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The voice of Charley Pride is one of those things that is singularly identifiable by its clarity and expression. In country music, there are few artists that have musical signature as clear as his voice. He began his musical education the way many rural children did, by listening to the radio. Though he was born just south of Memphis, Tennessee, one of the hotspots for blues, Charley's father didn't agree with the message the blues style of music communicated. Being a fan of country music, Charley's father turned much of Charley's musical interest to the likes of Ernest Tubb, Pee Wee Reese and Roy Acuff. This influence is what country fans have to thank for bringing Charley into the country fold. But Charley's first career pursuit wasn't music, it was baseball. Charley hit the real world running, literally, as part of teams playing in the Negro American League and the Pioneer League. Before injuring his throwing arm, Charley tried out for the California Angels. In 1962, Red Foley and Red Sovine heard Pride singing. Both were very impressed with Charley and talked him into coming to Nashville. Once in Music City, Charley met with producer Jack Clement. Clement helped Charley produce some impressive demos, and one of those demos caught the ear of Chet Atkins. Chet took Charley's voice (on record) with him to Los Angeles to talk with executives at RCA. While there, Chet made no mention of Charley's ethnicity. Charley's first studio recording was in August, 1965. His first hit, 'The Snakes Crawl at Night' was released a few months later in January, 1966. Charley's race went unrevealed until his third hit, 'Just Between You and Me' made the Top Ten. From 1966 to 1989, Charley had 29 number one country hits like 'Kiss An Angel Good Morning', 'Is Anybody Goin' To San Antone' and 'All I Have To Offer You Is Me'. Charley was also the CMA's Entertainer of the Year in 1971, as well as the CMA's Male Vocalist of the Year in 1971 and 1972. An interesting note to this story is the fact Charley was actually invited to join the Grand Ole Opry in 1968, but he declined the invitation. It was not until 1993 Charley Pride became an official member of the Opry cast. Though Charley continues to give country music a massive amount of his time and effort, he also has taken the time to help other artists like Neal McCoy and Janie Fricke get their careers started and right on track. Charley's on the road, so be sure to check his tour schedule on his website.