Ray Price / Ray Price & the Cherokee Cowboys

The Honky Tonk Years (1950-1966)

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AllMusic Review by

The Honky Tonk Years (1950-1966) is an accurate title for this mammoth ten-disc set. Tracing Ray Price's career through his heyday in the '50s and stopping in the late '60s, just as he abandoned honky tonk for country-pop, the set documents one of the finest singers and bandleaders in country music. During this era, Price had a long, impressive string of Top Ten singles -- including "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes," "I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)," "My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You," "City Lights," and the massive hit "Crazy Arms" -- and led a band that featured, at various times, such musicians as Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck, and Roger Miller. Price and his band were talented enough to make weak material, which helps make this exhaustive set interesting; after all, there's bound to be a few lesser cuts in a box that runs over 260 tracks. Though the strict chronological session order is occasionally tedious, the quality of the music far outweighs the flaws in presentation. For serious listeners and musicologists, The Honky Tonk Years is an essential purchase, since it offers a complete picture of one of the biggest figures in country music. Neophytes and casual listeners, however, are advised to stick with the single-disc collection The Essential Ray Price, simply because it is far easier to digest.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:36
2
2:36
3 2:34
4 2:25
5 2:42
6
2:43
7 3:04
8 3:06
9 2:41
10 2:58
11 3:01
12 3:01
13 3:01
14
2:49
15 3:04
16 2:34
17 2:23
18 2:42
19 3:00
20
2:38
21 2:16
22 2:26
23 2:32
24 3:06
25 2:46
26
2:41

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:58
2 2:12
3
2:20
4 2:14
5 2:45
6 2:45
7
2:19
8 2:27
9 2:47
10 2:34
11 2:47
12 2:20
13 2:46
14 2:21
15 2:59
16 2:26
17 2:43
18 2:29
19 2:41
20 2:09
21 3:00
22 2:08
23 3:01
24 2:12
25 2:28
26 2:30
27 2:24

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:46
2 2:13
3 3:03
4 2:12
5 2:35
6 2:24
7 2:15
8
2:21
9 2:35
10 2:45
11 2:57
12 2:16
13
3:10
14 2:34
15 2:26
16 2:59
17 2:14
18 2:28
19 2:24
20 2:32
21 2:31
22 2:44
23 2:46
24 2:13

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:57
2 2:46
3 2:30
4 2:08
5 2:37
6 2:41
7 2:36
8 3:08
9 2:30
10 2:11
11 2:35
12 3:25
13 2:53
14 2:27
15 2:20
16 2:53
17 2:18
18 2:17
19 3:25
20 2:26
21 2:49
22 2:37
23 2:14
24 2:34
25 2:33
26
2:21

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:47
2 3:06
3 2:39
4 2:28
5 3:06
6 2:36
7 2:09
8 2:30
9 2:10
10 2:30
11 1:55
12 2:16
13 2:25
14 2:51
15 2:08
16 2:18
17 3:01
18 2:44
19 2:49
20 3:02
21 3:01
22 2:23
23 2:52
24 2:46
25 3:04
26
2:22
27 2:50
28 2:56
29 2:54

Track Listing - Disc 6

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:00
2 3:12
3 3:56
4 4:04
5 4:00
6 2:40
7 2:54
8 2:41
9 3:20
10 3:02
11 2:36
12 3:26
13 2:51
14 2:42
15 2:42
16 2:47
17 2:55
18 2:45
19 2:53
20 2:47
21 2:26
22 3:01
23 2:49
24 2:43
25 2:53
26 2:47

Track Listing - Disc 7

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 4:22
2 2:58
3 2:41
4 2:37
5 2:14
6 2:38
7 2:43
8 2:48
9 2:40
10 2:50
11 2:19
12 3:21
13 6:54
14 3:05
15 3:01
16 2:49
17 2:52
18 3:00
19 2:44
20 2:28
21 2:26
22 3:06
23 3:40
24 2:25
25 2:42
26 2:37

Track Listing - Disc 8

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:45
2 3:09
3 3:09
4 2:38
5 2:25
6 2:32
7 2:35
8 3:07
9 2:23
10 2:41
11 2:25
12 2:32
13 3:01
14 2:15
15 2:36
16 3:00
17 2:01
18 2:33
19 2:52
20 2:58
21 3:46
22 2:44
23 3:04
24 2:31
25 2:45
26 2:21
27 2:51
28 2:56
29 2:44

Track Listing - Disc 9

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:16
2 2:38
3 2:34
4 2:31
5 3:05
6
2:59
7 2:44
8 3:15
9 2:49
10 2:38
11 2:25
12 2:26
13 3:00
14 2:49
15 3:19
16 3:32
17 2:31
18 2:48
19 3:38
20 2:21
21 3:24
22 3:16
23 2:49
24 2:33
25 3:10
26 2:47
27 3:01

Track Listing - Disc 10

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:56
2 2:34
3 2:30
4 3:25
5 2:15
6 2:52
7 2:24
8 3:02
9 2:40
10 2:28
11 3:17
12 3:23
13 3:38
14 3:04
15 3:17
16 2:50
17 2:50
18 2:47
19 3:05
20 2:24
21 3:16
22 2:56
23 3:09
24 4:03
25 2:36
26 4:58
blue highlight denotes track pick