Mack Pride was born December 28, 1907 in Panola County, Mississippi.
Mack Pride registered for the draft during World War II on October 16, 1940. He listed his residence as Lambert, MS and A. Baker as his employer. Next of kin was Robert Pride.
Article below is taken word for word from the “Clarion Ledger” Jackson, MS. Monday February 19, 1990 – Page 2
“Mack Pride Proud of His Son, Charley”
Sledge, Miss (AP) – Last Christmas, Mack Pride’s son, Charley, brought a new car down to see if his father liked it. His father didn’t. The brand new Chevrolet- one of the few makes that Mack prefers- was bristling will bells and gauges and warning lights. And that was the problem. “Too much computer, said Mack, a Baptist deacon who wears two watches on his wrist, “I don’t want nothing to tell me what to do.”
Charley Pride, the country music star who has recorded, among other hits, “Amazing Love,” knew better than to tell his father what to do. He took the car back to the dealer, and Mack stuck with his sparkling, 13 year old Chevrolet. “As long as it runs, that’s all I need,” he said.
Mack Pride thought a second about his 51 year old child – Number 2 in a series of 13. “Charley wants me to have everything he got. When he was a littler curley headed boy, he said, “I hope one day I can give you everything.” “And now he’ll do it. But some things I can’t take. I don’t want big things. I have never wanted anything but to make a good living.”
During his 82 years, Mack Pride has done just about everything to make that living. He is a veteran carpenter, school bus driver, municipal worker and farmer, but his best known handiwork around the Delta may be his son, Charley. Then again maybe not.
Seventeen miles south of Sledge is the cotton pocked village of Lambert, where Mack Pride has lived now for at least 30 years. Ask a resident there where you can find the home of Charley Pride, and you may suddenly feel like you’re talking into a dead phone. The trick is – in some circles at least- to ask for Mack Pride, the barber. Mack Pride has cut hair since he was 12. He bought his own shop – an old cotton gin office- in the 1930s for $75, and paid the debt by charging 60 cents for a haircut. “I just started doing it,” he said. “Everything I ever did, I just started to do it. ” He hasn’t stopped. Every Saturday morning, he shoves his barber tools into his green Chevrolet and drives up Mississippi 3 to his shop in Sledge, then peers through his bifocals for five or ten minutes at the prodigious clanking puzzle that is his chain of keys, unlocks the door and from about 8 until 11, sets up shop for gossip and grooming. The gossip is free, haircuts are now $2.50 to $1.75 for bald heads, which will tell you something about the customers at Mack Pride’s Barber Shop.
In 1980, Cash Box magazine named Charley Pride the top male country artist of the 1970s. Like baseball’s Jackie Robinson, Mack Pride’s second child broke the color barrier- but his hurdle was country music. When Charley was growing up in Sledge, he built himself a guitar out of a bottle and hay baling wire, his father said. Charley worshipped radio singing stars like Bill Monroe and Hank Williams. “Charley sang all kinds of music,” Mack Pride said. “Country put him where he is.”
This is where Charley Pride is: he owns the 120 acres of Sledge farmland that his father used to labor on. A resident of Dallas now, he has set up his father with a trust fund, which Mack Pride can tap in to only by using his full name: Fowler Mack Arthur Pride. Long ago, he had dropped half his name, he said. “But I had to go back and get it,” he said. Mack Pride doesn’t have to cut hair, or do anything, for a living anymore. He does it because “they won’t turn me loose,” he said, meaning his customers. “I do the work right.” He obviously believes that he did his work right as a father, too, although he won’t come out and say so.
Pride was married twice; after his second wife, who died in 1983, he decided never to marry again. “Two wives was enough of women telling me what to do,” he said. Pride had all of his children with his first wife, who died in 1956. She was Tessie B. Price, and she brought two children of her own to their marriage, which was her second. “I’m very proud of all of them.” Pride said of his children “I care for all of them. But Charley’s more like me than all the rest of them. “He’s like I was with my parents. I didn’t ever want to leave them. I always wanted to take care of them.”
Mack Pride Sr. passed away at Carrollton, Texas on December 1, 1996. His funeral was held at Southside Elementary School in Lambert and burial at New Cemetery in Crenshaw. He was a member of St. Phillip’s Missionary Baptist Church in Sledge where he served as chief usher and on the deacon board.
“The Clarksdale Press Register” Clarksdale, MS. Thursday December 5, 1996 – Page 5.
“Clarion Ledger” Jackson, MS. Monday February 19, 1990 – Page 3