Greetings from Asheville, where the good music is always on the turntable. Today’s Classic 45 takes us back to 1969 and gave country superstar Charley Pride his biggest hit to that point.
The story of Sledge, Mississippi’s Charley Pride is well known. In fact, PBS recently aired a documentary on Charley’s life and career, that I recommend, if you haven’t already seen it. Charley began recording in 1965, and while his first two singles garnered him some attention, they both failed to chart. Charley’s chart debut came as 1967 was dawning with “Just Between You and Me”. “Just Between You and Me” climbed into Billboard’s top ten.
By the summer of 1969, Charley had already become one of the hottest young stars in country music. He scored seven consecutive top tens in Billboard. Meanwhile, Cashbox had him at six top tens, plus a number one with his cover of Hank Williams’ “Kaw-Liga”, earlier in the year.
“All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)” would become the first Charley Pride record to top both major charts. Released in May 1969, it made it’s debut in the May 31st edition of Cashbox, while not appearing in Billboard until June 14th. The single quickly climbed both charts, topping Cashbox on July 19th, where it would stay 4 weeks. In Billboard, it’s ascent was a bit slower, hitting number one, there, on August 9th, and spending just 1 week on top. The single also briefly appeared on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart, peaking at 91.
“All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)” made its album debut that fall, with the release of The Best Of Charley Pride.
The song became the first of 29 number one hits in Billboard for Charley Pride, becoming one of his many classic recordings. And fifty years later (as of this writing), the record sounds just as outstanding as the day it first hit the market.
Saving vinyl, one record at a time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike the Country Musicologist is a lifelong music and radio fanatic, model railroader, lover of vintage agriculture, and big sports fan, including the Colts, Reds, Hurricanes, Pacers, Purdue & Butler Universities. He has collected records since childhood, focusing on classic country and top 40 oldies music. He convinced Vincennes University to give him an Associate’s Degree in broadcasting. He’s worked for several stations in Indiana and North Carolina. Be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.