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Carol Maillard

Musician Carol Maillard was born on March 4, 1951 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Elizabeth and Thomas Maillard. After graduating from John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School in 1969, she received her B.A. degree in theatre from Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. in 1973.

In 1973, Maillard was hired at the newly formed D.C. Black Repertory Theatre Company as an assistant to vocal director Bernice Johnson Reagon. During a singing ensemble rehearsal featuring Reagon, Maillard, Louise Robinson, and Mie Fredericks, the group Sweet Honey in the Rock was created. On November 17, 1973, Sweet Honey in the Rock performed for the first time at Howard University’s W.C. Handy Blues Festival. In 1982, Maillard starred in her first television appearance in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf. In 1988, Sweet Honey in the Rock received their first of three Grammy nominations, and the following year, they won their first for their contribution to A Vision Shared: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. Maillard was featured in the television show Hallelujah in 1993. In 2000, she worked with James Horner to produce the soundtrack for TNT’s film, Freedom Song. Maillard also served as creative director for the documentary Sweet Honey in the Rock: Raise Your Voice in 2005. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Company commissioned Sweet Honey in the Rock to compose a score for its 50th anniversary celebrations in 2008. The group performed at the White House in 2009 for First Lady Michelle and President Barack Obama. In 2013, Sweet Honey in the Rock performed at the National Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. In 2015, they toured and performed at four U.S. Embassy’s located in Ethiopia, Peru, Jamaica and Swaziland. The group has produced over fifteen albums.

Maillard has also performed in numerous plays, including productions of The Great MacDaddy, A Photograph: Lovers in Motion, Home, Zooman and the Sign, Under Fire, Colored People’s Time, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, and Spunk.

Maillard resides in New York City and has one adult child, Jordan Maillard Ware, who is also a musician.

Carol Maillard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 21, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.044

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/21/2019

Last Name

Maillard

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Occupation
Schools

Gesu School

John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School

Catholic University of America

First Name

Carol

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

MAI01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bali

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/4/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Musician Carol Maillard (1951- ) is a co-founding member of the singing group, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and has performed in numerous plays and several television shows.

Employment

Duke Ellington School for Performing Arts

Two Rivers Theater

D.C. Black Repertory Theatre Company

Sweet Honey in the Rock

Favorite Color

White, Black, Red

John "Deacon" Moore

Rhythm and blues musician John Moore, commonly known as Deacon John, was born on June 23, 1941 to Frank P. Moore, a bricklayer, and Augustine Boudreaux, a homemaker and musician, in the 8th Ward of New Orleans, La. One of thirteen children, Moore was raised in a musical family. He received vocal training in his church choir; he sang in his first R&B band in middle school. Moore bought his first guitar at a pawnshop on Canal Street, and learned how to play it from the instruction books and records he purchased. Moore played in high school with various pickup bands as a singer and guitarist.

After playing for several years, Moore joined a musical group called the Ivories with Roger Lewis of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. It was there that he picked up the nickname "Deacon," a term that drummer Al Miller tagged him with from a line in the song "Good Rockin' Tonight" by Roy Brown: "Deacon John and Elder Brown, two of the slickest cats in town ...” In 1960, Moore re-established the musical group the Ivories under the name Deacon John & the Ivories. Eventually they became the house band at the legendary Dew Drop Inn, backing up famous musicians like Bobby Blue Bland, Little Junior Parker, Arthur Prysock and Big Joe Turner. At the Dew Drop, Allen Toussaint discovered Moore and led him to the recording studio, where Moore began playing the guitar on R&B hits like Irma Thomas' "Ruler of My Heart," Aaron Neville's "Tell It Like It Is," Robert Parker's "Barefootin'," Ernie K-Doe's "Mother-in-Law," Chris Kenner's "Land of 1,000 Dances," and Lee Dorsey's "Working in the Coal Mine." In 1970, Moore performed at the first New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and has performed at each annual festival since.

