Before his death on Dec. 16, 2013, 87-year-old Country Music Hall of Famer Ray Price had a chance to send a message to his fans from his Facebook page site, via his wife, Janie Price: “I am touched and deeply moved by your love and prayers and good wishes," Price said. “You all have moved me to tears!” Price, who had been in and out of hospitals several times that year after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer late in 2012, must have realized he was dying. “I have dedicated my entire life to country music and my fans,” Price continued. “To have folks like you supporting me still after 60 years is more than any artist could ever dream of.”
During his 65-years of entertainment and show business, Price’s smooth, debonair style earned him seven #1 hits.
City Lights brought success not just to the singer but also the songwriter
One of his song that topped the chart is “City Lights”. It twice became a #1 hit — in 1958 and again in 1975. Ray Price recorded the original version in 1958, with his version becoming a long-running #1 hit.
Bill Anderson wrote the song. "City Lights" was one of Anderson's earliest major successes. He wrote the song when he was just 19, and it was picked up by Price in the spring of 1958 when Price was country music's predominant honky-tonk singer and stylist.
According to country music historian Bill Malone, "City Lights" depicts personal isolation and "the estrangement of the individual in a world of urban anonymity." Price's "hard, lonesome vocal" and Texas shuffle beat (the styling hallmarks of his recordings from the mid-1950s through early 1960s) were prominent in his rendition.
Released in June 1958, Price's version of "City Lights" stalled at #2 on the Billboard magazine Most Played C&W by Disc Jockeys chart later that summer. When Billboard introduced its all-encompassing chart for country music (called "Hot C&W Sides") on October 20, "City Lights" was the new chart's first #1 song. It remained atop the chart for 13 weeks, its last week being January 12, 1959. The song spent a total of 34 weeks on the chart.