Charley Pride

Charley Pride's 10th Album

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The cardigan-clad man beaming through a trellis on the cover of Charley Pride's 10th Album doesn't look like a standard-bearer for traditional country music, but Pride's allegiance to songs about rambling, poverty, and trains is commendable. Releasing ten albums in four years wasn't an unusual feat at the time, and Pride accomplished it by covering scads of well-known hits. This album breaks with the formula for only the second time (Songs of Pride, from 1968, is similar) and offers a plate of new songs by assorted Nashville songwriters. "This Is My Year for Mexico" was later a hit for Crystal Gayle, but it was unknown when Pride recorded it. "Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone" deservedly went to number one, but the remaining tracks are likewise very good. With "Able Bodied Man," "Special," and "A Poor Boy Like Me," Pride continues to mine country music's association with the working class and economic hardship at a time when the genre was increasingly moving toward glamour and the pop mainstream. Several of Pride's affecting ballad performances also grace an album that stands above the average of his consistently good catalog.

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