Throughout this month, PBS will honor country icon Charley Pride with a series of TV specials about the singer during Black History Month.
Pride passed away at age 86 two months ago in December after suffering from COVID-19 complications. The network is paying tribute to the country legend this February by replaying three classic programs that include the musician.
Fans will have the chance to watch the GRAMMY SALUTE TO MUSIC LEGENDS and American Masters – Charley Pride: I’m Just Me. Additionally, they’ll be able to watch a segment of Ken Burns’ fantastic documentary series Country Music. PBS will specifically air Episode 5: The Sons and Daughters of America (1964-1968) of the documentary, which includes Pride.
In 2019, American Masters – Charley Pride: I’m Just Me came out and told the story of the country star beginning in his early days. The series starts with his formative years as a Mississippi sharecropper’s son. It reveals details of his Negro League baseball career before turning his focus to music. Of course, the series also highlights his transition to becoming country music’s first Black superstar as well.
The American Masters series “reveals how Pride’s love for music led him from the Delta to a larger, grander world.” In addition, it tells the story of his “boldness, perseverance, and undeniable musical talent.” It also shares how “he managed to parlay a series of fortuitous encounters with music industry insiders into a legacy.”
Charley Pride Series Includes Multiple Special Guests
The American Masters film boasts exclusive interviews with some of country music’s biggest names talking about Charley Pride. Country singers like Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, and Marty Stuart all make appearances. It also includes multiple conversations between Pride and special guests. They include his wife, Rozene Pride, another country legend in Willie Nelson, and other famous country artists.
Director Ken Burns released his critically acclaimed Country Music documentary in September 2019. The series presented a comprehensive look at the history of country music and its evolution throughout the 20th century. Both series feature numerous tracks from Pride’s extensive catalog of albums. In fact, it also features songs from his last album before he passed away, 2017’s Music In My Heart.
The executive producer of American Masters, Michael Kantor, shared a statement about Pride and the tribute to the legendary performer.
“At a time when African-American singers were more notable for R&B hits, Charley Pride followed his passion for country music. [He overcame] obstacles through determination and raw talent to make a lasting impact on the genre and create a legacy that continues today. We are honored to share the inspiring, and largely untold, story of this barrier-breaking performer with viewers nationwide,” Kantor said.
PBS Passport members can watch all three of the Charley Pride specials as part of their On-Demand exclusive. All three series are available to watch on the PBS Video app and PBS.com. Viewers with cable and other streaming cable services should check their local listings for air times of the Charley Pride specials.