Charley Pride overcame racial barriers as country music star
And he did it by winning over millions of country music fans. Until the early 1990s, when Cleve Francis came along, Pride was the only Black country singer signed to a major label. “Then it was ‘first Negro country singer;’ then ‘first Black country singer.’ Now I’m the `first African-American country singer.′ That’s about the only thing that’s changed. Throughout his career, he sang positive songs instead of sad ones often associated with country music. Even a country singer,” said country singer Rissi Palmer on Twitter.