Charley Pride Goes to #1 on This Date in 1971
Charley Pride not only has 39 #1 hits to his credit, he also holds the distinction of possibly being the only baseball player in history to be traded for a team bus. The biggest of those #1 hits, "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'", hit the top spot on this date.
Like some of the greatest men to walk the planet (namely, me), Charley Pride was born in Mississippi on March 18, 1938. Through his young adult years, hopes for a career in the major leagues sent Pride from the Negro Leagues to lower classification farm teams for MLB clubs to tryouts with a few big league clubs before arm injuries sucked the life out of his fastball. It was during one of these stops that Pride and another player were traded in exchange for a team bus. That has yet to happen again in the history of baseball, but give the Marlins a chance... they'll do it in a heartbeat.
The transition to musician seems to have been a wise one, as the man the world knew as country star Charley Pride became just the 2nd black man in the Grand Ole Opry, the biggest-selling artist for RCA since a youngster named Elvis Presley and the owner of 39 #1 hits. His biggest hit went to the #1 spot on the Billboard Country Charts on this date in 1971, going on to be Pride's only top-40 hit on the pop charts (#21) and even cracking the top-10 on the Adult Contemporary Charts.