Charley Pride

Classics with Pride

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Charley Pride had long since reached his commercial peak when Classics With Pride came out in 1996, but the very enjoyable release demonstrated that at 56, he could still sing with plenty of warmth and charisma. The CD may not be in a class with his best work of the 1960s and '70s, but even so, it was among the most noteworthy country offerings of 1996. The emphasis is on covers, and the veteran singer successfully turns his attention to vintage country like "Ramblin' Rose," "Please Help Me, I'm Fallin'," "Lovesick Blues" (which Hank Williams defined in the 1940s) and Don Gibson's "Sea of Heartbreak" as well as "You've Got to Stand for Something," a hit for Aaron Tippin in 1990. Another high point is a cover of Brook Benton's "It's Just a Matter of Time," which works quite well in a country-pop setting. Novices would be better off with a collection of Pride's RCA output, but diehard fans will be glad to hear how good he still sounded in the mid-'90s.

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