♫ Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’ ♫ R.I.P. Charley Pride

I am not, as many of you know, a fan of country music.  In fact, I find that hard-core country, bluegrass, and western tunes actually hurt my ears and make me cringe.  I have long loved Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, and a handful of others whose music is … country, but of a softer nature.  But … Charley Pride deserves to be honoured here tonight for his accomplishments.

Charley Pride, one of country music’s first Black superstars whose rich baritone on such hits as Kiss an Angel Good Morning helped sell millions of records and made him the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, has died at the age of 86 from complications of the coronavirus.

Mr. Pride was a singer, guitarist, and what you might not have known, a professional baseball player!  During the peak years of his recording career (1966–87), he garnered 52 top-10 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, 30 of which made it to #1. He won the Entertainer of the Year award at the Country Music Association Awards in 1971.  Pride was one of three African-American members of the Grand Ole Opry, and he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.

Mr. Pride was not the first Black artist to record country music, but none of his predecessors had anywhere near the degree of success he enjoyed, and he went a long way toward breaking the colour barrier in the country music world.  Though Mr. Pride faced racism in the industry — the singer Loretta Lynn was instructed not to embrace him at an awards show in the 1970s should he win the award she was presenting — many of his white counterparts in country music welcomed him as the star he had become. (He did win the award, and Ms. Lynn not only hugged but kissed him.)

When word spread that Mr. Pride was Black, many radio stations refused to play his music. But Faron Young, a white country music star, came to Mr. Pride’s defense, telling one station manager that “if he takes Charley Pride off, take all my records off.”

Dolly Parton’s tribute to Charley Pride …

“I’m so heartbroken that one of my dearest and oldest friends, Charley Pride, has passed away. It’s even worse to know that he passed away from COVID-19. What a horrible, horrible virus. Charley, we will always love you. Rest In Peace. My love and thoughts go out to his family and all of his fans.”

And now … the song that Charley Pride was best known for …

Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’
Song by Charley Pride

When ever I chance to meet, some old friends on the street
They wonder how does a man get to be this way
I’ve always got a smiling face, anytime & any place
And every time they ask me why I just smile & say

You’ve got to kiss an angel good morning
And let her know you think about her when you’re gone
Kiss an angel good morning
And love her like the devil when you get back home

Well people may try to guess, the secret of my happiness
But some of them never learn it’s a simple thing
The secret I’m speaking of, is a woman & a man in love
And the answer is in this song that I always sing

You’ve got to kiss an angel good morning
And let her know you think about her when you’re gone
Kiss an angel good morning
And love her like the devil when you get back home

Kiss an angel good morning
And let her know you think about her when you’re gone
Kiss an angel good morning
And love her like the devil when you get back home

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Al Anderson / Bob Dipiero / Joe Klimek
Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’ lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management, Bluewater Music Corp.

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