Touch My Heart

Ray Price

Touch My Heart

Following a string of brilliant early-'60s LPs, Ray Price released the skeletal country soul album Touch My Heart in 1966. Produced by Don Law, the LP shows Price on a spiritual quest to locate the most singularly devastating songs in the Nashville canon and deliver them with the utmost sophistication. This may be the album where that search reaches its apotheosis. A shortlist of the most soul-crushing stanzas in country music would have to include the title song here, written by the highly undervalued Johnny Paycheck. It goes: “Touch my heart, feel the hurt/it's destroying me/I've tried, but I can't seem the shake her memory/Touch my heart, feel the hurt—the pain and misery/And tell me again what love can do for me.” Price’s genius was to sing lines of existential dejection as though he were caressing his granddaughter's cheek. The songs here represent torture, humiliation, and regret, while Price’s vocals embody gentility, conviction, and pride. That juxtaposition makes Touch My Heart essential.

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