DAILY DOSE OF HISTORY: Charley Pride – Musician

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Frank

Charley Pride was born Charl Frank Pride on March 18, 1938, in Sledge, Mississippi. An error on his birth certificate resulted in his name being Charley Frank Pride. He was one of 11 children born to poor sharecroppers and had aspirations of becoming a professional baseball player. He realized his dream to an extent before pursuing music full-time.

Baseball

By the time he was a teenager, Pride had taught himself how to play the guitar. He often played on his baseball team’s bus while traveling from game to game. In 1953, he was drafted to play in the Negro American League. He pitched for several teams, including the Memphis Red Sox, and the Louisville Clippers.

Army

In 1956, Pride was drafted by the army. He was stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. There, he was the quartermaster and played on the fort’s baseball team. He received his discharge from the army in 1958 and immediately returned to baseball. He continued to pursue his dream of becoming a professional baseball player. In between games, he would also perform at honky-tonks and local nightclubs.
Charley Pride, Black Country singer, Black music, Black artist, Black musician, Black History, Black History 365

Music Career

While on a trip to Nashville, Pride met Jack Johnson. Johnson promised him a management contract. A year after they met, he recorded his first demo. RCA Records head, Chet Atkins, obtained Pride’s demo and immediately signed him to the label. He released his first single, Snakes Crawl at Night in January 1966.
His third single, Just Between You and Me, launched Pride’s career to new heights. He won a Grammy Award for his song after it reached No. 9 on the U.S. country charts. In 1969, he had his first No. 1 hit with his song, All I Have to Offer. With the success of his earliest hits, Pride became the first Black superstar in country music.

Country Legend

From 1967 to 1987, Pride recorded over 50 Top 10 hits. He has sold millions of records and numerous awards. Among his awards are, Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year and Best Male Country Vocal Performance Grammy Award. In 1993, 26 years after playing there as a guest, he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

Recent Years

Throughout the 2000s and the 2010s, Pride has continued to record and perform. His latest album, Choices, was released in 2011. At the age of 80 years old, Charley Pride performs roughly 30 to 40 concerts per year. He now resides in Dallas, Texas with his family.
Charley Pride, Black Country singer, Black music, Black artist, Black musician, Black History, Black History 365
**The views and actions of the DDH historical figures that are featured may not reflect the views and beliefs of Ramiro The Writer or We Buy Black. Thank you.**
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