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Charley Pride

With 36 number one hits under his belt, Charley Pride, who is black, has helped prove how little race matters to the majority of country music fans. It's taken a long time to understand that, though. His first single, "Snakes Crawl at Night," was released without publicity photos, as some in the industry feared listeners would automatically reject a black country singer. Since then, Pride's 12 gold albums in the United States, combined with 30 gold and four platinum internationally, place him in the Top 15 all-time country record sellers. His easygoing singing style and easy-to-listen-to voice show why these honors have come his way. From picking cotton in his native Mississippi, Pride ended up working in a smelting plant in Montana after a stint as a semipro baseball player. At the suggestion of Red Sovine, Pride moved to Nashville, where he was signed by Chet Atkins of RCA. In 1966, "Just Between You and Me" brought Pride a Grammy nomination and national fame. At the end of the '60s and the early part of the '70s, he had five number one singles in a row, including "All I Have to Offer Is Me" and "(Is Anybody Going To) San Antone." Numerous awards came in 1971 and 1972, with many more hits following, among them "She's Too Good to Be True," "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'," and "Night Games." Pride's warm baritone voice and relaxed style made him the highest-selling act for RCA since Elvis Presley.

Pride was born on a cotton farm in Sledge, MS. His father was a sharecropper on the farm at a time. When he was 14 years old, Charley bought a guitar from Sears Roebuck and proceeded to learn how to play by listening to country music on the radio. Two years later, he turned his attention to baseball. He joined the Negro American League, playing with the Memphis Red Sox. After playing ball for two years, Pride joined the U.S. Army, where he served for two years. Upon his discharge, he intended to return to baseball, but he sustained injuries that affected his throwing arm. Discouraged that he couldn't qualify for the major leagues, Pride began working construction in Helena, MT, while he still played in the minors. Eventually, he earned a tryout for the California Angels in 1961, but they turned him down; the following year, the New York Mets rejected him as well.

Following his rejection in baseball, Pride turned his attention to music, and in 1963, he sang "Lovesick Blues" for Red Foley and Red Sovine backstage at one of Sovine's concerts. The veteran musicians were impressed and told Charley to go to Nashville. Heeding their advice, he traveled to Music City, but he couldn't break into the industry. However, both of the Reds and Webb Pierce kept recommending the fledgling singer to their associates and eventually helped him secure a management deal with Jack Johnson. Through Johnson, Pride met Jack Clement, who sent a demo tape of Pride's to Chet Atkins at RCA, who signed the vocalist in 1966. Later that year, Pride's debut single, "The Snakes Crawl at Night," was released but was issued without a publicity photograph, since the label was afraid that radio programmers would be reluctant to lend support to a black country singer. Both "The Snakes Crawl at Night" and his second single, "Before I Met You," gained a small audience, but it wasn't until "Just Between You and Me" that Charley became a star. Released at the end of 1966, "Just Between You and Me" climbed to number nine and began a virtually uninterrupted streak of Top Ten singles that ran until 1984; out of his 54 singles released during those 18 years, only three failed to crack the Top Ten.

However, Pride's success didn't arrive as easily as it may seem. Though he was praised upon the release of "Just Between You and Me" and won a Grammy award for the single, there remained resistance in certain quarters of the country audience to a black performer. Nevertheless, the consistent quality of Pride's music and the support from his fellow musicians helped break down doors. And the doors began to open very quickly -- on January 7, 1967, he became the first black artist to perform on the Grand Ole Opry since DeFord Bailey in 1925. Over the next two years, his star steadily rose, and between 1969 and 1971, he had six straight number one singles: "All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)," "I'm So Afraid of Losing You Again," "(Is Anybody Going To) San Antone," "Wonder Could I Live There Anymore," "I Can't Believe That You've Stopped Loving Me," and "I'd Rather Love You." All of those singles also charted in the lower regions of the pop charts, giving evidence of his smooth, country-pop crossover appeal. "Let Me Live," taken from his gospel album, Did You Think to Pray?, temporarily broke his streak of number one singles in the spring of 1971, but it won a Grammy for Best Gospel Performance. Directly after "Let Me Live," two of his biggest hits -- "I'm Just Me" and "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'" -- arrived, earning him his greatest success on both the country and pop charts.

