by Chris Davis
When she was a little girl, Price would wake up in the middle of the night, sit straight up in the bed, and want to play the piano. She’d put on her clothes, including gloves if it was cold, then she’d wake her mom, and the two of them would play and sing until morning. The first song Price ever learned was a blues, and the husky-voiced storyteller never stopped singing them.
Price, who always credited her mom, and called her fans her babies, never lost her enthusiasm. In more recent years, she told a writer for Blues on Stage that the first thing she did in the morning was touch her piano to make sure it was still there. The second thing she did was sit down and practice.
Di Anne Price was easily one of Memphis’s most beloved performers. She played anywhere and everywhere. Her superb albums Wild Women, To Hell With Love, A Good Man Is Hard To Find, and Reekin' With Love, all showcase her smoky vocals, barrelhouse piano, and her fascination with a variety of blues and jazz styles from 1920s throwback to more contemporary arrangements.
In a feature profile, Price told The Flyer she was happiest when she was working. “You know,” she said. “When I’m in a bar, smoke-filled, you can smell the Jack Daniels all around, and I’m singing something that’s right just for the moment, that’s working just for that moment, and people are really listening, that’s everything I need.”
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