On this, his 85th birthday (March 18), Charley Pride can look back on a long trail of triumphs.
Chief among these are his Country Music Assn. awards as male vocalist of the year (1971 and 1972) and entertainer of the year (1971), three performance Grammys (1971 and 1972), membership in the Grand Ole Opry (1993), membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame (2000), the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award (2017) and inclusion in the American Masters Series of PBS specials (2019).
More notable, though, than any of these milestones is the fact that for 15 years — from 1969 through 1983 — Pride scored at least one No. 1 single each year, racking up during that period a grand total of 29. That he no longer charts routinely has not held him back. As the hits waned, he’s continued to record and to tour internationally.
Nearly all of Pride’s hits have been love songs of one sort or another. Here we cite 15 of them — one from each of his chart-topping years — and label the kind of love they deal with:
“All I Have to Offer You Is Me” (1969)
“Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” (1970)
“Kiss an Angel Good Morning” (1971)
“It’s Gonna Take a Little Bit Longer” (1972)
“Don’t Fight the Feelings of Love” (1973)
“Then Who Am I” (1974)
“Hope You’re Feeling Me (Like I’m Feeling You)” (1975)
“My Eyes Can Only See as Far as You” (1976)
“She’s Just an Old Love Turned Memory” (1977)
“Someone Loves You Honey” (1978)
“Where Do I Put Her Memory” (1979)
“You Win Again” (1980)
“Never Been So Loved (in All of My Life)” (1981)
“You’re So Good When You’re Bad” (1982)
“Night Games” (1983)
That’s a whole lotta love!
In 1994, the singer released his autobiography, Pride: The Charley Pride Story. His current album is Music in My Heart.