Ray Price, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, has announced he is battling pancreatic cancer.
The singer told the San Antonio Express that he has been fighting the disease for six months, undergoing chemotherapy. He confirmed that the tumor has not grown, and is optimistic for a recovery.
The 86-year old Price is set to record a new album - his first since 2007 - titled "Love Songs in Nashville" later this month. He also said that he plans to play well over 100 dates in the coming year.
Born January 12, 1926, in Perryville, Texas, Price signed with Columbia Records in 1949. His debut single, 1950's "Jealous Lies," failed to chart, but he hit the top ten for the first time two years later with "Talk To Your Heart." It would be the first of a long line of hits on the Billboard Country Singles chart that would last through the 1980s.
Price was represented on the charts as recently as 2007, through his collaborative effort with Willie Nelson - a former member of the Cherokee Cowboys - and Merle Haggard titled "Last Of The Breed," which peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Country Albums chart.
As a singer, Price has demonstrated a versatility unmatched by few of his peers. He has had success with traditional country (1956's "Crazy Arms"), western-swing (His 1962 "San Antonio Rose" album is regarded as a classic in the genre), and more crossover-styled material ("For The Good Times," a 1970 single from the pen of Kris Kristofferson, hit No. 1 on the country charts and No. 11 on the pop lists, and also won him a Grammy). Price was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996.