My reflections on Charley Pride

The legend, Charley Pride and me.

I have been blessed to meet many of the greats in Country Music. Garth, Luke Bryan and Combs, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney. These are true blessing as I know most Country fans never get the opportunity to meet their favorites. Older stars like Dolly, Merle Haggard and George Jones have also shook my hand. But the one that stood out the most was Mr. Charley Pride.

Charley was an icon. A man that broke barriers and made the Country Music community a better place. While bringing tremendous change to the world of Country, he did so with little fanfare, never pointing a finger and saying "Be fair to me". He just delivered great music in an incredibly entertaining way.

It was June of 2016 that I met Charley. Yes, way to long of a wait. Charley had performed at Darius Rucker's annual fundraiser for St. Jude and followed the performance as a guest in the Darius Golf Tournament the following day. I was blessed with being a part of Charley's foursome. I could not believe my luck. I had played in the past with Darius, and once with Charles Kelly of Lady A. But this was different. i was in the presence of Country Music Royalty.

The 2 things that most stood out to me was one, how incredibly friendly Mr. Pride was. After of hole or two of calling him Mr. Pride, he looked at me and said, just call me Charley. Wow! Charley was 83 at the time, but he could still play and we had a great time. Not because of the golf, but because of all the great stories Charley shared between shots. He was very generous with his stories about all the Country singers he knew and shared moments with. And he never said an ill word about anyone. Now as you can imagine, back in the 60's when Charley hit the scene there had to be some pushback. I am sure he could have blasted a few people or institutions, but that's not Charley. This guy loved everyone.

Funny stories and life lessons were shared on the golf course that day, and without a doubt, it was the best round of golf I ever enjoyed. Charley Pride, an incredible talent, but an ever better human being. Rest In peace Charley. Below are a couple of pics I took of Charley when performing for our St. Jude kids.

Charley Pride onstage in Nashville
Charley with Darius

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