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May 6

Why today? The Cherokee Cowboy cut this Roger Miller-penned classic ’round midnight on this date 52 years ago.

About the record: Columbia 4-41191, recorded May 6, 1958, at Bradley Film & Recording Studio in Nashville. Released June 9 that year, reaching No. 3 on Billboard‘s country chart. First LP appearance was on Ray Price’s Greatest Hits, released in March 1961.

“Invitation To The Blues” is one of my very favorite Ray Price numbers, and that’s saying something. Great steel work by Jack Evins, and fiddle by the great Tommy Jackson. It was the B-side of the chart-topping “City Lights,” itself the first songwriting hit for Bill Anderson. (He and Miller were just two of the hot young songwriters with hit cuts on Ray Price records back then. Others include Harlan Howard and Willie Nelson.) “Thanks for sending something I can’t use” is one of the best little lines in a country song, period. Strange that Miller left it out when he recorded the song himself many years later.

About the artist: Scroll down to the search window at bottom and type in “Ray Price.” Have fun exploring what comes up.

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