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Charley Pride

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Information about Charley Pride

Profile image of Charley Pride

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Country Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Mexican Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
I'm Just A Guy.

Birthplace

Born:
3/18/1938
Birth Location:
Sledge, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Country Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Mexican Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
I'm Just A Guy.

Birthplace

Born:
3/18/1938
Birth Location:
Sledge
See how Charley Pride is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Charley Frank Pride was the fourth of eleven children born to sharecroppers Tessie and Fowler McArthur Pride in Sledge, Mississippi on March 18, 1938. Pride’s father named him Charl, but the midwife wrote Charley on his birth certificate and the name stuck. It was from the family’s Philco radio that Pride learned to love country music. He picked cotton alongside his parents as a young boy and saved enough money to buy a Silverstone guitar from Sears and Roebuck. Though Pride loved to sing, it was baseball that lured him first. Pride ended his schooling at the eleventh grade when his parents gave their permission for him to leave home to play baseball in 1953.

By 1954, Pride was signed with the Memphis Red Socks, a Negro League baseball team. He went on to play for a number of teams including the Louisville Clippers and the Birmingham Black Barons. Two years later, he was drafted and married his sweetheart, Rozene, while in the U.S. Army. They settled in Montana where Pride found steady work and also played semi-pro baseball. However, he never quite made the grade for the major leagues. After a final tryout for the New York Mets, Pride returned home to Nashville, Tennessee. He met Jack Johnson who heard his music and sent him home with the promise that he would land him a management contract. A year later, Pride returned to Nashville where he was introduced to Jack Clements, who had him record two songs that landed in the hands of RCA Records executive Chet Atkins. Pride was signed to his record label.

Pride’s first single record hit the airwaves in 1966. He had his first number one hit, “All I Have To Offer You (Is Me)”, on the Cash Box Country Singles Chart in 1969. Over three decades, Pride has remained one of the top twenty best-selling country artists of all-time. His incredible legacy includes: thirty-one gold and four platinum albums; one which has reached quadruple platinum (The Best of Charley Pride). Pride is second in sales for RCA Records only to Elvis Presley.

In 1994, Pride published his autobiography, Pride: The Charley Pride Story.
On May 1, 1993, Pride accepted the invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry. This made him the first African American inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. In 1994, Pride received the Academy of Country Music’s Pioneer Award; The Trumpet Award for Outstanding African American Achievement in 1996 and was the headliner for a special Christmas performance at the White House for former President Clinton and Mrs. Clinton.

Pride lives in Dallas with Rozene, his wife of 50 years. They have raised two sons and a daughter.

See how Charley Pride is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charley Pride's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charley Pride lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charley Pride describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charley Pride remembers lessons from his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charley Pride describes his grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charley Pride talks about his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charley Pride describes his chores
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charley Pride lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charley Pride remembers his early interest in music
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charley Pride remembers meeting Vicki Vola
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charley Pride remembers meeting Vicky Vola and Elvis Presley
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charley Pride describes his exposure to country music in Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charley Pride recalls his decision to sing country music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charley Pride remembers a lesson from his father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charley Pride talks about playing baseball as a teenager
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charley Pride recalls his start as a professional baseball player
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charley Pride describes his baseball career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charley Pride recalls securing a release from his baseball contract, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charley Pride recalls securing a release from his baseball contract, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charley Pride remembers his audition for the Sun Record Company
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charley Pride talks about playing baseball in Montana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charley Pride recalls his move to Helena, Montana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charley Pride remembers singing at nightclubs in Helena, Montana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charley Pride recalls trying out for the New York Mets
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charley Pride remembers signing a contract with RCA Records
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charley Pride talks about racism in the country music industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charley Pride recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charley Pride recalls his experiences of discrimination during performances
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charley Pride remember a concert at an officer's club in Germany
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charley Pride talks about his first hit song
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charley Pride talks about his success as a country music singer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charley Pride remembers meeting Faron Young
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charley Pride talks about Faron Young
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charley Pride describes his business ventures, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charley Pride describes his business ventures, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charley Pride reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charley Pride reflects upon the music industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charley Pride talks about his favorite musical artists
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charley Pride describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charley Pride talks about his plans for the future
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charley Pride reflects upon his career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Charley Pride narrates his photographs