LISTEN: Danielia Cotton Covers Charley Pride
Photo by Jimmy Fontaine

LISTEN: Danielia Cotton Covers Charley Pride

As her version of Charley Pride’s hit, “Roll On Mississippi,” (released on Pride’s birthday, March 18) climbs the Americana charts, Danielia Cotton announces the tribute record, Charley’s Pride. With the lead single currently sitting in the top 100 on the Americana chart, the Americana/soul/rock artist is preparing to release the EP in honor of not just country music’s first Black superstar and icon, but also her own heritage by way of her grandparents.

“My grandfather, or ‘Pop-pop’ as I called him, was an extraordinary man and an incredibly memorable male figure in my life, having never met my father,” Cotton says. “He was a quiet, humble, closeted country music fan. Being the type not to hide things about himself, I found it quite interesting that he liked Charley Pride and kept it on the down low.”

“The number of Black artists that are having a serious presence in country music would make Charley Pride and my Pop-pop smile,” she continues, noting that while Black artists have begun to dominate more in country music, she was surprised that there weren’t more tributes and covers of Pride, given that he was the first Black American voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, as well as the first Black singer to perform at the Grand Ole Opry, and is second in all-time sales on RCA (just behind Elvis Presley).

In 2022, Cotton set out to make a record that would make both Pride and her Pop-pop proud, heading into the studio with Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors), Matt Beck (Matchbox Twenty), and Andy Hess (Gov’t Mule, Black Crowes), to re-imagine several of Pride’s hits with a fresh, modern approach. She worked on demoing songs made famous by Pride as a passion project between her albums of original music, her busy touring schedule, and other creative endeavors such as penning a musical.

“After bringing in Scott Sherard (Little Feat), engineer Charlie Martinez, and Grammy-nominated mix engineer/engineer Marc Copely, the magic happened, and we elevated the concept even more… it finally clicked that I was singing about a place that held memories and was a significant thing in one’s life,” Cotton explains, adding that she also found inspiration in albums such as Ray Charles’ Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, which “accomplished the unimaginable,” by becoming a hit record when it was released in 1962.

“I never thought when I first had the idea to record this project that so many Black artists would emerge within this genre and make a real lane for all those who come after,” she continues. “But many believe that country music derived from the blues, and if that is true, then Black musicians had much more to do with the birth of country music than most would admit. I’ve learned even more about the history of Black musicians in country music, and I’m excited to share that with the world.”

The next single from Charley’s Pride will be Pride’s biggest hit, “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’,” which is slated for release in May. The full EP will follow by summer. “Roll on Mississippi” is out now.

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About Jerry Holthouse

Music editor for Jerry Holthouse is a content writer, songwriter and a graphic designer. He owns and runs Holthouse Creative, a full service creative agency. He is an avid outdoorsman and a lover of everything music. You can contact him at

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