Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Price remained in stable condition Monday (Dec. 9) at a Texas hospital following complications related to pancreatic cancer.
The 87-year-old singer was hospitalized in October after being diagnosed with sepsis, a complication of an infection when chemicals released into the bloodstream to fight the infection cause inflammation throughout the body. He was dismissed from the hospital and spent Thanksgiving Day at home before returning to the intensive care unit of East Texas Medical Center in Tyler, Texas, on Dec. 2.
In a Facebook posting, longtime friend Bill Mack, a member of the Country DJ Hall of Fame, said he had a lengthy phone conversation with Price’s wife Janie on Sunday.
“The pancreatic cancer, as expected, is causing additional, serious issues, although he is now in ’stable’ condition — after going through a ’very tough week,'” Mack reported.
During a November 2012 interview with the San Antonio Express-News newspaper, Price revealed he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. At the time, he acknowledged he had been receiving chemotherapy for six months. The cancer was discovered while his gallbladder was being removed after a gall stone attack.
Price began his career as a honky-tonk singer, charting his first single (“Talk to Your Heart”) in 1952 and scoring his first No. 1 (“Crazy Arms”) in 1956. “Crazy Arms” spent 20 weeks at the top of Billboard’s country songs chart. Price continued in the honky-tonk vein throughout the ’50s and enjoyed No. 1 singles with “City Lights” and “Heartaches by the Number.”
His greatest mainstream success came in 1970 with his recording of Kris Kristofferson’s “For the Good Times.” With his smooth vocal style set against a lush orchestra, it reached No. 1 on the country chart and was also a major pop hit.