Charley Satisfaction, nation music’s first Black star whose wealthy baritone on such hits as “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” helped promote tens of millions of information and made him the primary Black member of the Nation Music Corridor of Fame, has died. He was 86.
Satisfaction died Saturday in Dallas of problems from Covid-19, in keeping with Jeremy Westby of the general public relations agency 2911 Media.
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“I’m so heartbroken that one in every of my dearest and oldest mates, Charley Satisfaction, has handed away. It’s even worse to know that he handed away from COVID-19. What a horrible, horrible virus. Charley, we are going to at all times love you,” Dolly Parton tweeted.
Satisfaction launched dozens of albums and offered greater than 25 million information throughout a profession that started within the mid-Nineteen Sixties. Hits moreover “Kiss an Angel Good Morning” in 1971 included “Is Anyone Goin’ to San Antone,” “Burgers and Fries,” “Mountain of Love,” and “Somebody Loves You Honey.”
He had three Grammy Awards, greater than 30 No. 1 hits between 1969 and 1984, received the Nation Music Affiliation’s High Male Vocalist and Entertainer of the 12 months awards in 1972 and was inducted into the Nation Music Corridor of Fame in 2000.
The Smithsonian in Washington acquired memorabilia from Satisfaction, together with a pair of trainers and one in every of his guitars, for the the Nationwide Museum of African American Historical past and Tradition.
Ronnie Milsap known as him a “pioneer” and mentioned that with out his encouragement, Milsap may by no means gone to Nashville. “To listen to this information tears out a bit of my coronary heart,” he mentioned in an announcement.
Till the early Nineties, when Cleve Francis got here alongside, Satisfaction was the one Black nation singer signed to a serious label.
In 1993, he joined the Grand Ole Opry forged in Nashville.
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“They used to ask me the way it feels to be the `first coloured nation singer,‘” he instructed The Dallas Morning Information in 1992. “Then it was `first Negro nation singer;’ then `first black nation singer.′ Now I’m the `first African-American nation singer.′ That’s about the one factor that’s modified. This nation is so race-conscious, so ate-up with colours and pigments. I name it `pores and skin hangups’ — it’s a illness.”
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Satisfaction was raised in Sledge, Mississippi, the son of a sharecropper. He had seven brothers and three sisters.
In 2008 whereas accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award as a part of the Mississippi Governor’s Awards for Excellence within the Arts, Satisfaction mentioned he by no means targeted on race.
“My older sister one time mentioned, ‘Why are you singing THEIR music?’” Satisfaction mentioned. “However all of us perceive what the y’all-and-us-syndrome has been. See, I by no means as a person accepted that, and I actually consider that’s why I’m the place I’m right now.”
As a younger man earlier than launching his singing profession, he was a pitcher and outfielder within the Negro American League with the Memphis Crimson Sox and within the Pioneer League in Montana.
After taking part in minor league baseball a few years, he ended up in Helena, Montana, the place he labored in a zinc smelting plant by day and performed nation music in nightclubs at night time.
After a tryout with the New York Mets, he visited Nashville and broke into nation music when Chet Atkins, head of RCA Data, heard two of his demo tapes and signed him.
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To make sure that Satisfaction was judged on his music and never his race, his first few singles have been despatched to radio stations with out a publicity photograph. After his id grew to become recognized, a couple of nation radio stations refused to play his music.
For essentially the most half, although, Satisfaction mentioned he was effectively acquired. Early in his profession, he would put white audiences relaxed when he joked about his “everlasting tan.”
“Music is the best communicator on the planet Earth,” he mentioned in 1992. “As soon as folks heard the sincerity in my voice and heard me venture and watched my supply, it simply dissipated any apprehension or dangerous feeling they may have had.”
All through his profession, he sang optimistic songs as a substitute of unhappy ones typically related to nation music.
“Music is a lovely method of expressing oneself and I actually consider music shouldn’t be taken as a protest,” he instructed The Related Press in 1985. “You possibly can go too far in something — singing, appearing, no matter — and turn into politicized to the purpose you stop to be an entertainer.”
In 1994, he wrote his autobiography, “Satisfaction: The Charley Satisfaction Story,” wherein he disclosed he was mildly manic depressive.
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He had surgical procedure in 1997 to take away a tumor from his proper vocal wire.
He acquired the Residing Legend award from The Nashville Community/Music Metropolis Information, recognizing 30 years of feat, in 1997.
“I’d wish to be remembered as a superb one who tried to be a superb entertainer and made folks blissful, was a superb American who paid his taxes and made a superb dwelling,” he mentioned in 1985. “I attempted to do my finest and contribute my half.”
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