From an impoverished childhood in Sledge, Mississippi, Charley
Pride ascended into the pantheon of
country music, winning three Grammys, selling thirty million
records in the United States alone, and
garnering thirteen gold albums - more than Johnny Cash, Waylon
Jennings, or Merle Haggard. In May 1993,
he became the seventieth member of the Grand Ole Opry.
But what sets this fascinating autobiography
apart from other memoirs is the fact that Charley Pride is the only
black superstar in the white galaxy of
Pride's initial ticket out of poverty was baseball.
It was while playing for a Missoula,
Montana, semipro team that he got his first paying gig, singing in a country-western bar; shortly after, he
was discovered, gaining an audition in Nashville during the
most bitter and polarized years of the civil rights
struggle. When he was signed by RCA in 1956, his records
began to sell immediately; he has ridden the
charts for the twenty-five years since, toured worldwide,
and set attendance records at concerts.
This forthright autobiography offers fresh, disarmingly funny
insights on being a highly conspicuous anomaly and
making it work. Charley Pride's constant struggle for acceptance,
singing in the only way he knows how,
has enriched his life and made him an enlightened, charismatic
force. Now one of Nashville's elder
statesmen, Pride has lived through Music City's ongoing waves
of turnover - and has earned himself a
permanent place in country music's history.