- Kenny Price
James Kenneth "Kenny" Price (
May 27, 1931- August 4, 1987) was an accomplished singer, songwriter, and actor.
He was born in
Florence, Kentuckyand raised on a farm in Boone County, Kentucky. Price learned to play guitarwhen he was five years old. At age 14, he started playing live music for WZIP in Covington, Kentucky. From 1952 until 1954, Price served in the U.S. Armyduring the Korean War, reaching the rank of corporal. While stationed in Korea, he auditioned for a USOshow, and before being discharged, he had decided to become a professional musician. He studied for a brief time at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Musicand became a musician on Midwestern Hayrideon WLWT, eventually taking over as the show's host until it went off the air in the early 70s.
He first recorded for Boone Records, then moved on to RCA in 1969, where he stayed until 1976. For most of his career, Price worked with Ray Pennington, whose style complimented his own. Price had 34 singles chart in his career, including "Walking on the New Grass" (a top 10 hit in 1966), "Happy Tracks," "Northeast Arkansas Mississippi County Bootlegger" (a top 20 hit in 1969), and "The Sheriff of Boone County" (a pop crossover that hit the top 10). His novelty number "(This Is) The Shortest Song in the World," written with record producer Ronny Light, enjoyed some airplay after its release on album in 1970.
In 1976 Price relocated to Nashville and became a regular on the television variety show
Hee Haw. (He remained with the show until his death). He served as the bass vocalist for the beloved Hee Haw Gospel Quartet, which included Grandpa Jones, Buck Owens, and Roy Clark. Price and fellow Hee Haw cast member Lulu Romangot their own short-lived spin-off series called Hee Haw Honeys, which ran from 1978-1979. Price and Roman guest starred on two episodes of The Love Boat. He later had a small role in the film Cold Justice, which was released after his death.
His wife, Donna Price, wrote a few memorable tunes for him, including the hit "Let's Truck Together." In the mid-1980s, Kenny & Donna starred in their own Nashville Network (TNN) travelogue series called Wish You Were Here, where they would travel across the United States in their RV and show you all the places you can go.
Standing six feet tall and weighing nearly 300 pounds for most of his professional career, he was nicknamed "The Round Mound of Sound". Many of his comedic songs made reference to his size -- "The Heavyweight" is an obvious example. In later years he dropped a significant amount of weight and lampooned himself in the song "The Boone County Weight Watchers of America."
Price died of
heart failurein 1987, and is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Parkin Erlanger, Kentucky.
* "One Hit Follows Another" (1967 - Boone)
* "Southern Bound" (1967 - Boone)
* "Walking on New Grass" (1969 - RCA)
* "Happy Tracks" (1969 - RCA)
* "The Heavyweight" (1970 - RCA)
* "Northeast Arkansas Mississippi County Bootlegger" (1970 - RCA)
* "Charlotte Fever" (1971 - RCA)
* "The Sheriff of Boone County" (1971 - RCA)
* "A Red Foley Songbook" (1971 - RCA)
* "Sea of Heartbreak (And Other Don Gibson Hits)" (1972 - RCA)
* "Super Sideman" (1972 - RCA)
* "You Almost Slipped My Mind" (1972 - RCA)
* "30 California Women" (1973 - RCA)
* "Turn on Your Light and Let It Shine" (1974 - RCA)
* "Heavy Duty Country" (1979 - MRC)
* "The Best of Both" (1980 - Dimension)
* "A Pocket Full of Tunes" (1982 - Summit) - Features nine Price originals.
* "A Pocket Full of Tunes" (1982 - Phonorama) - The closest thing to a "greatest hits" album in his catalog, all newly recorded. Contains three tracks from the Summit Records album.
* "The Hee Haw Gospel Quartet" (1984 - Hee Haw)
* "Gospel" (1986)
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=20706 Find-A-Grave profile for Kenny Price]
* [http://www.cmt.com/artists/az/price_kenny/bio.jhtml CMT bio]
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