Goodbye to an old friend

“Don’t look so sad, I know it’s over

“But life goes on and this old world will keep on turning . . . “

When the best songwriter of mid-20th century America met the best voice in country music, the result was a No. 1 song called “For The Good Times.”

It was a song where we held on tightly to girlfriends as we danced, teared up over lost loves while listening to, and generally marveled at every time it played on a radio station.

The songwriter was Kris Kristofferson (now of Hana) and the best voice in country music was Ray Price. Their collaboration in 1970 resulted in a song that went to No. 1 on the country charts and No. 11 on the pop billboard. Price won a Grammy for best country music vocal performance.

Price died this week at age 87 from pancreatic cancer after a six-decade career where he introduced innovations into country music (the 4/4 shuffle beat and lush orchestration), championed young artists like Willie Nelson and Roger Miller, and wowed audiences every time he set foot on stage.

He was such a talented vocalist that a show we saw when he was well into his 70s featured everything from a very country “My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You” to the Irish ballad “Danny Boy.” In 2009, Price toured with a big band and sang pop standards like “Just Bummin’ Around” and “You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You.”

In 2007, Price toured with Nelson and Merle Haggard promoting their album “Last of the Breed.” Rolling Stone quotes Haggard as telling Nelson after the tour, “That old man (Price) gave us a singing lesson.”

But it was his covering of Kristofferson’s songs that we will always remember. “Help Me Make It Through The Night,” “I’d Rather Be Sorry,” and, of course, “For The Good Times” had Price expressing Kristofferson’s emotions like no other artist could.

We were lucky to have lived and loved in those years. Thanks, Ray and Kris.

“Make believe you love me, one more time.

” . . . for the good times”

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.