Country Music Hall of Famer Charley Pride had “A Whole Lotta Things to Sing About” before a sold-out show inside the Pend Oreille Pavilion at Northern Quest Resort Casino Thursday, May 30, in Airway Heights.
Dubbed “The Pride of Country Music,” Pride brought more than two-dozen songs in a nearly 90-minute set before an appreciative audience.
At age 85, Pride stumbled on a few lyrics, but having recorded more than 500 songs throughout his 50-plus-year-career (including 40 No. 1 chart-toppers), the audience was quick to forgive, and Pride laughed it off.
As one of the most successful artists in the country music industry, Pride said he was one of the best-selling singers signed to RCA Records in history alongside Elvis Presley.
He was backed by a six-piece band, with some members working with him for 20 and 40 years.
Along with many of his top hits (including “The Snakes Crawl at Night,” “Whole Lotta Things to Sing About,” “Just Between You and Me,” “Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger,” “Crystal Chandeliers,” “You’re My Jamaica”), he paid tribute to Buck Owens, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. He also performed a gospel medley featuring “God’s Coloring Book,” which was penned by Dolly Parton when she was 19 years old.
Prior to performing “God, Bless America Tonight,” Pride stated he wanted to do a patriotic song, but it wasn’t going to be controversial. When he finished the song, he received a loud cheer and standing ovation.
At one point a youngster in the front row held up a sign, “Can I shake your hand?” Pride was quick to acknowledge the youngster and replied: “Absolutely.”
Nearing the end of the show he picked up his guitar and the band kicked off “Kaw-Liga” followed by his signature song, “Kiss an Angel Good Morning,” and “Cotton Fields.”
As a self-described “traditional country singer,” Pride delivered to his fans exactly what they wanted. Traditional country music.
His next performance will be Friday at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn.
Brock Hires is managing editor of The Chronicle. He can be reached at 509-826-1110 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.