Charley Pride

American musician (1934–2020)

Charley Frank Pride (March 18, 1934 – December 12, 2020) was an American country music singer, recording artist, baseball player, and businessman. Along with Stoney Edwards and O.B. McClinton, Pride was and remains one of the most notable black country singers of the 1960s and 1970s.

Charley Pride
Pride performing at Capital Centre on Inauguration Day, January 1981
Pride performing at Capital Centre on Inauguration Day, January 1981
Background information
Birth nameCharley Frank Pride
Born(1934-03-18)March 18, 1934
Sledge, Mississippi, U.S.
DiedDecember 12, 2020(2020-12-12) (aged 82)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
  • Singer
  • guitarist
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active1952–2020

Early life


Charley Pride was born on March 18, 1938 in Sledge, Mississippi to a family of sharecroppers. A mistake on his birth certificate reads his first name as "Charl." Growing up, Pride dreamed of becoming a baseball pitcher and learned to play the guitar at the age of 14.

Pride got his start in baseball in The American Negro League for many teams, including the Mississippi Red Sox, the Birmingham Black Barons, the New York Mets and the Boise Yankees. (The C team for the New York Yankees). It was during this time Pride met and married his wife, Rozene.

Music career and rise to fame


Pride was known to sing at baseball games. He was encouraged to pursue a career in music and caught the eye of record producer Chet Atkins who signed Pride a record deal in 1965. Following that year, Pride released and recorded his debut song "The Snakes Crawl out at Night" which played on the radio but didn't chart. It wasn't until 1969 when he released the record "From Me to You" that he became more well known. In 1971 Pride was at the top of the Billboard charts with the song "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin." Pride also played concerts internationally in Northern Ireland in 1975. In 1981, Pride sang for Ronald Reagan at his Inauguration. The same year he released the album "There's A Little Bit of Hank in Me, where he does his own versions of songs which were first done by Hank Williams. In 1994, Pride published his autobiography.

Personal life


Pride and his wife Rozene lived in Dallas, Texas. In 2010, Pride became an investor for the Texas Rangers and was regularly seen at their games.

Pride had two sons and a daughter. One of his sons played in a band.

Pride died in Dallas on December 12, 2020, of problems related to COVID-19. He was 86 years old.[1][2]



  1. Hudak, Joseph; Hudak, Joseph (2020-12-12). "Charley Pride, Pioneering Black Country Singer, Dead at 86". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 13, 2020. Retrieved 2020-12-13.
  2. Chris Morris (12 December 2020). "Charley Pride, Country Music's First Black Superstar, Dies of COVID-19 at 86". Variety. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved December 12, 2020.