The American Masters documentary Charley Pride: I’m Just Me, about Pride growing up a sharecropper’s son in Mississippi before making it as a trail-blazing country music superstar, airs on PBS Feb. 22. Barbara Hall directed, and Michael Kantor is the executive producer on behalf of American Masters.
Before his music career kicked in, Pride also had a run as a baseball player in the Negro leagues. The film includes interviews with Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Willie Nelson and Marty Stuart.
“At a time when African-American singers were more notable for R&B hits, Charley Pride followed his passion for country music, overcoming obstacles through determination and raw talent to make a lasting impact on the genre and create a legacy that continues today,” said Kantor. “We are honored to share the inspiring, and largely untold, story of this barrier-breaking performer with viewers nationwide.”
I’m Just Me and Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me, which premiered Feb. 19, are the American Masters projects tied to Black History Month.
Coming up for American Masters this year are the documentaries Holly Near: Singing for Our Lives, about the singer-songwriter, out March 1; Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People, about the famed newspaper publisher, April 12; Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable, about the photographer, April 19; and Terrence McNally: Every Act of Live, about the playwright and screenwriter, June 14.
Robert Shaw — Man of Many Voices, about the actor, rolls in summer or fall, and N. Scott Momaday: Words From a Bear, about the Native American author, premieres in the fall.