Sledge in Quitman County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
The son of a Sledge sharecropper, Charley Frank Pride first won notice as a singer when music was just a sideline to his early baseball career. Taking a shot at what seemed an unlikely career in Nashville, he went on to record fifty-two Top Ten singles, twenty-eight of them No. 1 hits. Singing honky tonk songs in his remarkable baritone, Charley Pride became a country music legend and the most successful African American artist of the genre.
Charley Pride Born on March 18, 1938 here in Sledge, Charley Frank Pride was one of eleven children, the outgoing son of poor, sharecropper parents. Pride family entertainment focused on the radio—dramas, baseball broadcasts, and his father Mack’s favorite, the Grand Ole Opry. Young Charley would sing along with Roy Acuff, Ernest Tubb, and Hank Williams, and at age 14, he got his first guitar. It was baseball, though, that he would first pursue as a career. He was a pitcher and outfielder with the Memphis Red Sox of the Negro American League, had try-outs with the New York Mets and California Angels, and stands with minor league clubs in Montana. He’d been singing country for teammates on bus trips, and in Helena, Montana, began appearing in clubs. A local disc jockey arranged for him to audition for Red Foley and Red
Pride quickly found a manager in Jack Johnson, but it would take more than a year, into 1966, for a recording contract to follow. While early string bands, blues and R&B singers had occasionally performed country songs, and DeFord Bailey had been a harmonica star of the early Opry, there was no precedent for an African-American singer achieving country music stardom. Charley Pride possessed a rich, distinctive, unquestionably country baritone, and brought extraordinary clarity and affecting simplicity to the traditional honky tonk country he favored. The country audience would prove very accepting of that talent. When “Cowboy” Jack Clement, who’d produced Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis at Sun Records, recorded a few songs with Charley, RCA Victor agreed to give the idea a try. Pride was a successful recording artist from the release of his first single “The Snakes Crawl at Night,” and by the third, “Just Between You and Me,” he reached the Top Ten.
Most all of Charley Pride’s 50 singles between 1966 and 1984 would be Top Ten hits, 28 of them Number Ones, including the million selling “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” and such soon-to-be country standards as “All I Have to Offer You Is Me,”
Erected 2011 by Mississippi Country Music Trail. (Marker Number 8.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Country Music Trail marker series.
Location. 34° 25.888′ N, 90° 13.026′ W. Marker is in Sledge, Mississippi, in Quitman County. Marker is at the intersection of Mississippi Route 3 and Joe Brown Avenue, on the right when traveling south on State Route 3. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sledge MS 38670, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 17 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. James Cotton Beaverdam Mounds (approx. 16.9 miles away).
Regarding Charley Pride. After 50 years as a recording artist, Charley Pride received the Recording Academy's (known for the Grammy Awards) 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award in June 2017.
Also see . . . Wikipedia article on Charley Pride. (Submitted on August 27, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 27, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 27, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 87 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 27, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.