Thoughts from Dale Steenbergen-
Charley Pride was one of the greatest country music singers of all time. I particularly like the song “Is Anybody Goin to San Antone.” However, you might not know that Charley was black and struggled mightily to overcome racial barriers in the industry. In fact, his first single, “The Snakes Crawl at Night,” was released without Charley’s picture. Charley broke barriers, advocated for equal treatment, and pushed back on racism until his death.
Racial barriers are something that need to go away. They only disappear when each of us does our part to get rid of them in our little corner of the world. Certainly race, discrimination, and religion have been big topics in our community as of late. We miss a lot when we don’t embrace, listen to, and respect folks that are different from us. Charley is a great example of that sentiment. How many great songs would we have missed if discrimination and ignorance had won? We would have been cheated out of the gift that Charley shared with us.
Charley, “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” and rest in peace. Thank you for all you gave us in music, and thank you for plowing the road for those who would come behind you.
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