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Charley Pride – Death, Music & Facts

Charley Pride was one of the few Black country musicians to have had considerable success in the largely white country music industry and was only the second Black musician to perform at the Grand Ole Opry.

Who Was Charley Pride?

Born in Mississippi in 1934, Charley Pride was one of the few Black country musicians to have enjoyed considerable success in the mostly white industry. During his 20s, he played baseball in the Negro American League but moved over to music in 1966 when he was signed by RCA. Pride was only the second Black musician to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. His hit songs include “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” and “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’.”

Early Life and Baseball Career

Pride was born on March 18, 1934, in Sledge, Mississippi. He was one of 11 children. His parents, who were poor sharecroppers, had named their son “Charl Frank Pride,” but due to an error on his birth certificate, his legal name became Charley Frank Pride.

Country Music Success

On a trip to Nashville, Pride met Jack Johnson, who promised the musician a management contract. A year later, Pride returned to the city to record a demo, featuring the singles “The Snakes Crawl at Night” and “Atlantic Coastal Line.” The recording made it to RCA Records head Chet Atkins, who immediately signed him to the label. Pride officially released “Snakes Crawl at Night” — his first single — in January 1966.



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