On This Day: Charley Pride Tops the Charts with ‘The Country Way’ Album in 1968

by Keeli Parkey
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May 17, 1968, was a good day for country music icon Charley Pride. It was on this day 53 years ago that his album, “The Country Way” made it all the way to the very top of the Billboard Country Album Chart.

The official Academy of Country Music (ACM) Twitter account reminded Pride’s fans – and country music fans everywhere – about this accomplishment on Monday (May 17).

In addition to sharing information about Pride’s number one album, the ACM account also shared other details about the singer’s career.

The tweet said: “His greatest success came in the 1970s, when he became the best-selling performer for RCA Records since Elvis Presley. Charley Pride won the Cliffie Stone Icon Award at ACM Honors for his tremendous contributions to Country Music.”

Charley Pride’s “The Country Way” album was released in 1967. It was released on the RCA Victor label. It also included 12 tracks, according to Discogs.com. They included: “Crystal Chandeliers,” “Too Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” “Mama Don’t Cry for Me,” “The Day the World Stood Still,” “You Can Tell the World,” and “Life Turned Her That Way.”

Charley Pride Scores Another No. 1 Hit in 1980 With His Version of a Hank Williams Sr. Song

One of Charley Pride’s 29 No. 1 hit songs was “Honky Tonk Blues.” This song was his version of a Hank Williams Sr. track. It became the 23rd No. 1 hit of the singer’s career. It topped the charts on April 12, 1980.

“Honky Tonk Blues” was just one of 12 songs Pride released on his 1980 album. Also, this album was a tribute to Hank Williams. It was titled “There’s a Little Bit of Hank in Me.”

Other songs included on this Charley Pride album were “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and “Low Down Blues.”

Charley Pride was the first Black country music artist to become a country music “superstar,” according to his biography from the Country Music Hall of Fame.

He was born in Sledge, Mississippi, in 1934. He passed away on Dec. 12, 2020, due to COVID-19. He was 86 years old at the time of his death.

Pride started as a baseball player. He played in the Negro American League. He also served in the United States Army. By the early 1960s, he turned his attention to his country singing career. He went on to a successful career. In addition to the No. 1 songs and albums, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000. He also became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1993.

Pride was most popular during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. However, he was – and will always be – thought of as a country music legend.

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