Charley Pride

Charley Frank Pride was born on March 18, 1934 to Fowler McArthur “Mack” Pride and Tessie B. Stewart Pride in Sledge, Mississippi. His family survived by being sharecropping cotton farmers. Charley told of wanting to have a career in baseball and initially set out to do so. He left home at sixteen to pursue a baseball career and was a pitcher in the old Negro Leagues following his older brother Mack, Jr.

Charley played for at least two teams, the Memphis Red Sox and the Birmingham Black Barons. He also signed for a tryout with the Yankees in Major League Baseball and played for their affiliate, the Boise Yankees in the Pioneer League in 1953. In addition, he spent some time with two other MLB minor league teams, the Fond Du Lac Panthers of the Wisconsin State League in 1953 and the Nogales Yaquis in the Arizona-Mexico League in 1955. He then married and did a two year hitch in the United States Army before returning for part of another season with the Missoula Timberjacks, again in the Pioneer League, in 1960. He worked in industry and briefly played for the company baseball team. Charley later took up other sports but never lost his love for baseball. He was selected by the Texas Rangers in a special commemorative draft by Major League Baseball teams of former Negro League players that was held in the spring of 2008. His brother Mack was drafted by the Colorado Rockies.

In a 1994 newspaper interview, Charley remembered the highly segregated south of his youth and credited his mother Tessie with helping him avoid bitterness from those experiences. Almost forty years into his musical career by that time, Pride confided about becoming somewhat tired of being known for his achievements through the lens of being African-American. Indeed, his achievements were the result of his great talent and perseverance.

In addition to his long time love of baseball, he grew up with a love of music that expanded into a career that produced 30 number one hits, along with a dozen gold albums. His biographies note that he got his first Sears Roebuck guitar when he was fourteen with money he had earned picking cotton and used this mail order guitar to learn to play. His family was also deeply involved in the local Baptist church where Charley was well exposed to Gospel music. He later recorded at least two Gospel albums that were made up of arrangements of older hymns as well as new songs. Several of his Gospel and inspirational themed songs were released as singles and Charley was said to be always open to performing for Protestant and Catholic charities.

Record executives and artists began to notice Charley while he was still living in Montana and introduced him to producers. Charley was signed by Chet Atkins in 1965 to a recording contract with RCA Records and the label released a single soon afterward. His third single “Just Between You and Me” did reach the Top 10 in 1966, as did all the singles he released over the next two years. He won his first Grammy Award for Best Song of the Year shortly afterwords. In 1969, he had his first number one hit, “All I Have to Offer You” followed by over two dozen more hit singles over the next twenty years. Charley had twenty-nine number one hits, including such memorable songs as “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” (1970), “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’” (1971), and “All I Have to Offer You Is Me” (1969). He released his first LP album in 1966 and it, along with a dozen more, reached number one on the album chart.

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While carrying on his successful performing career, he made Texas his home as he branched out into other businesses including real estate. He started a music booking and management company and introduced other new artists into the country music world. He also was part owner in a music publishing company.

Charley was sought for television appearances on variety shows and the Grand Ole Opry. Charley’s many honors include being named Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year in 1971. He was twice named Male Vocalist of the Year in 1971 and 1972. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the year 2000. Charley received the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020 at the Country Music Association Awards Program. Not long after this program, Charley passed away in December, 2020 at the age of 86. He was called a trail blazer, but by any standard, he was a legend in country music. He is interred in Dallas, Texas.

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R. C. Buckner

Robert Cooke “Father” Buckner was born January 3, 1833 in Madisonville, Tennessee to Rev. Daniel Buckner and Mary Polly Hampton Buckner. He was the youngest son and the fifth of six children (three sons and three daughters). His oldest brother, Henry Frieland Buckner (1818-1882) was also born in Tennessee and served as a career missionary to the Creek tribe in Oklahoma. Henry Frieland also founded the Murrow Orphan’s Home. The middle brother, Bennett Burrow Buckner (1826-1848), joined the United States Army from Tennessee in 1847 and died in Mexico City in 1848 while serving in the Army during the Mexican-American War. His oldest sister Harriet Caroline Buckner died as an infant in 1821 in Tennessee. His second sister was Miriam Isabelle Buckner. She moved to Texas and married a school teacher, Aaron Holt, originally of New Hampshire. They had a son named Adoniram Judson Holt, mentioned below. R. C.’s youngest sister was Anne Haseltine Buckner who married a carpenter named Williams and lived in Paris, Texas.

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Howard Hughes and TWA

Howard Hughes (1905-1976) was born in Houston, Texas and died on a flight returning to Houston from Mexico. Hughes had always had a strong interest in aviation and over the years owned either outright or a controlling interest in various aviation-related entities, including commercial airlines TWA and Northwest Airlines (briefly) and aircraft manufacturing.

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Adina de Zavala

Adina Emilia de Zavala was the oldest child of Augustine and Julia Tyrrell de Zavala. Augustine (1832-1894) was the oldest of the three children born to Lorenzo de Zavala and his second wife Emily West (1809-1882). Lorenzo was married twice, first to Maria Josefa Teresa Correa y Correa with whom he had three children: Maria Manuela, Lorenzo (Jr.) and William Henry and second to Miranda Emily West whom he married after Maria Josefa passed away, and with whom he had Augustine, Emilia and Ricardo. The family lived near the San Jacinto battleground and Lorenzo, the grandfather, died late in the year 1836 at the age of 48, after being caught out in a norther while in his boat.

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Governor Oran Milo Roberts

Governor Oran Milo Roberts was the seventeenth governor of Texas, serving from January 21, 1879 to January 16, 1883, succeeding Richard B. Hubbard and preceding John Ireland. He was the last of at least six children born in Laurens County, South Carolina on July 9, 1815 to Obadiah Roberts (1769-1827) and Margaret Ewing Roberts (1776-1859). Biographical sketches say that he was educated at home until he was seventeen. One anecdote has him telling his mother around that time that although he had respect for the agricultural life they were living, he had higher aspirations than working on the land. Then, using funds borrowed from a brother in law, in 1832 he left home to enter the University of Alabama, graduating in four years with a law degree.

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