American Masters – Charley Pride: I’m Just Me is set to air on NPT this week beginning tonight (Nov. 5) at 8 p.m. CT and 11 p.m. CT. The show will also air Monday, Nov. 9 at 8 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 1 p.m., and on Dec. 5 at 12 a.m. and 4 a.m. CT.
The show traces Pride’s life journey 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 superstar. The new documentary spotlights how Pride’s love for music led him from the Delta to a larger, grander world. In the 1940s, Pride grew 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 talent, he managed to achieve a legacy of hit singles, a Recording Academy “Lifetime Achievement Award” and a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The film also features interviews with Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, and Marty Stuart, and includes several on-camera conversations between Pride and special guests, including Rozene Pride (his wife of 61 years), Willie Nelson, and other fellow musicians. It also includes many of Pride’s classic hits, along with more modern cuts like “Standing In My Way,” from his latest album Music In My Heart, released in 2017.
“At 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.”
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