Ins 11-25 Buenos Dias_1.jpg

Dion Pride. (Contributed photo)

Buenos Dias. 

Dion Pride, son of legendary Country Music Hall of Fame legend, Charley Pride, performed at the George West, Dobie West Performing Arts Theater, to a large audience on Saturday, Nov. 13. 

The young Pride not only resembles his famous father, but sings just as wonderful. In some of his songs, Dion’s tone echoes the great baritone voice that made his dad’s songs stand out.

Dion dedicated the evening as a “memorial” to his Dad.  Charley Pride died on Dec. 12, 2020 at the age of 86, due to complications of Covid -19 (Dion is now the “caregiver” for his mom, Rozene Pride).

Charley Pride was born on March 18, 1938, in Sledge, Mississippi and married Rozene Cohran in 1956 and were blessed with sons Kraig, Dion, and daughter Angela Pride. 

Dion bragged that he was his Dad’s “favorite” who wanted him to be his clone because he was born five days before his dad’s birthday. The young Pride also recalled that as children, they visited their paternal and maternal grandparents, but they were as different as night and day. He remembered visiting his Mom’s parents in Mississippi, who had a beautiful home with a large, high off the ground porch that they loved to jump from. Everybody “visited” while the kids jumped off the porch, picked peaches off the trees and played on that wonderful tire swing.

Dion’s dad’s parents expected more from him, and Dion recalled that even before the sun came out, his Grandfather would wake him with, “Get up boy, we got chores to do!”  He must have been around nine years old and at sun-up, there he was, having to gather eggs, feed the chickens, chop wood, churn butter and milk the cows. He kidded that he didn’t know how to milk the cow and he could never “hold on to the …(teats!)” to milk a cow.

Dion remembered the train tracks and picking cotton. He didn’t know how to remove all the cotton from each plant and was told that each plant contributed to the weight of the cotton that needed to be picked at the end of the day and if that goal wasn’t met, “we didn’t eat that day.”

The younger Pride said his dad remembered the experience as well, and growing up in Mississippi, made his hit song, “Mississippi Cotton Picking Delta Town” come to life, as Dion started singing it and the crowd went wild.

While Dion was up on stage, he thanked everybody for coming to support him and remembering his dad. He said he remembered StoryFest in his research of George West, and that he indeed loved to tell stories about his dad and his music as well. He said he also liked to be with his audience and decided to come down from the stage to the front row seats so he could sing his songs more intimately (Ralph Lopez, in charge of stage lights, immediately used the “spotlight” on him and the theater lights came on for all of us). 

Dion then sang a “love song” where he said to “give her the elbow” because the song’s lyrics could relate to their love/relationship. When he finished singing the song, Dion asked, if anybody in the audience related and, sure enough, several hands went up because the song’s lyrics were indeed true in their love relationship.

Recommended for you