Tune In Alert: ‘American Masters – Charley Pride: I’m Just Me’ Set To Make PBS Network Premiere Friday, Feb. 22

American Masters – Charley Pride: I’m Just Me will make its PBS network premiere Friday, Feb. 22 at 9 p.m. ET (check local listings), and begin streaming at pbs.org/americanmasters and PBS apps on Saturday, Feb. 23.

American Masters – Charley Pride: I’m Just Me
traces the improbable journey of Charley Pride, from his humble
beginnings as a sharecropper’s son on a cotton farm in segregated
Sledge, Mississippi to his career as a Negro League baseball player and
his meteoric rise as a trailblazing country music superstar. The new
documentary reveals how Pride’s love for music led him from the Delta to
a larger, grander world. In the 1940s, radio transcended racial
barriers, making it possible for Pride to grow up listening to and
emulating Grand Ole Opry stars like Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff.
The singer arrived in Nashville in 1963 while the city roiled with
sit-ins and racial violence. But with boldness, perseverance and
undeniable musical talent, he managed to parlay a series of fortuitous
encounters with music industry insiders into a legacy of hit singles, a
Recording Academy “Lifetime Achievement Award” and a place in the
Country Music Hall of Fame.

The film includes original interviews with country music royalty, including Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker and Marty Stuart. It also includes several on-camera conversations between Pride and special guests, including Rozene Pride (his wife of 61 years), Willie Nelson,
and other fellow musicians. The film also features many songs from his
repertoire of classic country hits, along with more modern cuts like
“Standing In My Way,” from his latest album Music In My Heart, released in 2017.


a time when African-American singers were more notable for R&B
hits, Charley Pride followed his passion for country music, overcoming
obstacles through determination and raw talent to make a lasting impact
on the genre and create a legacy that continues today,” said Michael
Kantor, executive producer of American Masters. “We are honored to share
the inspiring, and largely untold, story of this barrier-breaking
performer with viewers nationwide.”

On January 30, 2019 the film made its world premiere at Belmont
University in Nashville, Tennessee. The premiere featured an appearance
by Charley Pride himself, along with special guest artists featured in
the film, including the film’s narrator Tanya Tucker, Jimmie Allen, Janie Fricke, and Sylvia Hutton.
Members of the media, and other family and friends of Pride also
attended. After the film a Q&A was hosted by the film’s director Barbara Hall, and journalist Robert K. Oermann, Country Music Hall of Fame’s Peter Cooper, and Charley Pride.

Notable Talent In The Film:

• Charley Pride

• Garth Brooks

• Dolly Parton

• Willie Nelson

• Tanya Tucker (narrator)

• Brad Paisley

• Darius Rucker

• Marty Stuart

• Sylvia Hutton

• Charlie Worsham

• Jimmie Allen

• Whoopi Goldberg

Buzzworthy Moments:

• Charley Pride and fellow country music superstar Willie Nelson reminisce on camera about the early days of their careers.

• Charley Pride explains how he maneuvered his way through the white
ranks of country music in order to gain acceptance in the industry.

• Charley Pride and his wife Rozene speak candidly about Pride’s
struggles with mental illness over the years. While on tour in Germany
in 1968, the singer suffered a manic attack and was diagnosed with
bipolar disorder.

Noteworthy Facts:

• Eighteen-year-old Charley Pride made his debut in the Negro American
League as a pitcher-outfielder for the Memphis Red Sox in 1952.

• Charley Pride was drafted into the army in 1956 and served 14 months
in Arkansas and Colorado. While in the military, he played on the Fort
Carson baseball team and sang in the barracks.

• After RCA signed him to a record deal, his third single, “Just Between
You and Me,” reached the top 10 on the country music charts in 1967.
The singer received his first GRAMMY® nomination, for Best Country &
Western Vocal Performance, Male, for the song.

• Charley Pride first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry radio show in
January, 1967. When he was inducted as an Opry member in 1993, he became
the first African-American Opry member since DeFord Bailey, who had
been a regular member from 1927 until 1941. Pride celebrated the 25th
anniversary of his induction into the Grand Ole Opry in 2018.

• Charley Pride won Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year at the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards in 1971.

• Charley Pride committed to an extensive tour of the U.K. in 1976,
including several dates in Northern Ireland during the peak of the
Troubles conflict. Because of the intense political violence,
international music acts were avoiding Belfast. Pride’s November 1976
appearance at Belfast’s Ritz Cinema brought the community together and
he became a hero to both sides of the conflict for helping to break the
informal touring ban of Northern Ireland after several other
international music acts soon followed. This resulted in “Crystal
Chandeliers” being considered a ‘unity song’ in Ireland and the UK when
it was subsequently released as single.

• In 2000, Charley Pride was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

• The Recording Academy honored Charley Pride with a Lifetime
Achievement Award during the GRAMMY® Salute to Music Legends awards
ceremony and tribute concert event in 2017.

Running Time: 52 minutes

Production Credits:

American Masters – Charley Pride: I’m Just Me is a production
of Corridor Group Productions Inc in association with THIRTEEN’s
American Masters and ITVS. The film is directed by Barbara Hall, who is
also executive producer. Co-executive producers are Greg Hall, Suzanne
Kessler and Ed Lanquist. Jon Schouten is producer. Editors are Matthew
Walsh and Chris Windings. Writer is Jon Schouten. Michael Kantor is
American Masters series executive producer.


Support for American Masters – Charley Pride: I’m Just Me
is provided by Mike and Ginny Lester. Major support for American
Masters is provided by AARP. Additional support is provided by the
Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, Ellen and James
Marcus, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Judith and Burton
Resnick, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, Vital Projects Fund,
Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Blanche & Irving Laurie
Foundation, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael &
Helen Schaffer Foundation, Seton Melvin, and public television viewers.








Be sure to follow Charley Pride on Facebook and at CharleyPride.com.

About Charley Pride:

Charley Pride is celebrating more than 50 years as a recording artist.
He has enjoyed one of the most successful careers in the history of
country music and is credited with helping to break color barriers by
becoming the first black superstar within the genre. A true living
legend, he has sold tens of millions of records worldwide with his large
repertoire of hits. A three-time GRAMMY® award and Recording Academy
“Lifetime Achievement Award” winner, Pride has garnered no less than 36
chart-topping country hits, including “Kiss An Angel Good Morning,” a
massive #1 crossover hit that sold over a million singles and helped
Pride land the Country Music Association’s “Entertainer of the Year”
award in 1971 and the “Top Male Vocalist” awards of 1971 and 1972. A
proud member of the Grand Ole Opry, Pride continues to perform concerts
worldwide and has toured the United States, Canada, Ireland, The United
Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand over the last several years. His
latest album, Music In My Heart, was released in 2017 on Music City Records. For more information, visit CharleyPride.com.

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