In 2000, Moore was inducted into the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame, and in 2003 he starred in Deacon John's Jump Blues, a CD and DVD tribute to New Orleans R&B, for which he earned the 2003 Offbeat music magazine award for Album of the Year. Gambit magazine awarded him three awards that year as well. In 2005, Moore performed at the Congressional Ball at the White House and in 2006, he starred in the critically acclaimed documentary, Going Back to New Orleans: The Deacon John Film. On July 25, 2006, Moore became the first African American president of New Orleans Musicians Union Local 174-496 of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). Just one year later, Moore closed the inauguration of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, performing “God Bless America” accompanied by the 156th Army Band and a Navy fly-over of jets. Later that year, Moore was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

John Moore was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 11, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.040

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/8/2010

Last Name

Moore

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

"Deacon"

Occupation
Schools

Corpus Christi Elementary School

St. Augustine High School

University of New Orleans

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

MOO14

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

It Ain't Easy In The Big Easy.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/23/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Musician and singer John "Deacon" Moore (1941 - ) , commonly known as Deacon John, lead the musical group Deacon John & the Ivories and in 2008 was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Employment

Deacon John & the Ivories

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:7245,78:7670,84:8010,89:10116,114:15055,233:18930,348:21430,398:26360,580:71804,1085:75048,1142:89268,1322:93909,1455:110054,1569:110466,1574:112629,1672:145998,2133:148590,2181:152910,2277:155502,2344:158574,2393:160302,2415:172710,2491:180630,2591$0,0:51108,284:56292,319:57060,324:70692,428:97660,546:98420,796:191270,1205
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John "Deacon" Moore's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John "Deacon" Moore lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his father's family background, pt. 3

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers his upbringing in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about his Creole family's complexions

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John "Deacon" Moore lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John "Deacon" Moore describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers his neighborhoods in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers the choir at Corpus Christi Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls his mother's encouragement

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls his early exposure to secular music

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers teaching himself to play guitar, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers teaching himself to play guitar, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls his musical activities at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers the discipline at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his coursework at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about the suppression of the Louisiana Creole language

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers Louisiana State University in New Orleans

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls his arrest at an integrated party

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls his coursework at Louisiana State University in New Orleans

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls his first marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls joining the American Federation of Musicians

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John "Deacon" Moore describes the history of the American Federation of Musicians in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John "Deacon" Moore describes the history of the American Federation of Musicians in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about the segregated pay scale for musicians

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls a conflict within the American Federation of Musicians Local 174-496, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls a conflict within the American Federation of Musicians Local 174-496, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John "Deacon" Moore describes the origin of his stage name, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John "Deacon" Moore describes the origin of his stage name, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his band's musical genres

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about his various jobs in the music industry

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about his work as a recording studio musician

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his appearances as a commercial actor

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers his film and television roles

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about the slide guitar

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John "Deacon" Moore plays a country blues medley

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John "Deacon" Moore plays a Delta blues medley

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his experiences as a backup musician

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers Curtis Mayfield

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls playing with Bo Diddley

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - John "Deacon" Moore reflects upon his career

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers performing at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about 'Deacon John's Jump Blues'

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his board memberships

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - John "Deacon" Moore reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - John "Deacon" Moore reflects upon his experiences of discrimination in the music industry, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - John "Deacon" Moore reflects upon his experiences of discrimination in the music industry, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Robert "Deacon" Moore talks about the racial demographics of his bands

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Robert "Deacon" Moore describes the discrimination against black musicians

