One of the pioneers in Black country music, Charley Pride, passes away at 86. It’s a loss for the music industry, his friends and family, and especially Black community.
Charley Pride is the first Black man to take his place on the country music charts. He was 86-years-old when he passed from COVID-19 complications.
Pride was born in Sledge, Mississippi in 1934. He became the country’s first Black superstar and the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was also one of three Black artists to become members of the Grand Ole Opry.
Last November 11, he was honored by the Country Music Association by giving him a Lifetime Achievement award. He also performed his hit “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'” during the CMA Awards show at Nashville’s Music City Center with Jimmie Allen.
Pride was also a superb athlete, becoming a two-time Negro baseball league all-star. He played for the Memphis Red Sox and Birmingham Black Barons.The singer’s career heyday was in the mid-1970s, when he became the best-selling performer for RCA Records since Elvis Presley. His career resulted in 52 top-10 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, 30 of them reaching number one.
He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
Among his best-known hits: “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’,” “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” and “Mountain of Love.”
Pride won the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award in 1971, and its top male vocalist prize in 1971 and 1972.
Watch Jimmie Allen honoring Charley Pride through IGTV. He shares his stories about Charley Pride and the moments the two have shared.