Ray Price

Touch My Heart

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Touch My Heart is the 1966 follow-up to Ray Price's über-masterpiece Burning Memories. Issued two whole years later, this is in many ways a retrenchment for Price, who left the vast layers of strings off this one and, with producer Don Law, concentrated on a more organic approach, but could not give up the ballad style he was forging. While Touch My Heart features a more directly connected "country" sound, it is no less a pop album than the ingenious Burning Memories. Re-employing songs by Hank Cochran and Willie Nelson and drawing from the Bakersfield sound (instead of Buck Owens, this time Price used Merle Haggard and his classic "Swinging Doors"), he also relied heavily on former bandmember Johnny Paycheck for the title track and Dallas Frazier's hit "There Goes My Everything." The band is scaled back and the strings aren't quite so sweeping, but there is still plenty of the new Price grafted onto the sound of his old honky tonk singer. While the aforementioned make up the album's highlights -- especially the four Cochran tunes -- other notable moments include Price's cover of Marty Robbins' "The Same Two Lips" and Jeannie Seely's "Enough to Lie" for insurance. As suggested on the earlier Burning Memories, Touch My Heart is full of amazing contradictions and wondrous moments of musical whimsy and inspiration, while managing to hold together not only as an album, but as an enduring country classic. Touch My Heart is available on CD as part of a two-fer with Burning Memories from Audium, distributed by Koch. Necessary.

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