Listen to ARE YOU SURE by Ray Price.
Back when I was looking for Ray Price's Just A Closer Walk With Thee, I came across this album "Night Life" in Hollywood and I made Amy listen to it about five times while we drove around L.A.
Whoever wrote the liner notes compared it to Sam Cooke's "Night Beat," and that's very fair. It's a stylistic triumph. I kinda always thought of Ray Price as a little too smooth and countrypolitan for my tastes, but this album is very, very tough. The title track, of course, was his first big hit, but the rest of the songs are equally well done, and all of them stay close to the same concept.
I wavered on which song to pick--Are You Sure isn't a song about drinking, per se--but it's too interesting not to share. The narrator, a barfly, has gotten involved with a young woman, who has been pulled into his orbit of lonely, alcoholic, broken down types. He paternalistically fears that he has brought her into a world where she doesn't belong. Alternatively, he worries that she belongs all too well. There is tenderness, and disgust underneath.
Photo: Estes Park rodeo (3).