Ray Price

I Won't Mention It Again

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The singer/songwriter movement wrought fundamental changes in the lyrics, chord progressions, and attitudes of country music -- changes that were arguably more profound than those of the Nashville sound era. Whereas the Nashville sound was a production style that draped essentially "country" music in pop trappings, the singer/songwriters materially altered the nature of the songs. Kris Kristofferson was one of the leading forces in the world of progressive country in the early '70s, and I Won't Mention It Again paired legendary honky tonker Ray Price with Kristofferson's songs. The result was very successful: the title track spent three weeks at number one and nearly reached the pop Top 40 (thanks to the hipness and rock orientation of Kristofferson's style), and "I'd Rather Be Sorry" was a respectable crossover hit as well. It is hard to say whether Price sounds uncomfortable or simply unfamiliar in the context of the "new" country music, but his age -- which is apparent in his voice -- contrasts strangely with Kristofferson's aggressively contemporary lyrics. The strong sales of this material suggests that it was either artistically successful or, perhaps more likely, a palatable midway point between the old and the new during a time of transition.

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