Charley Pride Biography
Charley Pride born Charley Frank Pride, is an American country music singer, musician/guitarist, recording artist, performer, and business owner. He was born in Sledge, Mississippi into a family of eight boys and three girls.
Growing up, Charley was exposed primarily to Blues, Gospel and Country music. His father inadvertently fostered Charley’s love of Country music by tuning the family’s Philco radio to Nashville’s WSM-AM in order to catch Grand Ole Opry broadcasts. At 14 years of age, Charley purchased his first guitar a Silvertone from a Sears Roebuck cataloge and taught himself how to play it by listening to the songs that he heard on that radio.
Charlie Pride Age – Charley Pride Age
He was born on March 18, 1934. He is 84 years old.
Charlie Pride Wife
He married Rozene Cohan in 1956.
Charley Pride Net Worth – Charlie Pride Net Worth
He has an estimated net worth of $3 million.
Charley Pride Career
At the age of 16, Charley began showing his talents in playing baseball. His first games were organized games in the Iowa State League and then professional games in the Negro American League as a pitcher and outfielder for the Memphis Red Sox. He signed a contract with the Boise Yankees in 1953, the Class C farm team of the New York Yankees. Unfortunately during that season an injury hampered his pitching. First he was sent to the Yankees’ Class D team in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and then released. Over the next several years, Charley rejoined the Memphis Red Sox, moved to the Louisville Clippers and then was traded, along with another player, to the Birmingham Black Barons for a used bus. He also played for the El Paso Kings and a team in Nogales, Mexico.
After joining the Memphis Red Sox again in 1956 he won 14 games as a pitcher and earned himself a position on the Negro American League All-Star Team. As an all-star player that year, Charley pitched against a group of major league all-stars that included Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Al Smith and Gene Baker.
Between ballparks, Charley often passed the time and entertained teammates by singing and playing his guitar on the bus. And during these travels he happily joined performers onstage anytime he was given the opportunity.
In 1956 Charley was drafted by Uncle Sam and ordered to report to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas for basic training. During Christmas leave from the training, he married his girlfriend Rozene, who he had met earlier in the year while playing in Memphis. After basic training, he got stationed at Fort Carson, near Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he was assigned to quartermaster duty and the fort’s baseball team. In early 1958, upon receiving his discharge from the US Army, he rejoined the Memphis Red Sox and returned to doggedly pursuing his dream of becoming a major league baseball pitcher.
Charley moved to Montana to play for the Missoula Timberjacks in the Pioneer League in 1960, but ended up working at a smelter operated by the Anaconda Mining Company and later playing for its semi-pro baseball team, the East Helena Smelterites. In 1961, he was invited to try out for the Los Angeles Angels during spring training but found himself heading back home to Helena, Montana after just two weeks.
During the first half of the 1960’s, Charley continued to work at the smelter at the same time playing for it’s semi-pro baseball team. Charley began making a name for himself as a music performer by singing the national anthem at baseball games and performing at honky-tonks and nightclubs in the Helena, Anaconda and Great Falls areas. He would perform as a solo artist and other times as a member of a combo or group.
In 1962, with the help of Tiny Stokes, a local disc jockey, Charley was introduced to Country singers Red Sovine and Red Foley and invited to perform ‘Heartaches By The Numbers’ and ‘Lovesick Blues’ during one of their celebrated shows. This brief initial encounter with Red Sovine would turn out to be crucial in laying the groundwork for Charley’s future career in music.
After a disastrous 1963 tryout with the New York Mets in Clearwater, Florida it became clear that a major league baseball career was not in the cards. Charley chose to return to Montana via Tennessee because Red Sovine had told him that if he ever became serious about a singing career and decided to come to Nashville, he should stop by Cedarwood Publishing, the company that booked Sovine’s shows.
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From the bus station in Nashville, Charley walked straight over to Cedarwood’s office and by good luck ended up meeting Jack Johnson, who had been actively searching for a promising black Country performer. Johnson made a simply produced recording of Charley performing a couple of songs and then drove him straight back to the bus station with the promise of a management contract. Johnson quickly made good on that promise and it was the beginning of a working relationship that would start off slow, but prove to be very fruitful over the next decade.
Johnson ran into significantly more resistance than he had anticipated as he shopped around the crude demo recording that he had made of Charley to the Nashville record labels. It wasn’t until 1965 that forward progress was made. Charley came to Nashville and Johnson introduced him to producer, Jack Clement. Clement gave Charley seven songs to learn (including “The Wabash Cannonball”, “Night Train To Memphis” and “Just Between You And Me”) and within a week they cut two of these songs ‘The Snakes Crawl At Night’ and ‘Atlantic Coastal Line’ during an afternoon studio session with top-notch session players.
Even with the professionally produced sides, Johnson and Clement still had a difficult time as they shopped Charley around to the Nashville labels. But finally in 1966, Chet Atkins decided to trust his ears and finally signed Charley to RCA Records. Atkins took Charley under his wing to nurture his talent and he successfully navigated the racial challenges of mid-1960s America. Although Charley’s first couple of singles failed to jump-start his career, ‘Just Between You and Me’ caught fire in 1967, breaking into the Top-10 Country chart and garnering Charley his first Grammy nomination.
