Thursday, 08 February 2024 01:05

WYNN - The Mega Star Series - Charley Pride

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SW small Logo Legend is not too strong of a word to use here.  In fact, it may not be big enough.  Charley Pride simply was one of the most important people the entertainment industry has ever had. I proudly played his songs on many country stations around the country for many years.

This Song Made Pride A Household Name - 1971


Charley Pride wanted to be a baseball player.  And even though his run through various levels of professional ball was way before any of us can remember, by all accounts he was a good player pitching for a number of years.  But many times in all of our lives, one dream supplants another.  And when injury and father time ended baseball, he chose differently.  About as differently as you could back then.  He became a country singer.  He was actually singing before some of his minor league games for some extra cash.

1980's Pride - This Was A Big Song


I interviewed Charley Pride a few times over the years, you would never have known he had about 30 number one songs on the Country Chart.  He's in the same breath as Conway Twitty, Kenny Chesney, and Tim McGraw in overall charting success.  And in the 1970's, he was the second biggest seller for RCA Records behind only Elvis.  Between 1969 and the mid 1980's he charted 44 singles and all but about 7 went to the top 5.  He outsold everyone for a good while in the 1970's. And that means EVERYONE in country.  BY A LOT!   The size of his popularity was incredible.  Name a name and he was outselling them.

This Song Was Loved - Big Hit #1 - 1980's Masterpiece


He had many gifts.  First, you absolutely KNEW it was him singing (Best gift a singer can have).  He knew how to sing the song the way it was written, and he knew what fans wanted.  He knew where the notes were and found them with great ease and power, and he NEVER over sang a song.  And he knew he was going down a road not really traveled before, and he made everyone comfortable.  He was the right man, in the right place, at the right time for every reason there is. He and Ray Charles are among those credited with the integration of country music.

A Much Loved Love Song  - HUGE Hit


After his incredible run through the 70's, Pride gently reinvented himself for the 1980's and did it perfectly as his booming baritone voice got even better. His style and song choices modified slightly, as was country music.  Many not familiar with the 1970's Pride, more than likely remember the 1980's Pride. The music was different, but still great.  He was immensely versatile, and that usually shows up when you can truly sing. He's also one of those lucky singers who got better with time, the voice got stronger, much like Trace Adkins in a more modern era.

This Song Helped Reinvent Pride - Big Song


He sang the National Anthem at a Superbowl, The World Series, he won numerous ACM'S, CMA'S ,Grammy's, AMA'S, and is in the Country Music Hall Of Fame.  Pride sold over 70 million albums in his career.  And he's still in the top 10 all time in country #1 songs.  In addition to giving career changing advice to a young and unknown Ronnie Milsap after seeing him perform one night in a Nashville Bar.  He advised Ronnie to sing ONLY Country Music. He took it, and Milsap had about 30 #1 country songs himself.

His Last Number One Song


Charley Pride was honored by the CMA for Lifetime Achievement a month before he died, and it was overdue. But with that said, we should all be so lucky to stand on our own stage at 86 years old, sing our own song with a strong voice, and leave a multi-faceted legacy that's important and will be remembered for generations to come. 

Charley Frank Pride - Incredible talent, incredible career, incredible life.  He passed away at 86 years old.

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Read 929 times Last modified on Wednesday, 07 February 2024 09:31