December 12, in Dallas, at 86
of complications of Covid-19
Our family were never fans of country music, but I actually enjoyed the Ken Burns series about the history of the genre on PBS, especially the parts about how hard it was for many singers to break into the industry in the first place. Pride's early life story certainly fit the mold of working his way up from considerable poverty. I was also surprised to learn he had originally wanted to be a baseball player. (-:
That 16-hour series evidently isn't available online, but if you know any country fans, it could be a nice Christmas gift.
In any case, for anyone looking for pandemic listening or viewing, I can warmly recommend this PBS 'American Masters' documentary film about him, which is indeed apparently available in full online, for the next two weeks only. There's also a full transcript.
Charley Pride: I’m Just Me
S33 Ep3 | Premiere date: Feb 22, 2019 | 00:53:11
Video expires Dec 26, 2020
... the improbable journey of Charley Pride, from his humble beginnings as a sharecropper’s son on a cotton farm in segregated Sledge, Mississippi to his career as a Negro American League baseball player and his meteoric rise as a trailblazing country music superstar. The new documentary reveals how Pride’s love for music led him from the Delta to a larger, grander world. In the 1940s, radio transcended racial barriers, making it possible for Pride to grow up listening to and imitating Grand Ole Opry stars like Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff. The singer arrived in Nashville in 1963 while the city roiled with sit-ins and racial violence. But with boldness, perseverance and undeniable musical talent, he managed to parlay a series of fortuitous encounters with music industry insiders into a legacy of hit singles, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Narrated by Grammy-nominated country singer Tanya Tucker, the film features original interviews with country music royalty, including Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker and Marty Stuart, as well as on-camera conversations between Pride and special guests, including Rozene Pride (his wife of 61 years), Willie Nelson and fellow musicians.