Pride, Charley

Pride, Charley

(1938–  ) country music singer; born in Sledge, Miss. Born into a family of poor cotton-pickers, he was drawn to country music as a youth, but he first tried a career in baseball. He made it to the minors in Helena, Mont., in 1960, but failed in a tryout with the California Angels. He had done some singing at a country music bar in Helena so he returned there; his singing in local clubs gained him an audition in Nashville, and by 1964 he was under contract with RCA. His first hit was "Snakes Crawl by Night" (1965), followed by "Just Between You and Me" (1966) and many others including "Did You Think to Pray" (1971). The first African-American to break into country music, he was introduced to the "Grand Ole Opry" in 1967 and went on to win many music awards. He toured and appeared on television in the 1970s and 1980s.