Friday, December 27, 2013 , Updated 9:00 a.m., December 28, 2013
Public ceremony in honor of Ray Price to be hosted in Richardson Saturday
The event was moved so it could accommodate more people.
RICHARDSON Last Saturday a memorial service was held for country music great Ray Price in his hometown of Mount Pleasant. This Saturday, there will be a public “Celebration of Life” at a Richardson church honoring the Country Music Hall of Famer, who died December 16 at the age of 87.
Initially, Price’s family was planning to hold a private service in Restland Funeral Home’s Memorial Chapel, which holds 250. But Amy Douglas at Restland says the funeral has been moved to Canyon Creek Baptist Church at 2800 Custer Parkway off Renner Road, which can accommodate about 1,700 people in the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. It’s scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.
Details are not yet available, as Douglas says the family is still planning the service. But, she says, this much is certain: Nashville disc jockey Eddie Stubbs will serve as officiant.
Stubbs was among those who spoke at Saturday’s memorial, which also included speeches from singer-songwriter Dallas Wayne and Fort Worth country-radio institution Bill Mack, who read a missive from Willie Nelson, long ago the bassist in Price’s band.
“Without a Ray Price,” said Nelson’s note, “there wouldn’t have been a Willie Nelson.”
The memorial, says Mack, was just as Price would have wanted it: “It was not a somber, overly sad gathering,” says the disc jockey. “People wee aware that he had pancreatic cancer, which had moved into his liver and lungs, and it was obvious he wasn’t going to be with us long. When they had the fiddle players up there, you could almost see Ray in the wings waiting to step out. That was tough. That hurt. But I don’t think any of the speeches presented …” Mack pauses. “Sadness.”
Mack says the singer of “Release Me,” “Crazy Arms” and “For the Good Times” actually finished a record shortly before his death, and that he never sounded better.
“As he added the years,” says Mack, “his voice seemed to get better.”
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