The Story Behind Charley Pride’s “A Shoulder To Cry On”

The Story Behind Charley Pride's Masterpiece: 'A Shoulder To Cry On'
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The story behind Charley Pride‘s “A Shoulder To Cry On” takes us back to the iconic artist Merle Haggard. Known as The Hag, Haggard achieved an impressive 38 No. 1 singles in his singing career. What sets him apart is the fact that two of his songs secured the top spot when covered by other artists, adding to his remarkable legacy. Among his notable creations are five songs that turned into hits a total of six times.

>>READ ALSO: 10 Things About Merle Haggard You Sould Know

These classics include “Today I Started Loving You Again,” hitting No. 9 for Sammi Smith, with Charlie McCoy releasing an instrumental version in 1972. Conway Twitty‘s rendition of “I Wonder What She’ll Think About Me Leaving” secured the No. 4 spot in 1971. Hank Williams Jr. succeeded with “I’d Rather Be Gone,” reaching No. 4 as well. George Jones turned Merle Haggard’s “I Always Get Lucky With You” into a No. 1 hit. Last but certainly not least, Charley Pride took “A Shoulder To Cry On” to another No. 1 hit.


>>READ ALSO: The Story Behind Merle Haggard’s “Sing Me Back Home”

Merle Haggard, Charlie Pride and song writer Bill Mack. Panther Hall, Ft. Worth, TX.

Interestingly, despite its eventual success, Charley Pride revealed that “A Shoulder To Cry On” wasn’t initially planned as a single. During a live performance in Las Vegas, Haggard pitched the song to Pride right on stage. Impressed, Pride committed to recording the song, and in return, Haggard promised to record some songs published by Pi-Gem, Charley Pride’s company. Unfortunately, Merle couldn’t fulfill his end of the deal.


The song earned widespread acclaim, with many considering it one of Charley Pride’s standout records. “A Shoulder To Cry On” reached the summit of Billboard’s Hot Country Singles Chart on April 14, 1943, marking Charley Pride’s 11th chart-topping achievement.

>>Listen: Charley Pride – A Shoulder To Cry On

>>READ ALSO: The Story Behind Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty’s Classic Duet “Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man”


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