Took 'em weeks to get the thing fixed! LOL