Charley Pride, 1st black country music star, dead of COVID-19 at 86

By | December 13, 2020
Charley Pride, 1st black country music star, dead of COVID-19 at 86

Charley Delight, 1st black nation music star, useless of COVID-19 at 86

Charley Delight, the primary black nation music celebrity, died Saturday of problems from COVID-19. He was 86.

The trailblazer charted 29 No. 1 hits and one other 21 High 10 singles between the Nineteen Sixties and Eighties, together with “Is Anyone Goin’ to San Antone” and “Mountain of Love.” 

Delight loved his best success within the Nineteen Seventies, turning into the best-selling performer for RCA Data since Elvis Presley.

His ultimate efficiency was on Nov. 11, when he obtained the Nation Music Affiliation’s Lifetime Achievement Award at Nashville’s Music Metropolis Heart. He introduced down the home along with his hit “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’.” 

Considered one of 11 kids born to a sharecropper in Sledge, Mississippi, Delight served within the Military, labored at a Missouri smelting plant, and tried a number of occasions to interrupt into big-league baseball — together with pitching for the Yankees’ Birmingham farm membership and a tryout with the Mets — earlier than transferring to Nashville in 1963. He recorded demo tapes quickly afterward, but it surely was years earlier than Chet Atkins signed him to a contract with RCA.

Delight gained the CMA’s Entertainer of the Yr award in 1971 and its prime male vocalist prize in 1971 and 1972. He gained three 1972 Grammys for a gospel single — “Let Me Stay” on one facet, “Did You Suppose to Pray” on the opposite — and a 1973 Grammy for finest male nation vocal efficiency, for his “Charley Delight Sings Coronary heart Songs” album.

In 2000, he turned the primary black performer elected to the Nation Music Corridor of Fame.

Delight left RCA in 1986 and was the primary act signed to sixteenth Avenue Data, a division of Opryland. His final High 5 hit, “Shouldn’t It Be Simpler Than This,” was launched in 1987.

In 1967, Delight turned the primary black performer to seem on the Grand Ole Opry in additional than 1 / 4 century. In 1976, he broke a de facto touring ban in Northern Eire in the course of the top of the Troubles, along with his “Crystal Chandeliers” turning into a unity tune for Irish folks on either side of the battle.

“We’re not coloration blind but, however we’ve superior a number of paces alongside the trail and I wish to assume I’ve contributed one thing to that course of,” Delight wrote in his 1994 memoir, “Delight.”

Johnny Cash performing with Charley Pride in 1970.
Johnny Money performs with Charley Delight in 1970.
Walt Disney Tv by way of Getty

Nation music legend Dolly Parton was among the many first to specific sympathies. “I’m so heartbroken that one among my dearest and oldest pals, Charley Delight, has handed away,” she tweeted. “It’s even worse to know that he handed away from COVID-19. What a horrible, horrible virus. Charley, we’ll all the time love you.”

Surviving are his spouse, Ebby Rozene Cohran Delight; 4 siblings; three kids; 5 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.


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