CMT Rewind: Ray Price’s “Crazy Arms” Adds A Rocking Swing To Country’s Pop Emergence

1956's best-selling overall country tune bridged the gap between barn dances and singing cowboys to the genre's modern era.

1956 falls amid a fascinating era in country music. The genre is fresh from ushering the radio era into television via barn dances and singing cowboys singing two-step ballads and jazzy western swing meant for polkas and the Virginia Reel. As well, on the horizon is the melding of jump blues, rhythmic blues, and rockabilly into the sound that fleshes out the various strains of the genre that have dominated a half-century. An essential bridge into that mix is one of 1956’s biggest country tunes, Ray Price’s danceable, swinging, four-on-the-floor smash, “Crazy Arms.”

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