There were so many great Charley Pride songs over the years— enough that the country music legend became RCA Records' best-selling solo artist since Elvis Presley. The Sledge, Mississippi native's career accomplishments include 29 No. 1 hits, spread out between 1969 and 1983, plus numerous other songs that have stood the test of time.
This top 10 list favors country songs made famous by Pride, eliminating noteworthy covers of Ronnie Dove's "Mountain of Love," Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Help Me Make It Through The Night" and Hank Williams' "Kaw-Liga," "Honky Tonk Blues" and "You Win Again." It also skips quite a few well-deserved No. 1 hits, such as "Wonder Could I Live There Anymore," "I Can't Believe That You've Stopped Loving Me," "It's Gonna Take a Little Bit Longer," "A Shoulder to Cry On," "Don't Fight The Feelings of Love," "My Eyes Can Only See as Far as You," "She's Just an Old Love Turned Memory," "Never Been So Loved (In All My Life)," "You're So Good When You're Bad," "I'd Rather Love You," "Then Who Am I," "She's Too Good to Be True" and "Amazing Love." Other honorable mentions include the Grammy award-winning gospel songs off Let Me Live and Henry Mancini team-up "All His Children."
In short, there are lots of great tunes by Pride, a beloved member of the Grand Ole Opry. Picking his 10 greatest hits is a tall task, so we approached this more as a jumping-off point for anyone learning about or rediscovering Pride's music, not as a definitive list of his best songs.
"The Snakes Crawl at Night"
Pride's debut RCA single arrived in December 1965. The Mel Tillis-written, "Cowboy" Jack Clement-produced "The Snakes Crawl at Night" introduced listeners to country music's next great vocalist through a chilling tale.
"Someone Loves You Honey"
"Crystal Chandeliers" isn't the only often-covered song popularized by Pride. His 1978 hit became the signature hit for reggae singer J.C. Lodge in 1982 and a dance sensation for Lutricia McNeal in 1998. Consider it further proof that a good song's a good song, regardless of its singer's preferred genre.
Pride's 29th and final No. 1, 1983's "Night Games," proved that not even slick production could water down the delivery of one of country music's all-time great storytellers. For more prime Pride from the '80s, check out his 1981 album Roll on Mississippi (featuring the great song "You Almost Slipped My Mind") and 1984's The Power of Love.
"You're My Jamaica"
The escapist beach bum appeal of Jimmy Buffett informs this chart-topper from 1979. Over 25 years later, Pride re-recorded the song as a duet with Neal McCoy for McCoy's 2005 album That's Life.
"I'm Just Me"
Pride spoke for everyday people as effectively as his peer Tom T. Hall and other master storytellers with the title track from a 1971 album. It's one of Pride's better albums because of such deep cuts as a cover of Conway Twitty's "Hello Darlin'."
"Where Do I Put Her Memory"
Perhaps the best cross between Pride's honky-tonk roots and his penchant for singing Kenny Rogers-style love ballads appears on his classic album Burgers and Fries. Jim Weatherly wrote this must-hear example of Pride lamenting the lovesick blues.
"I'm So Afraid of Losing You Again"
Dallas Frazier of "Elvira" fame co-wrote Pride's second No. 1. Instead of chasing Nashville trends circa 1979, Pride and his team dialed the clock back to the "Tear in My Beer" style honk-tonk numbers from the country star's formative listening years.
"All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)"
Momentum building since Pride's No. 9 hit from 1966, "Just Between You and Me," culminated three years later with this, his first No. 1 hit. It was the first song by a Black man to top the Billboard country charts since 1944. That year, both the Nat King Cole Trio and Louis Jordan scored crossover country hits.
Read More: Meet Charley Pride's Musically Talented Sons
"Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone"
Pride's second best-known song tells of the sort of downtrodden character you might expect from Kristofferson. In this case, our hapless hero's hitchhiking far away from a broken relationship.
"Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'"
Most of the time, a classic artist's most obvious song became that famous for a reason. That's the case here, as "Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'" qualifies as one of the greatest country singles of its time and a fine example of Pride's vocal gifts.
This article was originally published in July of 2020.
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