Terrence Howard wasn’t fond of the music in Hustle & Flow, the movie that earned him an Oscar nomination. He’s a guitar player, and his musical tastes probably run closer to Charley Pride, the man he’s playing when he next teams up with Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer.
Pride was a country singer – a black country singer. His first single, in 1966, was put out without a publicity photo because the record company feared that the country audience wouldn’t buy an album from a black singer. It turned out they would – and in a big way. Between 1966 and 1984, Pride released 54 singles and 51 of them made the top ten country chart. He’s in the top 15 best selling country artists of all time.
It’s exciting to see Howard and Brewer together, and tackling race in country music, but sadly Pride just isn’t that great a country singer. I mean, he’s got a great voice, but he’s very middle of the road pop-country, very smooth and kind of boring stuff. Still, the movie will be his life story, not a performance film, and Pride had an interesting life, including time spent in the Negro Leagues and a stint in WWII before he even began to try to crack open Nashville.
This won’t be the next film for either guy – Brewer actually has another country music movie first, Maggie Lynn, which sounds like it’s more to my country sensibilities.