Charley Pride, Country Music Pioneer: Five Best Songs from Legendary Performer

by Joe Rutland
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With 29 No. 1 songs to his credit, country music pioneer Charley Pride left behind indelible memories for fans both young and old alike.

Picking five of the best songs from Pride’s incredibly deep, prolific recording career will differ from person to person.

Yet Pride, who died on Saturday, Dec. 12, from coronavirus complications at age 86, was a man whose songs stir in people’s hearts when they hear them.

Some people might connect one of his songs to growing up; others might remember a powerful moment in their lives with Pride’s singing by their side.

Here are five No. 1 country music Billboard chart-topping songs that exemplify Pride’s style.

Charley Pride Sings ‘Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'”

First up is “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’,” which was the No. 1 song for five weeks in 1971.

The song plays like a romantic ballad, of a man star-struck by the love that he feels for his wife.

But frequent collaborator Ben Peters actually developed the song about a parent’s love for their children. His wife had recently had a baby girl named Angela. One morning when he kissed the baby goodbye before heading to work, the lyrics came to him.

Whenever I chance to meet, some old friends on the street
They wonder how does a man get to be this way
I’ve always got a smiling face, anytime & any place
And every time they ask me why I just smile & say

You’ve got to kiss an angel good morning
And let her know you think about her when you’re gone
Kiss an angel good morning
And love her like the devil when you get back home

Well people may try to guess, the secret of my happiness
But some of them never learn it’s a simple thing
The secret I’m speaking of, is a woman & a man in love
And the answer is in this song that I always sing

You’ve got to kiss an angel good morning
And let her know you think about her when you’re gone
Kiss an angel good morning
And love her like the devil when you get back home

Kiss an angel good morning
And let her know you think about her when you’re gone
Kiss an angel good morning
And love her like the devil when you get back home”

In this classic clip from “The Lynn Anderson Show” in 1971, here’s Pride singing and chatting with Anderson a little bit about his baseball days.

Charley Pride Sings ‘(I’m So) Afraid of Losing You Again’

Next up is “(I’m So) Afraid of Losing You Again,” which was the No. 1 song for three weeks in 1969.

It was written by Dallas Frazier and A.L. “Doodle” Owens. RCA Records, which was Pride’s recording label at the time, released it as the first single off of his “Just Plain Charley” album.

The song spent 15 weeks on the country charts.

“Sometimes I want to throw my arms around you
Then I tremble at the thought of giving in
Because I know how much it cost to love you
and I’m so afraid of losing you again
Being close to you revives the sorrow
That wakes me up and tells me I can’t win
I’d love to wake up in your arms tomorrow
But I’m so afraid of losing you again

If heaven were to hear my heart’s confession
Wanting you would be my greatest sin
But I’m glad that you’re no longer my possession
‘Cause I’m so afraid of losing you again
Being close to you…
But I’m so afraid of losing you again”

Charley Pride performs this song on “Hee Haw,” which was a television show out of Nashville hosted by country music stars Buck Owens and Roy Clark.

Pride Sings ‘Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone’

Now we come to “Is Anybody Goin’ To San Antone,” which was a No. 1 country hit for two weeks in 1970.

This song was part of “Charley Pride’s 10th Album,” also released in 1970. It talks about a man who is leaving his lover behind and wistfully recalls moments with her.

A part of the song’s lyrics are below:

Rain dripping off the brim of my hat
It sure is cold today
And here I am’a walking down sixty-six
Wish she hadn’t done me that way

Sleeping under a table at a road side park
A man could wake up dead
But it sure seems warmer than it did
Sleepin’ in our king size bed

Is anybody goin’ to San Antone
Or Phoenix Arizona
Anyplace is alright as long as I
Can forget I’ve ever known her

Pride sings this hit song after an introduction from Johnny Cash while appearing on ABC’s “The Johnny Cash Show.”

Pride Sings ‘Someone Loves You Honey’

In 1978, Pride’s song “Someone Loves You Honey” topped the country charts for two weeks. It comes off of a Pride album of the same name.

Originally, the song was released by another country music legend, Johnny Rodriguez, back in 1974 on Rodriguez’s “Songs About Ladies and Love” LP. It was written by Don Devaney.

“I want to share your life
Every minute, every day and night
I just want you to know
That whatever you do
And wherever you go

Remember
Someone loves you honey
No matter what, just be my girl
Someone loves you honey
More than anything in the world
I’m so glad that I’m the one
That you come to
When you need someone
That’s what my love is for
It’s a shoulder to lean on
A in the storm

Remember
Someone loves you honey
No matter what, just be my girl
Someone loves you honey
More than anything in the world”

Again, here’s Pride performing this No. 1 hit in front of his fans.

Pride Sings ‘Wonder Could I Live There Anymore’

“Wonder Could I Live There Anymore” was a two-week No. 1 hit for Pride in 1970.

The song, off of Pride’s “From Me To You” album, reflects a man wondering if he could return to his hometown. The memories of his mother and father are fresh in his mind, he sings. Yet the nagging thought of if he could live there anymore reverberates throughout the lyrics.

Pride performs this hit song on “The Wilburn Brothers Show” out of Nashville.

These are just some of the songs Pride put on the country music and popular music maps in his career.

Charley Pride made a name of himself through hard work and determination. Having good songs with good lyrics to them also helps. Growing up in Mississippi as a son of sharecroppers, playing in the Negro League as a baseball player, and breaking barriers in country music made Pride an outsider of sorts.

But his music won the hearts of people all over the world. It will live on forever.

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