Say What? Classic – Charley Pride

Charley Pride, 1984:

Music is only a product, like anything else. You pick out what you feel your audience will like, and do it. At first, I recorded a lot of things I didn’t like. After I reached a point where I had some say-so about what I record, I try now to record what I like.



  1. I think it encompasses what the majority of music artists go through (particularly American Idol runners-ups and winners), we all saw this with Carrie Underwood, and how she begun to take more control over her albums over the period between Some Hearts & Play On.

    I think she is in a position now (or at least very close to) where she could record almost anything she wanted.

    I remember Trisha Yearwood credited Reba McEntire for showing that women could have a say-so in what they wanted to record, but I do think it takes a certain amount of time before an artist can do that, considering it took Reba 9 years before she was able to pick and choose what went on her albums (the first instance being 1984’s My Kind Of Country).

  2. Charley stayed hot for almost twenty years. In fact, he had the longest sustained hot streak in the history of the genre as 35 consecutive songs reached #1 on the Billboard and/or Cashbox Country Charts. Starting with 1969′s “Kaw-Liga” and ending with 1980′s “You Almost Slipped My Mind”, every Charley Pride single (except the 1972 two-sided gospel record “Let Me Live”/”Did You Think To Pray” and the 1979 “Dallas Cowboys” NFL special souvenir edition) reached #1 at least on one of the two major charts in use during his career peak (and usually on both charts). Even George Strait and Conway Twitty never had such a sustain run. Cashbox had Charley as the #1 country artist for the period 1958-1982

  3. …in a time when country music was largely single-driven, it was almost impossible not give the audience what it requested. later, when albums became the more important format, artists would have the benefit that there’s slightly more room to express their idividual approach to their published music, although only to a certain degree. garth brooks’ “chris gaines” extravaganza made it quite clear how far an artist, even a superstar, could stray off the beaten track.

    at the end of the day, however, the ol’ fishermen wisdom that the bait has to taste good to the fish, actually says it all.

  4. He has a new single out called Except for you, impacting the country charts in february 22, i guess he’s tryin to make a comeback…

  5. While I admit that Charley’s argument about music being a “product” is valid up to a point, for the simple reasoning of being able to sell, there is a point where people are going to want to know where the artistry is as well. If it’s just mere “product” (as way too much of country music seems to be these days), then it’s just cold-blooded and lifeless (IMHO).

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