Charlie Pride is an American country music singer and a guitarist who was also a baseball player at the beginning of his career.
Charlie Pride was born on March 18, 1934 in Sledge in Mississippi.
He has seven brothers and three sisters, so it is clear there were eleven children in the Pride family.The family was poor but they lived in harmony.
His father wanted to name him Charl Frank Pride, but a clerk made an error so he was eventually named Charley Frank Pride.
At the age of 14, his mother gave him his first instrument as a present, his first guitar and it was a Sears Roebuck. He taught himself how to play the guitar. He had one other love in life but music: he loved baseball and always dreamt that he will become a known pro baseball player.
Eventually he turned his life to sports. He was a pitcher for Memphis Red Sox back in 1952. A year later, he was noticed by the Boise Yankees, a part of NY Yankees.
After he was injured he fell down to Class D of the Yankees and moved to Wisconsin. After joining Louisville Clippers he and one of his team players were both traded for a bus!
He has gone to serve in the military and after two years he tried to return to baseball but it wasn’t successful.
After his last team lost interest in him he decided to move to Montana and to work in construction.
Helena had a small baseball team and all the players had a job in the local factory thanks to the team manager.
The same manager noticed how goid Charley sings so he also paid him to sing before the beginning of each baseball game. This increased the number of people who came to watch baseball games.
He started singing at events and as a part of the music group called Night Hawks. But he never left his job at the smelter no matter how hard it was.
The reason for that was the fact that he could earn more money and live a more satisfactive life with his wife and son in the city of Helena.
They lived there until 1967 when they moved to Great Falls in Montana, after he became the father of Dion and Angela Pride.
They moved there because Charley started to become interesting due to his music, so he relocated somewhere near the airport so that he could be more aporoachable and faster.
Two years later the family relocated zo Texas. He decided to listen to his manager and go to Nashville zo record some demos.Chet Atkins was the manager for RCA Records and after he listened to the tapes, he decided to offer him a contract.
His 1966 single “The Snakes Crawl at Night” became a huge hit.
In 1971, he released a single called “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'” which became one of his hugest hits and was sold in over one million copies.
This song was the reason for his Entertainer of the Year award and the award for the Top Male Vocalists.
“Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'” was a number one hit for months and it was his signature song.
On the wings of his popularity, Pride started making hits and he eventually sold over 70 million records in 1970s.
Some of the hit singles were: “Someone Loves You, Honey”, “Burgers and Fries”, “Roll on Mississippi” and “You’re So Good When You’re Bad”.
The same as all other country performers, he also paid his tribute to Hank Williams releasing an album with Hank’s songs.
In 1975 he went on a tour to Northern Ireland although Ireland was involved in a nacionalist conflict where he broke the ban of having concerts and his song called “Crystal Chandeliers” was called a peace song.
He published his records by RCA Records where he remained until 1986. That year he decided to change the label and move to 16th Avenue Records. He did it mostly because he was angry at RCA because they haven’t prolonged contracts to many of his colleagues who sang country music, such as Dolly Parton and John Denver.
It almost seems like he wanted to show them they are not for retirement – as soon as he changed the label he released a hit called “Shouldn’t it be Easier Than This”.
In 1993, Charlie was pronounced as a new member of the Grand Ole Opry.
In 2008 Charlie, his brother Mack and the rest of ex baseball players which played in the Negro League, were “drafted again” in rememberance of the 30 black baseball players which were almost forgotten.
The same year he received the Mississippi Arts Commission’s award for a lifetime achievement.
In 2010, he decided to combine his love for baseball and his desire to try himself in business waters in a manner that hr invested in the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball club.
In 2016, he had the pleasure to be amongst the 30 artists called out to perform on Forever Country, a track made for the celebration of 50 years of the CMA Awards.
In 2017 he released his long waited album called “Music in My Heart”.
He married Rozene Cohan in 1956. after they dated for a few years. They have met while he played baseball in the south.
They have three kids together: sons Dion and Kraig and a daughter Angela who was born in 1967.
His son Kraig has a band called “Zion” and is performing funk and soul.
The other son, Dion, is a leading guitarist for his dad and he wrote a song for his album ” I Miss My Home”.
In 1994 Charlie published his autobiography “The Charley Pride Story”. He revealed in this book that he struggled with depression and bipolar dissorder. He wanted to help others in the same situation to learn how to cope with it.
In 1997 he had to remove a tumor from his vocal cord.
He was proud to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl VIII.
Full name: Charley Frank Pride
Date of birth: March 18, 1934
Birthplace: Sledge, Mississippi, U.S.
Profession: singer, musician, baseball player
Net Worth: $3 million