Throughout the '70s, he continued to chart in the upper regions of the country charts, earning number one singles like "It's Gonna Take a Little Bit Longer" (1972), "She's Too Good to Be True" (1972), "A Shoulder to Cry On" (1973), "Then Who Am I" (1975), "She's Just an Old Love Turned Memory" (1977), and "Where Do I Put Her Memory." During this entire time, he never changed his country-pop style, though he promoted new performers and songwriters like Ronnie Milsap, Gary Stewart, and Kris Kristofferson. Pride's success continued during the first half of the '80s, as he continued to have number one hits like "Honky Tonk Blues" (1980), "Mountain of Love" (1982), "You're So Good When You're Bad" (1982), and "Night Games" (1983). During 1984 and 1985, however, he grew frustrated with RCA Records, who began to promote newer artists at the expense of veteran performers like Pride himself. He left the label at the end of 1986, signing with Opryland's 16th Avenue label, where he returned to working with his old producer, Jerry Bradley. Pride had a number of minor hits for the label, highlighted by 1988's number five "Shouldn't It Be Easier Than This," before it collapsed. Pride moved on to Honest Entertainment in the early '90s, where he released My 6 Latest & 6 Greatest, where he dueted with the likes of Marty Stuart and Travis Tritt. Pride didn't record much after that album, yet he continued to be a popular concert attraction. On each of his shows, he was supported by his son Dion, who played lead guitar. In 1994, Pride was given the Academy of Country Music's Pioneer Award. ~ David Vinopal
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Choices

1. America The Great

2. Except For You

3. Hickory Hollow Times & County News

4. The Choices She Made

5. The Bottom Line

6. This Bed's Not Big Enough

7. I Miss My Home

8. Maybe Love Will Save The Day

9. Cajun Party Time

10. Guntersville Gazette

11. You Touched My Life

12. You Can't Sit Still

13. Resting Place


Track List: The Essential Charley Pride

Disc 1

1. Before I Met You

2. Just Between You And Me

3. I Know One

4. The Day The World Stood Still

5. The Easy Part's Over

6. Let The Chips Fall

7. Kaw-Liga

8. All I Have To Offer You (Is Me)

9. (I'm So) Afraid Of Losing You Again

10. Is Anybody Goin' To San Antone

11. Wonder Could I Live There Anymore

12. Did You Think To Pray

13. I Can't Believe That You Stopped Loving Me

14. I'm Just Me

15. Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'

16. All His Children

17. It's Gonna Take A Little Bit Longer

18. She's Too Good To Be True

19. A Shoulder To Cry On

20. Don't Fight The Feelings Of Love

Disc 2

1. Amazing Love

2. We Could

3. Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town

4. Then Who Am I

5. I Ain't All Bad

6. Hope You're Feelin' Me

7. She's Just An Old Love Turned Memory

8. I'll Be Leaving Alone

9. More To Me

10. Someone Loves You Honey

11. When I Stop Leaving (I'll Be Gone)

12. Where Do I Put Her Memory

13. You Win Again

14. You Almost Slipped My Mind

15. Roll On Mississippi

16. You're So Good When You're Bad

17. Why Baby Why (Live)

18. Night Games

19. The Power Of Love

20. Down On The Farm


Track List: 24 Greatest Hits

1. Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'

