Hear Willie Nelson’s new tribute to Ray Price on ‘It Always Will Be’

Country music legend Ray Price died in December 2013, but his legacy lives on, specifically though the actions of artists like Willie Nelson.

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Willie Nelson closes out the night at the Willie Nelson Fourth of July Picnic at Austin360 Amphitheater on July 4, 2016. Photo by Erika Rich for American-Statesman

Austin’s favorite Red-Headed Stranger wrote and recorded the love ballad “It Always Will Be” back in 2003. Price recorded the song on his last album, 2014’s “Beauty Is…” which was released shortly after his death.

Now, “It Always Will Be” appears in Nelson’s upcoming album, “For the Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price,” which will be released Sept. 16.

Read more Willie Nelson headlines on “Austin Music Source”

Nelson and Price have a long history that stretches back to the early 1960s, when Nelson played bass in the Cherokee Cowboys, Price’s touring band. His time with the band was brief, but the two of them became great friends over the years and even recorded a double album together in 2007.

The recording of the song is a full-circle moment for Nelson, he said in a video teasing the album’s release.

“People ask me who my favorite singers are, and I say, well, there’s Ray Price and there’s Frank Sinatra,” Nelson said in the video. “I don’t think there’s ever any doubt that one day I’d do a Ray Price tribute album.”

Album producer Fred Foster said, ” Ray said to me, ‘I don’t care what we do, I want to do ‘It Always Will Be.” And I know this would please Ray, that Willie’s doing this tribute to him…As much as Willie admired Ray, Ray equally admired Willie.”

Listen to the song below.


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