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Welcome aboard to Charley Pride, Faron Young

Country Standard Time Editorial, September 2000

The Country Music Hall of Fame has been criticized over the years for failing to induct some of country's stalwarts into its hallowed halls.

The list grew a few folks shorter with the announcement of the pending induction in September of Faron Young and Charley Pride.

Both are well deserving of the honor. Young, a Louisiana native, had loads of hits for more than two decades, including "If You Ain't Loving (You Ain't Livin')," "Hello Walls," "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young" and "Alone With You," which was number 1 for 13 straight weeks in 1958.

Young was not limited to performing music. He also made his mark by starting Music City News in the 1960's. The publication recently folded.Young's star faded in the mid-'70's, never cracking the Top 10 after 1974. Apparently despondent over his health and his failing status, Young committed suicide in 1996 at 64.

Pride, who once upon a time played baseball in the Negro American League, was a huge hitmaker from the get go. Between 1969 and 1984, only 3 of 54 singles did not make the top 9. His biggest hits included "Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'," "I'm Just Me" and "Is Anybody Goin' to San Antone."

Pride, 62, eventually joined the Opry in 1993, 25 years after first being asked, and was CMA entertainer of the year in 1971.

Pride, of course, was the first real country music superstar who was also black. He certainly endured and overcame racism in the genre.

Based on their pasts, both Young and Pride are most deserving of their honors.