2. Mountain Of Love

3. All I Have To Offer You Is Me

4. Is Anybody Goin' To San Antone

5. I Don't Think She's In Love Anymore

6. Kaw-Liga

7. Crystal Chandelier

8. Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town

9. I'm Just Me

10. She's Too Good To Be True

11. Where Do I Put Her Memory

12. Burgers And Fries

13. Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger

14. I Know One

15. Just Between You And Me

16. Never Been So Loved (In All My Life)

17. Someone Loves You Honey

18. You're So Good When You're Bad

19. (I'm So) Afraid Of Losing You Again

20. She's Just An Old Love Turned Memory

21. Roll On Mississippi

22. Amazing Love

23. I'll Be Leaving Alone

24. Missin' You


Track List: Best Of Charley Pride

1. Whole Lotta Love On The Line

2. Sail Away

3. Moody Woman

4. White Houses

5. Can't Stop The Mississippi

6. Heaven Help Us All

7. I Made Love To You In My Mind

8. After Me, After You

9. The More I Do

10. You Put It There

11. Amy's Eyes


Track List: Songs Of Pride...Charley That Is

1. Someday You Will

2. She Made Me Go

3. The Right To Do Wrong

4. The Easy Part's Over

5. The Day You Stopped Loving Me

6. I Could Have Saved You The Time

7. One Of These Days

8. All The Time

9. My Heart Is A House

10. Let Me Help You Work It Out

11. Both Of Us Love You

12. The Top Of The World


Track List: Greatest Hits Collection

6. I Don't Think She's In Love Anymore

9. Never Been So Loved In All My Life

11. Mountain Of Love

12. Missin' You


Track List: Snapshot: Charley Pride

1. Shouldn't It Be Easier Than This

2. I'm Gonna Love Her On The Radio

3. Have I Got Some Blues For You

4. If You Still Want A Fool Around

5. Amy's Eyes

6. I Had Her Leavin' Comin'

7. One Of These Days (I Wanna Be In Your Nights)

8. White Houses

9. More I Do (The)

10. Where Was I


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angelsgirl51 5
I wasn't born till after he stopped recording. But I recently found his music. I absolutely LOVE it!! This is real country. Thank you for lighting the way in country music for minorities Mr. Charlie Pride and being so inspirationa l !
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Classic country music. Reminds me of my parents rip. Going to his concert tonight. Gonna have a blast.
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My Dad always loved his style of music , it always made him feel good inside ! I always think of him when I listen to Charley Pride's music cause it does make you feel good inside !
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jbrasuellwax 0
I never get tired of his voice!
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My POPS and I would be in our favorite bar, when this song would come on the JUKEBOX, when the fiddles play toward the end, we would tell everybody "shut up", because we both enjoyed that part. Ahh, those were better times, than now....
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My mother loved his music, I always think of her when I listen to Charlie's music
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Always have loved his music and his voice,
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Luv his voice❤
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That's no lie he sure does
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been listening to Charley Pride for years and years
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Remember Charlie Pride from quite a long time ago...great singer!
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justinjenny4 9 5
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I love this song :)
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My father had told me he used to work with Charlie Pride in a lead smelter in Helena Montana.
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I talked to Charlie Pride when he sang at the hitchin' post in Fountain Colorado, back in '67 or '68. I was stationed at Fort Carson at the time, a great singer and a great man.
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He is a great artist no 2 ways about it
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sherenity4li f e
Hey arrow head, what with all yourbfowl mouth innuendos here. Who are you directing t and why would you even go thete? That's really a sad way to be
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What a great charlie pride song and what a great voice
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Charlie wants me he just don't know it yet. Woo hoo. Love his songs. He can sing me to sleep and eat crackers in my bed anyday.
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Just an amazing singer one of my all time favorites
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michaelcoope r 6 9 5 3
Charlie Pride is the greatest country singer that has ever and Will ever bless the world.
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Y'all don't know s**t about Charlie he is a bad a** singer
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Charlie pride the first singer I remember listing too.great great voice
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Heard him for the first time on a tape my future husband had in the Canary Islands where I was a working expat from England, fell in love immediately with that wonderful voice and the first country singer that wasn't crying in his beer! Love him still 46 years later and got to see him for my 83rd birthday in Shreveport La. - best birthday gift ever!!
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Charley Pride has been my favorite all my life.
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Love this song ever since was little!
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billiot.vond a
Great lyrics all but that angel part there are no earth angels
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THIS is another song I love to hear over and over!!!!!
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Part owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team.
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Memories from childhood, listened to a lot country.
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You still have it Charlie keep singing
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Saw him in 1968 in Corpus Christi, Tex. Great Performer.
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Saw him in 1968 in Corpus Christi, Tex. Great Performer.
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jbrasuellwax 0
I had the luxury of seeing him a few years ago & was blown away by how fabulous he was/is.
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jbrasuellwax 0
I saw him live a few years ago & he does a fabulous appearance. He makes you feel like he's singing just to you :)
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jbrasuellwax 0
Will love Charley Pride forever!!!!
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I've been a fan since I was little and at 46 I'm still loving it!
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Have been a fan since I was little. Listened to his records and on the radio. I sing along to all his songs too. My voice is a bit deeper, but can switch to baritone. Just think he's so great.
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What a historical figure in country music, and what a distinguishe d voice, you know its Charley when you hear his music. My all time favorite is Roll on Mississippi. Wish you good health Charley!
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He is great.
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Good song
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He's just too deadly Charlie Pride
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man I wish there was more black country singers if they sing like this he has such a beautiful voice
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Ur so good when ur bad
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set up stage in EL PASO..YOU WERE GREAT!!!
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Todays (c)rap artists (if its possible to call an idiot an artist) could use some speech lessons from Charley Pride.
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I built the speakers on stage at EL PASO AND worked sound and lights when you played there back in the 80s Hi again!!!
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I sure love his songs Amy from Mississippi
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I live 2 seconds down the road from where Charley pride grew up my papaw picked cotton with him and he was a white man and they where best friends up until my Papaw's passing Charley pride is hands down one of the greatest singers this world has ever seen and I'm glad that my family was apart of his life so his music can live though my family and others around the world
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