American Masters

PREVIEW

Charley Pride: I’m Just Me Trailer

Explore the complicated history of the American South and its music through the life of country star Charley Pride. Raised in segregated Mississippi, his journey shows the ways that artistic expression can triumph over prejudice and injustice.

AIRED: February 22, 2019 | 0:01:43
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TRANSCRIPT

(piano music)

- When Jackie Robinson went to the major leagues

I was picking cotton beside my dad, and I said to myself,

here's my way out of the cotton field.

Playing in the negro league, the guys heard my voice,

and they said, man you could make a lot of money singing.

You sing pretty good.

("Just Between You and Me" by Charley Pride)

♪ They say that time will heal ♪

♪ All wounds in mice and men ♪

- As a little boy, Charley Pride

learned the language of country music.

("Cotton Fields" by Charley Pride)

♪ Yes it was down in Louisiana ♪

♪ Just about a mile from a Texarkana ♪

♪ In them old cotton fields back home ♪

- He didn't take any classes in this.

There weren't any.

He was like, I'm gonna be a country singer,

and I belong here.

- No person of color had ever done what he was doing.

(crowd talking)

- There were a lot more obstacles

in front of mister Pride's dream.

You had to want to get there.

And you had to go for it.

- If I could get in front of them,

they don't care nothing about no pigmentation.

- Charley is a fighter for one.

He's not afraid to kinda do things his own way,

kinda be a trailblazer.

("Kiss An Angel Good Morning" by Charley Pride)

♪ Kiss an angle good morning ♪

♪ And love her like the devil ♪

♪ When you get back home ♪

- it was just a novelty to have

a black man singing country music.

And the fact that he sang it so much better

than so many of the good country artist were at the time.

("Crystal Chandeliers" by Charley Pride)

♪ Oh, the crystal chandeliers light up ♪

♪ the paintings on your wall ♪

- He was the biggest selling RCA artist

next to Elvis, in history.

- Who is Charley Pride?

What do you want?

- Charley deserves every accolade he can get.

We'll make up some new ones if we need to.

("I'm Just Me" by Charley Pride)

♪ I'm just me ♪

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