In the late '60s and early '70s, the formerly bedrock country singer Ray Price reinvented himself as, for lack of a better word, the squarest of the Nashville country-crossover crooners of the time. All of a sudden, Price sounded like a soulful insurance agent, the most outgoing member of the Rotary Club, Pat Boone's country cousin backed by a full orchestra and choir. The funny thing is, Price not only made some of his most successful records at this time, but also some of his best, and none of them was more successful or better than his version of Kris Kristofferson's "For the Good Times." Kristofferson was identified with a younger and more rebellious group of rock-influenced singers, so Price's old-school countrypolitan arrangement of this resigned ballad was something of an acceptance of the songwriter by an older generation. It's not just that, though; there's a tension between the frank, real-world emotions of the lyrics -- to put it bluntly, the guy's asking for one-for-the-road breakup sex, but in such a way that you can't really tell who's leaving whom or why -- and the dignified, restrained way that Price sings them, to the accompaniment of grown-up strings, vibes and horns. That dichotomy creates a sound that's, if not unique, then at least extremely rare (see Patsy Cline's "Crazy," a similar pairing of established star and younger, risk-taking songwriter) in mainstream country music.