Music: Black Star of White Soul

"I'm Charley Pride." The name flows out easily in a slow Delta drawl. It is a Good Ole Boy voice with a reedy bayou twang. The sound deceives: the voice may be bone white, but the speaker's skin is as black as the soil of his native Mississippi. "White folks come up and say, 'How come you sound like us and look like them?'" Pride chuckles. "Then I'll meet a black and he says, 'You know, you look like us—but you sound like them!' "

The Marian Anderson of country music, Pride was...