MOUNT PLEASANT (AP) — Country Music Hall of Fame member Ray Price has been remembered at a memorial service in his East Texas hometown as a musical innovator and a gentleman.

The Daily Tribune reports hundreds of people packed the service on Saturday in Mount Pleasant, the town about 110 miles northeast of Dallas where Price had lived for 31 years.

At the service, a statement from Willie Nelson was read. Nelson wrote that, “Without a Ray Price, there wouldn’t have been a Willie Nelson.” Price gave Nelson his first big break when he hired Nelson to play bass in his band.

Price died Monday at the ranch he owned with his wife, Janie, outside Mount Pleasant. He was 87.

A funeral is planned for Dec. 28 in Dallas.

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