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Jan. 12: Just because it’s a “Ray Price shuffle” doesn’t mean it HAS to be in standard 4/4 time. Here’s an example of one in waltz time, recorded on this date in 1961 — the Cherokee Cowboy’s 35th birthday. And it’s ONE-two-three-ONE-two-three-ONE-two-three …

While Price isn’t known primarily as a songwriter, he penned this, one of his 52 compositions registered with licensing organization BMI. Several of those garnered Song of the Year honors, so he was certainly no slouch in the tunesmith department. This number was the flip on a double-sided hit. “Heart Over Mind,” written by Mel Tillis and recorded the same day, reached No. 5 on the Billboard country chart, with “Twenty-Fourth Hour” stalling out at No. 12.

I like to highlight the musicians on a Ray Price record, because they’re always top-notch. Our old friend Tommy Jackson handles one of the twin fiddles, Shorty Lavender the other. Rounding out the pickers are Jimmy Day on steel, Pig Robbins on piano, Harold Bradley, Pete Wade and Johnny Paycheck on guitar, and Joe Zinkan (bass) and Steve Bess (drums) teaming on the off-beat shuffle beat.

Night Life is a great album. Of course, I feel that way about every Ray Price album made in the 1960s. If you find a copy (it exists on CD), by all means get it and play it. Do it right about now — don’t put it off till the twenty-fourth hour.