The man was proud and dignified. Serving as a trailblazer is a blessing and a curse. You are known as a pioneer which is very positive because your position helps those who follow but there are negative aspects. You become a symbol, and pride was more than a symbol; He was a great artist.
Pride was an anomaly – a western star of the black land. But as with many minorities in the entertainment industry in the 1950s and 1960s, the term “first black country star” was too narrow and too narrow. He was a star, period.
He died last week at his home in Dallas. Staff said the death was due to complications from COVID-19. He was 86 years old.
Proudly recorded at least 30 nos. 1 hits on the country charts including « Anyone Going to San Antone? » It is one of his most melancholy songs that comes with his voice but comes from the heart. Pride had a way of expressing vulnerability while staying strong and open.
Death came a month after his last appearance in November. 11 when he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association. He sang « Kiss an Angel Good Morning », one of his greatest hits. The fans heard him live for the last time – that rich, warm baritone who made great lyrics bigger.
« Well, you might not believe it, but I’m as nervous as possible, » he said after receiving the award. “All my fans, I would like to thank you. . . . Well, I’m done talking. I just want to thank everyone again. ”
Pride displayed in this poignant message the grace and humility that has been his hallmark for more than five decades.
« They used different descriptions when I got there, » he told National Public Radio before the ceremony. « They’ll say, » Charley, how did it feel to be Jackie Robinson of country music? I don’t mind other than explaining to you – how I had to bypass all of these obstacles to get where I am today. ”
Born on 18. March 1934 in Sledge, Miss. He grew up less than 300 miles from the city where he experienced some of his greatest triumphs – Nashville. It seemed like a harbinger of future glory. Although geography may have smiled at him, there were detours on the road to fame.
After his military service, he pursued a career in the Negro American League, followed by a stint in the minor leagues. He discovered that swinging a guitar was easier than striking a bat. The 30-year-old signed with RCA in 1965 and recorded his first hit « Just Between You and Me » two years later, the first in a long line.
Pride won three Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, and its star is on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but part of his heart stayed in baseball. He became a partner in the Texas Rangers and became an integral part of the stands. Pride sang the national anthem at home games last season.
« I’m so broken that one of my dearest and oldest friends, Charley Pride, passed away, » tweeted Dolly Parton. « It’s even worse to know he passed away from COVID-19. What a terrible, terrible virus. Charley, we will always love you. ”
After his death, there has been speculation that he may have contracted the disease at the CMA awards ceremony in Nashville.
« Everyone affiliated with the CMA Awards have followed strict protocols set by the city health department and unions, » CMA officials said in a statement. “Charley was tested before his trip to Nashville. ”
We may never know where Pride got the disease, but if it were during the ceremony it would make a sad coda to an already heartbreaking story.
Charley Pride, Country Music
World News – GB – Editorial: Charley Pride was more than a pioneer
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