CMT is to honor the memory of Charley Pride, the country giant who died in Dallas, Texas on December 12 at the age of 86, with a new TV special tomorrow (16).
CMT Remembers Charley Pride will include interviews and commentary by Pride himself spread across three decades, as well as a selection of his greatest hits. There will also be appearances by friends and admirers including Darius Rucker, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, Tim McGraw, Shania Twain, Pride’s wife Rozene, son Dion, sister Maxine, and brother Joe. The show will air on CMT on December 16 at 7pm CT, and will be repeated on December 17 at 8am and December 19 at 11am, also CT.
Pride’s family, mindful of the need for safety during the pandemic, is to hold a private service in his memory. Plans for a public celebration of his life will be announced at a later date. His last public perforance came at last month’s 54th CMA Awards, where he was presented with the 2020 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. Pride tested negative for the virus after the ceremony, but he was admitted to hospital with “COVID-19 type symptoms” in late November and died of complications from the disease.
A news release about the program states: “As part of a special tribute announced today by CMT, CMT Remembers Charley Pride is a celebration honoring the extraordinary life and legacy of one of the most influential, decorated, and impactful country artists in the history of the genre.
“Featuring three decades of interviews and commentary from Pride himself, blended alongside archival footage of his greatest hits and most memorable performances, the half-hour event follows the Country Music Hall of Famer from his humble beginnings in Mississippi to his rise to CMA Entertainer of the Year with an unprecedented string of hits.
“Despite facing pervasive racism throughout this legendary career, Pride’s perseverance and unmatched talent transcended generations, broke down barriers, and blazed a new path for black country artists.”