Charley Pride

Just Plain Charley

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In 1970, Charley Pride was well-enough established that RCA no longer had to put "country" in the title of his albums to reassure buyers that, yes, this black man you see on the cover is in fact singing country music. And sing country music he does on Just Plain Charley, from his second number one hit, "(I'm So) Afraid of Losing You Again," to his usual assortment of heartbroken ballads. Pride was often in danger of being perceived as novelty act, but his expressive way with a ballad should have put that thought to rest right away. Pride demonstrates his aptitude for country crooning on "A Good Chance of Tear-Fall Tonight" and "Gone, Gone, Gone" (not to be confused with Lefty Frizzell's "She's Gone Gone Gone") , and covers some recent hits like "Me and Bobby McGee" and "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive." "It's All Right" shows how Pride continued to connect country music with rurality and poverty, thereby proving himself to be one of the more traditional singers of his era. Just Plain Charley isn't plain at all -- it's a fine album from one of the greats.

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