|“American Masters – Charley Pride: I’m Just Me” is streaming free for a limited time on pbs.org/americanmasters and on the PBS Video app, where it which will run through December 26 before going back to members-only PBS Passport. |
The documentary 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, a news release says.
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.
Pride 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 63 years), Willie Nelson, and other 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.