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Arts & Culture

AMERICAN MASTERS: Charley Pride

Groundbreaking country music star Charley Pride recording in the studio. (undated photo)
Courtesy of AMERICAN MASTERS / PBS
Groundbreaking country music star Charley Pride recording in the studio. (undated photo)

Stream on demand now with KPBS Passport

Stream on demand now with KPBS Passport!

See how country star Charley Pride used music to triumph over prejudice and injustice

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 American League baseball player and his meteoric rise as a pioneering country music superstar.

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Along with exclusive new interviews with Pride himself, the film incorporates original interviews with country music royalty, including Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker and Marty Stuart, as well as on-camera conversations between Pride and special guests such as Rozene Pride (his wife of 61 years), Willie Nelson and fellow musicians.

Narrated by Grammy-nominated country singer Tanya Tucker, the new documentary reveals how Pride’s love for music led him from the Delta to a larger, grander world.

The singer arrived in Nashville in 1963 while the city roiled with sit-ins and racial violence.

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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 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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CREDITS:

A production of Corridor Group Productions Inc in association with THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC’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 John Schouten. Michael Kantor is AMERICAN MASTERS series executive producer.

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