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What happened next is Country Music history. Charley Pride quickly became Country Music’s first African-American superstar. Between 1967 and 1987, he amassed no fewer than 52 Top-10 Country hits and went on to sell tens of millions of records worldwide. In 1971, Charley won two Grammy Awards related to his Gospel album DID YOU THINK TO PRAY ‘Best Sacred Performance, Musical (Non-Classical)’ for the album, as well as ‘Best Gospel Performance Other Than Soul’ for the single ‘Let Me Live.’ Later that year, his #1 crossover hit ‘Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’ sold over a million singles and helped him to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award and the ‘Top Male Vocalist’ awards of 1971 and 1972.
It also brought him a ‘Best Male Country Vocal Performance’ Grammy Award in 1972. Some of Charley’s unforgettable hits from his 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s output include ‘All I Have To Offer You Is Me,’ ‘Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone,’ ‘Amazing Love,’ ‘Mississippi Cotton Pickin’ Delta Town,’ ‘Burgers And Fries,’ ‘Roll On Mississippi’ and ‘Mountain Of Love.’ After parting ways with RCA Records in 1986, Charley spent the remainder of the decade releasing albums on the 16th Avenue Records label.
Charley wrote an autobiography in 1994, with the assistance of Jim Henderson, called Pride: The Charley Pride Story. This book covers the events of his childhood, baseball career and music career in significantly more depth.
Charley Pride Songs – Charley Pride Music
- Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’
- Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone
- All I Have to Offer You Is Me
- Crystal Chandeliers
- I’m Just Me
- Someone Loves You Honey
- Roll on Mississippi
- Afraid of Losing You Again
- Burgers and Fries
- Amazing Love
- You’re My Jamaica
- She’s Too Good to Be True
- She’s Just an Old Love Turned Memory
- Where Do I Put Her Memory
- You’re So Good When You’re Bad
- Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town
- Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger
- The Happiness of Having You
- It’s Gonna Take a Little Bit Longer
- I’d Rather Love You
- Wonder Could I Live There Anymore
- Hope You’re Feelin’ Me
- I’ll Be Leaving Alone
- All His Children
- Never Been So Loved
- Don’t Fight the Feelings of Love
- Just Between You and Me
- Did You Think to Pray?
- My Eyes Can Only See as Far as You
- I Don’t Think She’s in Love Anymore
- Night Games
- Then Who Am I
Charley Pride Albums
- Songs of Pride…Charley That Is
- Sings Heart Songs
- Just Plain Charley
- A Tribute to Jim Reeves
- The Country Way
- Music in My Heart
- Country Feelin’
- Sweet Country
- Christmas In My Hometown (Expanded Edition)
- Charley Pride In Person
- There’s a Little Bit of Hank in Me
- Songs of Love
- Charley Pride’s 10th Album
- Sunday Morning with Charley Pride
- Live At His Best
- Did You Think to Pray?
- A Sunshine Day With Charley Pride
- The Best There Is
- Christmas in My Home Town
- Crystal Chandeliers
- Someone Loves You Honey
- Make Mine Country
- Pride of America
- Greatest Hits Collection
- The Essential Charley Pride
- Songs From The Heart
- The Pride Of Country Music
- 16 Biggest Hits
Charley Pride Music Video
Charley Pride News
Grand Ole Opry Legend Charley Pride Set For Annual Opry Birthday Bash
Updated On: 17th July 2018
The Grand Ole Opry® presented by Humana® is set to celebrate its 93rd birthday with an annual Birthday Bash and a special birthday concert by Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame member Charley Pride at 3 PM Sat., Oct. 13 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, TN. The Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient made his Opry debut in 1967, charted 36 No. 1 singles, sold over 70 million records, and this year marks his 25th Anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member. Concert tickets go on sale July 20 at 10:00 am at (615) 871-OPRY and opry.com.
Pride is also scheduled for that weekend’s four Opry performances. Opry Birthday Bash packages are on sale now at opry.com and (615) 871-OPRY and include the birthday concert, an Opry Birthday Bash performance, Grand Ole Opry House and Ryman Auditorium tours, a picnic on the Opry Plaza, and an exclusive Birthday Bash poster.
Among other artists coming soon to the Opry are Asleep at the Wheel, Brothers Osborne, Terri Clark, Charlie Daniels Band, Charles Esten, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Chris Janson, Dustin Lynch, Martina McBride, Del McCoury Band, Craig Morgan, Oak Ridge Boys, Pure Prairie League, Rascal Flatts, Chris Young, and more.
Charley Pride Tour Dates:
Be sure to follow Pride on Facebook and charleypride.com for his upcoming tours.
About Charley Pride:
Charley Pride is celebrating more than 50 years as a recording artist. He has enjoyed one of the most successful careers in the history of country music and is credited with helping to break color barriers by becoming the first black superstar within the genre. A true living legend, he has sold tens of millions of records worldwide with his large repertoire of hits. A three-time GRAMMY® award and Recording Academy “Lifetime Achievement Award” winner, Pride has garnered no less than 36 chart-topping country hits, including “Kiss An Angel Good Morning,” a massive #1 crossover hit that sold over a million singles and helped Pride land the Country Music Association’s “Entertainer of the Year” award in 1971 and the “Top Male Vocalist” awards of 1971 and 1972. A proud member of the Grand Ole Opry, Pride continues to perform concerts worldwide and has toured the United States, Canada, Ireland, The United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand over the last several years. For more information, visit CharleyPride.com.