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Robert "Deacon" Moore remembers a conflict at Tipitina's nightclub in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Robert "Deacon" Moore shares his advice for aspiring musicians, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Robert "Deacon" Moore shares his advice for aspiring musicians, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Robert "Deacon" Moore narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
John "Deacon" Moore remembers teaching himself to play guitar, pt. 1
John "Deacon" Moore plays a country blues medley
Transcript
And with the exposure to live bands, you know. Whenever I would go to one of these high school dances, something like a magnet just drew me to the guitar players. Man, I was just fascinated by the guitar players. I'd--most of the whole night I'd just sit right--stand up right in front of the stage watching the guitar players. Something 'bout them guitar players, you know, 'cause most of the people in my family are string players, you know. And I didn't know anything about genetics at all those things, you know. But you know, I was probably genetically programmed, you know, to be a guitar player 'cause my [maternal] grandfather [John Boudreaux] was a banjo player. My mother [Rilda Augustine Boudreaux Moore] was a piano player, and my oldest sister [Consuela Moore Provost] played the viola and the violin. So, I grew up in a musical environment. My mother kept a piano around the house and she'd sing and play the piano. But once I saw the live bands, you know, I was hooked, you know. So, at about that time is when Elvis [Elvis Presley] came out, and it was some people out on the street, you know, he bought, his daddy bought him a guitar so he could be like Elvis. And so, I used to borrow his guitar and take it home and try to pick out little melodies on it. My mother had a ukulele around the house and I would try to pick out melodies on it that I heard on the radio. And I'd go to the piano and try to, you know, do things with the piano. And then, you know, I decided, you know, that I wanna be a guitar player. At the time, I was in high school [St. Augustine High School, New Orleans, Louisiana]. I had been singing, you know, with a little band when I was in elementary school, middle school [Corpus Christi Elementary School, New Orleans, Louisiana]. But when I got to high school, I just became fascinated with the guitar. So, I had a little job, you know, on Saturdays, stock boy in the grocery store and delivering groceries on a bicycle. I made $2.25 a day, plus my little tips, you know, so. I'd saved up my little money and then had another job. I used to go during the week, after school, and deliver pharmaceuticals, you know. People call in prescriptions, send a dude out on a bicycle, you know, with the prescription and people would give you a little tip. I used to make nine dollars a week, so. I saved my little money up and I went down to the pawn shop with my oldest sister and bought me a guitar (laughter). And I went to the local music store, World Lines [ph.], and bought some instructional books on how to play the guitar.$You're gonna (playing guitar). That's for tuning like a country blues setting, you know. (Playing guitar and singing), "I'm going down to Louisiana, I gonna get me a mojo hand. I'm going down to Louisiana, I'm gonna get me a mojo hand. I'm gonna fix my woman so she can't have no other man. Cold ground was my bed last night, rocks was my pillow too. Cold ground was my bed last night, rocks was my pillow too. I woke up this morning, I was wondering what in the world am I gonna do? But I laid down thinking, buy me a mojo hand. I laid down thinking, buy me a mojo hand. I just wanna fix my woman so, she can't have no other man. Now, we're gonna boogie woogie, now. Oh, let's boogie. I'm gonna boogie for the doctor. I'm gonna boogie for the nurse. I'm gonna keep on boogieing 'til they roll me in the hearse. I got the boogie, the boogie woogie disease. Come here doctor. Give me a shot of that penicillin. Oh, keep on boogieing. You know my mama didn't allow me to stay out all night long. My mama didn't allow me. Just to stay out all night long. But I don't care what mama don't allow. I'm gonna boogie woogie anyhow. Oh, let's boogie now." Now, this is the country blues (laughter).

Charley Pride

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.

Accession Number

A2006.087

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/3/2006

Last Name

Pride

Maker Category
Occupation
First Name

Charley

Birth City, State, Country

Sledge

HM ID

PRI05

Favorite Season

Christmas, Summer

Sponsor

Kleberg Foundation

State

Mississippi

Favorite Quote

I'm Just A Guy.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Interview Description
Birth Date

3/18/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Mexican Food

Short Description

Country singer Charley Pride (1938 - ) had thirty-one gold and four platinum albums, including one which reached quadruple platinum status. Pride was second in sales for RCA Records only to Elvis Presley, and was the first African American inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

