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 country music.
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.
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