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A Musical Walk Through The Barrier-Breaking Career Of Country Legend Charley Pride

Tom Fox/Staff Photographer via The Dallas Morning News

With 39 number one hits to his name, Charley Pride has certainly left his mark on history. As one of only three black artists to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, Pride’s influence on country music is greater than many even realize. 

At age 84, Pride is still going strong today. After being active as a performer and recording artist for a quarter of a century, he has countless Gold albums and is also a three time Grammy Award-winner. The CMA presented him with the Entertainer of the Year award in 1971, the same year he released his signature song “Kiss an Angel Good Morning.”

To honor Pride’s groundbreaking career, let’s take a look at some of his most memorable songs.

“All I Have To Offer You (Is Me)”

Released in 1969 as the lead single off of Pride’s album The Best of Charley Pride, “All I Have to Offer You” soared to the top of the Billboard country chart only two months after its release. It was the first of many number one hits to come for Pride.

“All I Have to Offer You” was especially significant since it marked the first time in 25 years that a black artist had a number one hit on the Billboard country chart.

The song’s lyrics tell the story of a man speaking to his significant other, telling her that he doesn’t have any riches to offer her. However, the one thing he does have to give her is himself, and all of his love, singing “The only gold I have for you is in this wedding band, cause all I have to offer you is me.

“All I Have to Offer You” was the song that truly started it all for Pride, and when you listen to it, you can tell why.

“Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone”

Songwriters Glenn Martin and Dave Kirby wrote “Is Anbody Goin’ to San Antone,” and Pride eventually cut it for his record Charley Pride’s 10th Album. But the song was given a few tweaks before Pride finally got the chance to record it.

Pride’s manager, Jack D. Johnson, was given a demo tape of “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” and decided to change it up a bit to make it a better fit for Pride. He ended up changing the chords, lyrics, and arrangement to better suit Pride, and it was this rewritten version that Pride recorded.

Apparently the rewrite was a success, because the song  became Pride’s third consecutive number one hit on the country chart, following “All I Have to Offer You” and “Afraid of Losing You Again.” In total, “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” remained on the chart for 16 weeks.

The song is told from the perspective of a brokenhearted man, who is left to wander alone after his parts ways with his former love. He desperately tries to find a way to some other place, as Pride sings, “Is anybody goin to San Antone, or Pheonix Arizona? Anyplace is alright as long as I can forget I’ve ever known her.

Pride devoted himself to his delivery of the song, resulting in one emotional recording that will stand the test of time.

“Someone Loves You Honey”

As the second single and title track from his album of the same name, “Someone Loves You Honey” was another milestone song for Pride. Once the song hit number one on the country charts it became Pride’s 20th number one hit, only 12 years after the release of his first single. It spent two weeks at number one, and remained on the chart for 12 weeks overall.

Written by Don Devaney, the song serves as the narrator’s reminder to his special someone that his love will always be with her. No matter what happens, the narrator just wants his girl to know “whatever you do and wherever you go, remember someone loves you honey.

Pride has recorded a wealth of love songs over the years, but “Someone Loves You Honey” is definitely one of our favorites.

“Where Do I Put Her Memory”

Yet another number one hit for Pride, “Where Do I Put Her Memory” was released in February 1979. The song served as the first single off of his album Burgers and Fries, and was his 21st number one hit overall.

Singer-songwriter Jim Weatherly wrote the heart-tugging tune, which focuses on the common country theme of heartache. In the song, Pride takes on the role of a lonely man who is cleaning up his house after going through a breakup.

One by one, the man hides all of former lover’s belongings and anything that can remind him of her. He tears down pictures, cleans out her dresser drawers, and puts away every gift she gave him. But as he finishes doing all of this, he realizes there’s one thing he can’t put away…his memories.

Based on how well he had previously done with songs following the same theme, “Where Do I Put Her Memory” was the perfect fit for Pride. It is now considered to be one of his most recognizable songs.

“Kiss An Angel Good Morning”

Regarded as Pride’s signature song, “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” was released in 1971 as the first single off his album, Charley Pride Sings Heart Songs. Not only was the song Pride’s eighth number one on the country charts, but his first to cross over to the pop charts, where it peaked at the 21st spot.

“Kiss an Angel Good Morning” ended up spending a total of four months on the pop chart, and was so successful that Billboard went on to rank it as the 74th greatest song of 1972. The song sold millions of copies, and led to Pride being named as the CMA Entertainer of the Year.

The narrator in the song sings about his friends, who constantly question why he’s smiling all the time. He replies that the reason for his joy is that he gets to “kiss an angel good morning.”

Pride’s signature song is still just as iconic today as it was when it was first released, proving just how timeless his music is.