RICHARDSON, Texas — Inside the Canyon Creek Baptist Church Saturday in Richardson, people remembered Country Music Hall of Famer Ray Price for many things, but continued to come back to that one thing.
"I considered him the voice," said Janie Fricke. "His voice was incredible. It reaches out. It's a magical voice."
Grammy award nominated singer Janie Fricke was among the hundreds who attended Price's service. Fricke said Price was a pioneer whose talent spanned generations.
“No one could touch the uniqueness of Ray Price,” she said.
Price died on Dec. 16 at his home in Mt. Pleasant after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 86.
A private memorial service was held in Mt .Pleasant, but Saturday's service was a public celebration of his life and included his colleagues in the music business, as well as fans.
Elinor Barnett said she listened to Price's music as a little girl.
"My father was a huge fan," she said "His name was Lloyd Walker and he had albums. He took me to see Mr. Price. His voice was always marvelous and golden, just an enchanting style."
Singer Johnny Bush was in Price's band in the 1960s. He recalled that Price didn't have to do much to keep sometimes rowdy musicians in line.
"Ray had the innate ability to bring out the best in his musicians without demanding," Bush said.
Price's baritone was considered by some to be one of the best male vocals in country music.
Nashville disc jockey Eddie Stubbs officiated the service.
Fort Worth country radio personality Bill Mack read a statement from Willie Nelson, who used to be a bassist in Price’s band.
"Without a Ray Price, there wouldn’t have been a Willie Nelson," he wrote.
Mack said the singer of "Release Me," "Crazy Arms" and "For the Good Times" finished a record just before his death. He said Price never sounded better.