Fifty years ago, country radio shattered the color barrier as Mississippi native Charley Pride launched his groundbreaking career with his Top Ten debut hit, “Just Between You and Me.” Three years later he began a string of chart-topping tunes that eventually earned him CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1971. As the third-best-selling artist of the Seventies, Pride earned a Grammy for his sunny country-pop crossover smash, “Kiss an Angel Good Morning.” In celebration of his 50th year in the business, the Country Music Hall of Fame member will tour North America throughout the year.
“I feel blessed that I’m still going strong after 50 years,” says the artist who became a Grand Ole Opry member in 1993 and has performed throughout the world, with especially loyal fans in the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, as well as North America. “I’ve always loved to sing for audiences and that’s never going to change. It’s been a joy to visit so many different places in the U.S. over the years. And, of course, I always enjoy traveling Canada. The people of Canada have been wonderful to me going back to the very start of my career.”
In 2015, Pride was among the artists represented on Country Music of Your Life, a Time-Life CD collection of vintage country hits. His own education in country music started, he says, with the acts his father listened to when the singer was young.
“My dad loved Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys,” he told Rolling Stone Country. “I saw Bill Monroe with Roy Acuff, and from there you just walk on up the line with Eddy Arnold, Hank Williams and the ones that weren’t as famous as them but were in that category. For traditional country, I kind of cut if off at George Strait.”
With a nearly unbroken streak of 60 Billboard Top Ten hits (and 29 Number Ones) throughout the Seventies and Eighties, the “I’m Just Me” singer will kick off his latest trek this weekend in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and has dated scheduled through mid-November. He’s also set to return to Nashville in early June for appearances at the Grand Ole Opry and CMA Music Festival.
Charley Pride on Tour:
April 30 – Albuquerque, New Mexico @ Isleta Casino
May 27 – Gulfport, Mississippi @ Beau Rivage
June 09 – Nashville @ Charley Pride Fan Club Breakfast
June 10-11 – Nashville @ Grand Ole Opry
July 09 – Arlington, Texas @ Arlington Music Hall
July 23 – Tunica, Mississippi @ Gold Strike Casino Resort
August 12 – Mahnomen, Minnesota @ Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
September 24 – Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin @ Crystal Grand Music Theatre
October 12 – Edmonton, Alberta @ Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
October 13 – Winnipeg, Manitoba @ Club Regent Casino & Event Centre
October 15 – Orillia, Ontario, Canada @ Casino Rama
November 18 – Wendover, Nevada @ Peppermill Concert Hall