Personalities | Charley Pride | Nashville & Beyond | Country
(Vocals, b. 1938)
With his richly textured baritone, Pride had a nearly unmatched string of 29 No. 1 country hits from the mid-1960s until the late 1980s. Perhaps more significantly, Pride is merely the symbolic tip of the iceberg – only the most visible of many gifted but far less celebrated black singers who, just like their white counterparts, grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry and earnestly emulating the singers they heard there.
As a youth, Pride was heavily influenced by Ernest Tubb, Roy Acuff and Pee Wee King who he heard on the Opry’s Saturday night radio broadcasts. Pride played baseball in the American Negro League for several years and served a stint in the US Army before being signed to RCA Records by Chet Atkins. Some of his biggest hits were ‘All I Have To Offer You (Is Me)’ (1969), ‘Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’ (1971) and ‘My Eyes Can Only See As Far As You’ (1976).
Voted Country Music Association’s ‘Entertainer Of The Year in 1971, Pride joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1993, rather late in his career. In recent years he has recorded sporadically, devoting the majority of his time to substantial real-estate and banking investments in the Dallas, Texas area, where he resides. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2000.
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