Employment

Memphis Red Sox

RCA Records

Texas First Bank

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1680,103:6960,185:8400,216:8880,223:9360,231:16976,311:19384,361:26006,484:28500,527:35230,601:35644,608:35920,634:39715,719:40474,757:45442,910:46960,941:47719,958:52960,998:53734,1009:62503,1096:63106,1108:63575,1116:64111,1127:68780,1189:69272,1196:70010,1209:70338,1214:74274,1306:74602,1311:75914,1335:81694,1407:82006,1412:86316,1496:88114,1546:90842,1615:91896,1637:92950,1671:93198,1676:103476,1840:106668,1909:106972,1914:125988,2251:130428,2340:130798,2346:137951,2418:138296,2424:142643,2538:143471,2561:144920,2590:149654,2630:163558,2841:164142,2846:173340,2959$0,0:3650,114:3942,119:4453,128:10512,295:11023,310:31804,639:36260,677:36964,688:46732,860:65562,1057:75342,1130:77420,1170:81320,1226:82765,1270:83870,1294:84295,1300:86165,1332:90310,1350:92180,1388:94900,1437:101105,1589:101530,1595:101955,1601:102890,1611:103230,1646:103655,1658:104505,1678:106885,1733:112684,1748:119091,1823:127870,1880:129230,1927:144843,2140:153014,2289:153338,2294:168302,2516:175118,2601:178543,2628:183856,2762:189416,2792:199240,2930:203635,3085:205291,3143:211915,3264:232068,3385:232412,3412:234971,3481:236650,3530:243001,3664:245848,3843:256686,4002:257838,4053:258414,4066:265902,4223:273704,4295:287308,4409:290786,4475:293968,4542:298148,4571:298832,4586:319490,4916
DAStories

