Country-music legend Charley Pride recently released a well-received album titled “Music in My Heart.”
Not only does the 83-year-old Pride sound good, but he musically returns to Route 66 with a cover of a semi-obscure Merle Haggard tune, “The Way It Was in ’51.”
The first line of the song is: “Sixty-Six was still a narrow two-lane highway.” That’s pretty accurate, as Route 66 in 1951 contained four-lane stretches in only a few places, if at all.
If you want to hear the 1978 original, go here.
The Route 66 link to Pride is a substantial one. One of his biggest hits — “Is Anybody Going to San Antone” from 1970 — remains a signature song (the only other contender is “Kiss an Angel Good Morning”). Pride logged 29 No. 1 hits during his Country Hall of Fame career, but “San Antone” is one of those songs he can’t skip during a gig.
“San Antone” contains these lines: “Here I am a-walkin’ down 66, wish she hadn’t done me this way.”
“Is Anybody Going to San Antone” remained popular with many Texas music artists, particularly the late, great Texas Tornadoes.
(Image of Charley Pride in 2008 by Tyler Neu via Flickr)