How many times have you heard Charley Pride singing the song “Crystal Chandeliers?” Perhaps it would be too many to count
In 1967, Pride covered “Crystal Chandeliers,” and it became an instant hit despite not being released as a single. The song was actually an album cut from Pride’s No. 1 selling album, The Country Way – but radio stations played it heavily as listeners wanted to hear it.
It was indeed Pride that made the song famous.
A ’60s Hit Popularized by Charley Pride
Written by Ted Harris, “Crystal Chandeliers” was originally released by Carl Belew in his 1965 studio album, Twelve Shades of Belew. His version reached No. 12 on the U.S. Billboard Country chart.
In that same year, Vic Dana covered the song. His version reached No. 51 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, No. 19 on the Canadian pop singles chart, and No. 14 on both the U.S. and Canadian Adult Contemporary charts in early 1966. He also reached No. 34 in Australia.
“Oh, the crystal chandeliers light up the paintings on your wall. The marble statuettes are standing stately in the hall. But will the timely crowd that has you laughing loud help you dry your tears. When the new wears off of your crystal chandeliers,” the song goes.
Although Pride’s version was never a hit on the American singles charts, it remained one of the most recognizable and enduring versions of the song.
Pride’s road to his status as a country music legend wasn’t an easy one for him to follow. Being one of only a few black artists in the genre, he knew from the beginning that forging a path in country music was going to be a challenge. Yet, it was a challenge that he was more than willing to meet, and his efforts paid off. Now, he has countless No. 1 hits to his name, more accolades than he could ever count, as well as membership in the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Pride was also the first African-American singer to perform at the Grand Ole Opry back in 1967. The country music legend went on surpassing even the wildest of expectations with each following accomplishment. No wonder he has always been regarded as a barrier-breaking artist in country music, and for far more reasons than the obvious.
Tune in below for Charley Pride’s remarkable performance of “Crystal Chandeliers” and relive the extraordinary moment Pride changed country music history.