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

3$6

DATitle
Charley Pride recalls his decision to sing country music
Charley Pride recalls his start as a professional baseball player
Transcript
It was really the type of music that you enjoyed?$$That's right.$$So that's why you stuck with country music (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) That's right. I stuck with it because I've always been a character. I've always been an individual. I, I, I never wanted anyone to tell me what you can't do. I don't like the word period anyway, can't. I don't like can't, hate, jealousy. So certain words I don't like. So, so don't come tell me, "You can't do that." That's what I was told. And I'd go (yodels). "You can't do that." I said, "Why not?" "That's not your music." I said, "Why not?" Things like that. "You can't do that." I said, "Now, there you go. Telling me what I can't do."$$What age were you when you got to that point to realize that you were singing (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) As soon as my dad [Mack Pride, Sr.] pushed me off his knee. Soon as my dad pushed me off his knee because he was--that's the one thing I give him credit for giving me the grit to be and believe in yourself and be good at whatever you do and don't let nobody put you down or--see, for example, if someone call you a name or something or say--like for example, I've called--been called names. I've been called just like anybody else, but I reached a point, I said, "Well, wait a minute. Why is this person trying to put me down?" So, I go to the mirror and I look and I say, "Well, I ain't the best looking, but I ain't the ugliest either." If you're gonna go that route, you know, about who, who's handsome, who's (unclear), who's this. I said, "Well, somebody told me I sing pretty good." So, I'm looking at--I started looking at my attributes. Pretty good ballplayer I was, too. So, I said, "What's this person? Maybe they might be a little jealous of me or something." Time to put my (unclear). I'm not putting him down or him or her or whatever. So, that's the attitude I took from very small. So once I--once I listen to the songs that I listen to and found out I could sing 'em just like anybody else. Now, I can--see, I--they say well--people would come up and say, "Well, why country music? A voice like yours, you could sing anything you want to sing." I said, "Well, I don't know whether that's so, but I can sing anything I want to sing, but I'll tell you this. I believe that I can do justice to the basic three things--the basic three musics of America." I said, "I think the three basic music in America is country, gospel and the blues. Not necessarily in that order, but they've all borrowed from one another. So, maybe it's possible that you might be just looking at the epitome of American music and listening to it, too." His voice as my voice you hear. "Well, yeah. Yeah, well." I said, "Well, I think being in the business, I should have my opinion, too, shouldn't I?" "Well, but it's just that I--." "Well."$$So, you're six, seven and you're singing--$$Um-hm.$$--and listening to gospel music?$$Um-hm.$So, now you're finished with school at sixteen and decide (simultaneous)--?$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, I, I did, but I went back and they let me come back. (Laughter) I was tenth grade and they let me come back to finish the fif- the eleventh. I finished eleventh grade.$$Okay. Okay.$$I had signed with the Yank- Yankees [New York Yankees]. My mother [Tessie Stewart Pride] and father [Mack Pride, Sr.] had to sign 'cause I was too young. I signed with the Yankees in '53 [1953] and I hurt my arm and all of that's--.$$Well, tell us about it.$$Well, they sent me to Rio Vista, California. I was going to--I just wanted--looked too good at first and I'd pulled something in the back of my shoulder and I--they sent me to Boise, Idaho. I got four hundred dollars bonus and what I did, I got the four hundred dollar bonus. I bought me a forty dollar suit and a forty dollar ring, and gave all the rest to my mom and dad 'cause I didn't--you know, I'm single. I mean, I remember doing that, you know. And so I finished spring training in Rio Vista out from Sacramento [California] and then they sent me to Boise, Idaho. I stayed there, and you see, that's, that's when they had--that's when the, the teams had from--they had from D [Class D] all the way up to Triple A clubs, which they don't quite have that way now. So this was class C [Class C] that I--that I was sent to in Boise. Then my arm, like I told you, I hurt it in Lodi, California in spring training when I went to Rio Vista.$$What year is this?$$Nineteen fifty-three [1953].$$Fifty-three [1953]. Okay.$$Yeah. And I was about three years old then [sic.]. Well, I may--I might have been a little older. See, baseball players are not never the age they are. Well back then, you played under those rules. So anyway--so they send me down to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and I didn't do to well. So they sent me back home. Back to Sledge [Mississippi], and I get back to Sledge and I still want to play baseball. Ah, the Negro League (snaps fingers), ah.$$So what year did you start playing in the Negro League?$$Nineteen fifty-three [1953].$$Fifty-three [1953].$$So, I come back to them, see. What I did--well, I'm gonna back up. First of all, I came up to join the Red Sox [Memphis Red Sox] and I didn't make it and the team took us to--this is--I, I, I jumped to--I jumped ahead.$$Right. That's okay.$$I jumped ahead. When I first went to Memphis [Tennessee], I went to try out with the Red Sox and I didn't make it with them, but a guy took a team to, to Iowa in Iowa State. In fact--in fact, it was Andy Williams' hometown of Wall Lake, Iowa. All, all black team. We were all colored then. We were colored then 'cause see, the reason why I say it like that, Denise [Denise Gines], is that even now, especially our people, you know them--and I think this can sum up whatever reason I like to put this in because I get asked so much in all these years. Says, "How does it feel to be the Jackie Robinson of country music" or "How does it feel to be the first colored country singer?" "How does it feel to be first Negro country singer?" "How does it feel to be the first black country singer?" "How does it feel to be the first Afro-American country singer?" I say, "Well, I feel the same way when I was colored. I don't feel no different." So, so when went up there to Iowa, it was an all colored team that went there to play in that league. Now, we (unclear) percentage and it was beautiful. In that Iowa--when we got to Iowa, the day--all day long the sun shining beautifully, but it seemed like every night (makes sound) she just rained. So if we don't play, we don't get no money to eat. And that's where--and this is all in my, I have an autobiography ['Pride: The Charley Pride Story,' Charley Pride and Jim Henderson]. It's all in my autobiography about how I pull up weeds and eating the bottom of weeds and the roots.$$That's how you (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, I'll tell it. It was a guy--in fact, the guy [Jim Henderson] that helped write my book, he, he looked up. It's in my book. I forget the name of the fellow that he called--he's a popcorn king and earned a lot of money. He took the team over and then start giving us money to eat 'til the rain stopped. (Laughter) Now, so once we--once we--the rain stopped and we started playing, we didn't win. So what they did--when I say they, the team and fellow and all--they went back to Memphis and raided the Memphis Red Sox pitching staff where I--where I had gone to try to make and didn't make--didn't make it before this guy took up there. So what happens, when they come raided the team, they needed pitchers. So I come back, now I join them. I got a job and I stayed in that league until I went to--you know, with all of my experience and everything 'til I got--I got all the way. I got--I made it all the way to the Los Angeles Angels, so.