CMT to Celebrate Charley Pride With TV Special Featuring George Strait, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks & More

by Jim Casey

CMT will honor the late, great Charley Pride with an upcoming television special that features a star-studded lineup of performers.

CMT Giants: Charley Pride will premiere on August 25. The 90-minute special will feature performances by Alan Jackson, Darius Rucker, son Dion Pride, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Gladys Knight, Jimmie Allen, Lee Ann Womack, Luke Combs featuring Robert Randolph and Reyna Roberts, Mickey Guyton, and Wynonna. In addition, special guests Neal McCoy, Nolan Ryan, Reba, Ronnie Milsap, and Charley’s wife Rozene Pride will reflect on Charley’s legacy.

“I am delighted to have so many giants in the business celebrate the legacy of Pride,” said Rozene Pride, Charley’s wife of more than 60 years. “He would have been so happy to see the artists give so generously of their time and talent honoring him. This truly is a testament to the impact that he had on the country music community for so many years.”

The television special will included performances, commentary, archival photos, interviews, and more, including clips and commentary from Charley. The new installment follows previous CMT Giants‘ that celebrated Reba McEntire (2006), Hank Williams Jr. (2007), Alan Jackson (2008), and Kenny Rogers (2020).

“It’s an incredibly great honor to celebrate Charley Pride’s career from the perspective of those who knew him best—his friends, family and peers,” said Margaret Comeaux, CMT executive producer. “As a true ‘giant’ in country music, Charley serves as an inspiration for present and future artists, and his legendary career transcends barriers with music that stands the test of time.” 

Celebrating Charley

Charley Pride, 86, died on December 12, 2020, due to complications from COVID-19.

The Country Music Hall of Fame member is considered country music’s first Black superstar. While baseball was the Mississippi native’s first love, a shoulder injury ended his professional career. So he turned to country music in the 1960s. Charley scored a number of Top 10 hits in the mid/late-’60s, before notching his first No. 1 single with “All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)” in 1969.

Many, many more No. 1 hits followed, including Charley’s 1971 signature hit, “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’.” By the 1970s, Charley was a bona fide country music star. He was named CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1971, and CMA Top Male Vocalist in 1971 and 1972. In addition, Charley earned three Grammy Awards (two in 1971 and one in 1972).

Charley’s legendary catalog includes dozens of hits, including “The Snakes Crawl at Night,” “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone,” “Just Between You and Me,” and “Mountain of Love,” among others.

Charley became the Grand Ole Opry’s first Black member in 1993. The Country Music Hall of Fame inducted Charley in 2000. In addition, Charley received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.