In 1974, Charley Pride released a single that seemed rather appropriate for his own past. “Mississippi Cotton Pickin’ Delta Town” painted a picture of the rural South and its images were so realistic that Pride was concerned that the song might have some sort of racial overtones. In order to get it recorded, producer Jerry Bradley had to promise to throw it out if Charley decided he had reservations. As it turned out, “Mississippi Cotton Pickin’ Delta Town” was a very successful record (reaching #3), written by someone who knew the setting from his own personal experience: the late Harold Dorman.
Dorman and Charley Pride had grown up in the same hometown of Sledge, Mississippi, but due to segregation laws back then, the two boys couldn’t go to school together because Harold was white. They weren’t close friends, but they did know each other and would chat whenever Charley’s family would come into the grocery store (where Harold worked) every Saturday for supplies. Neither boy knew the other’s musical interests at the time.