Back in the Summer of 2016, Darius Rucker and Charley Pride reminded everyone what it means to give. On June 6 of that year, Rucker held the seventh annual Darius and Friends benefit concert for the St. Judes Children’s Hospital. The event was a massive success, raising over $197,000 for the hospital and all its good work.
That concert also featured one of the most powerful performances of the night with Darius Rucker joining Charley Pride on stage. The pair of country music icons sang the Charley Pride song, “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” trading verses. They also teamed up for harmonies on the chorus, with arms embracing one another. Needless to say, their voices match effortlessly.
In this performance, everyone could see the love and respect between these two musicians. In fact, Darius Rucker attributes most of why he got into country music to Charley Pride. As a Black artist in the country music industry, Rucker ran into many roadblocks in getting his music out. However, he does admit that he would not have the success he has now if it wasn’t for Charley Pride.
“The first time I saw Charley Pride was on Hee Haw when I was in the first or second grade,” Darius Rucker recalled. “I remember thinking, ‘This is awesome. This guy looks like me and there’s no one else on that show that looks like me.'”
“That must have been such a part of why I always felt I could do whatever I wanted to do with music,” Darius Rucker continued. “Because as a young kid, you see Charley and think, “We’re not supposed to be playing country music,” and this guy’s not only playing it, he’s having a lot of success.”
Darius Rucker Remembers Charley Pride
Charley Pride passed away this past December after battling with Covid-19. In the wake of his death, Darius Rucker remembered his impact on himself and on country music as a whole. The two recorded a song together on Jimmie Allen’s new EP last year, however, they never got to actually hang out in the booth together. Rucker remembered this in his Billboard editorial following the country music star’s death.
“He has great songs, but the delivery was so real,” Darius Rucker remembered. “You can’t believe Charley didn’t write “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’” because he sings it with such feeling. Even when we did “Why Things Happen” on Jimmie Allen’s new EP together, I remember listening and going, “Man, no one sounds like Charley Pride.” We never did get to be in the room together when we recorded it. That’s one of the thoughts that came to mind when I heard he died. I always thought we’d get to sing that song onstage together, the three of us.”