Self-taught on the guitar, Charley Pride unofficially started his music career in the late 1950s as a ballplayer with the Negro American League’s Memphis Red Sox singing and playing guitar on the team bus between ballparks. After a tryout
with the New York Mets, Pride decided to return to his Montana home via Nashville, and that is where his career took a new turn.
At the request of producer, Jack Clement, Pride cut two songs in two hours: “The Snakes Crawl at Night” and “Atlantic Coastal Line” were recorded, and three months later, the two song demo landed Pride with RCA Records head, Chet Atkins, who was so moved, he immediately signed Pride to the label.
Dozens of Pride’s chart toppers now stand as modern classics. “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” went on to be a million-selling crossover single and helped Pride land CMA Awards as Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist.
Over the past 30 years, Pride has remained one of the Top 20 best-selling country artists of all-time. His incredible legacy includes 36 #1 hit singles, over 70 million albums sold, 31 gold and four platinum albums — including one quadruple platinum album. Through it all, Pride recalls his first singing engagement in a Montana bar that led to a career as the first and only African-American superstar in Country music. We are reminded that “The Pride of Country Music” remains one of the great legends in popular music — and that he is still going strong today.