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Country music icon Ray Price's memorabilia goes on display in Carthage, Texas

Chris Keating

Country music icon and Texas native Ray Price will be honored in a new exhibit that opens Saturday at the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage. Price died in 2013 in Mount Pleasant, Texas, at the age of 87.

Artifacts set to go on display include some of Price’s Nudie suits.  These were the decorative rhinestone-covered suits – custom-made couture for the icon who defined two major eras of country music, according to Carthage Chamber of Commerce president Tommie Ritter Smith.

“Nudie Cohn was a tailor in Nashville for many, many years and he did all the blinged-out suits stars wore at the time and some still wear today,” Ritter Smith said, who also runs the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame museum.

Price’s barroom shuffle classics made him a master of the honky-tonk style of the early 1950s. The two-time Grammy winner is best known for his string of smooth ballads throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Ritter Smith says there are some surprises in the memorabilia on display, like a custom saddle.

“It’s a great tribute to his music and his career, and even some personal things like his race horses and that kind of thing that some people don’t know about him,” Ritter Smith said.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. Ray Price’s widow, Janie Price, will be on hand to discuss the exhibit. Fans will be able to tour the exhibit free of charge Saturday.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.
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