Charley Frank Pride (born March 18, 1938) is an American country music singer, musician/guitarist, recording artist, performer, and business owner. His greatest musical success came in the early- to mid-1970s when he became the best-selling performer for RCA Records since Elvis Presley. In total, he has garnered 39 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.
Pride is one of the few African-Americans to have had considerable success in the country music industry and one of only three African-Americans to have been inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
In 2010, Pride became a special investor and minority owner of the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball club.
Pride was born in Sledge, Mississippi, one of eleven children of poor sharecroppers. His father intended to name him Charl Frank Pride, but owing to a clerical error on his birth certificate, his legal name is Charley Frank Pride.
In his early teens, Pride began playing guitar. Though he also loved music, one of Pride's lifelong dreams was to become a professional baseball player. In 1952, he pitched for the Memphis Red Sox of the Negro American League. He pitched well, and in 1953, he signed a contract with the Boise Yankees, the Class C farm team of the New York Yankees. During that season, an injury caused him to lose the "mustard" on his fastball, and he was sent to the Yankees' Class D team in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Later that season, while in the Negro leagues with the Louisville Clippers, he and another player (Jesse Mitchell) were traded to the Birmingham Black Barons for a team bus. "Jesse and I may have the distinction of being the only players in history to be traded for a used motor vehicle," Pride mused in his 1994 autobiography...
Quotes by Charley Pride
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