America's national anthem has had some of its all-time greatest performances at the Super Bowl.

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images.


There was Whitney, of course.

Photo by George Rose/Getty Images.

Beyoncé took a whack at it 12 years ago.

In related news, you are so unbelievably old. Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images.

Even Neil Diamond did a surprisingly solid job that one time.

Neil Diamond used to look like this. Photo by Jack Kay/Getty Images.

But who was first? Like, very first?

That would be this guy:

Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images.

Charley Pride.

He sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl VIII in 1974. Before him, at Super Bowls I-VII, the national anthem was performed by marching bands, choirs, and instrumentalists.

Not only was Pride the first solo performer to sing the anthem at the Super Bowl, he was the first black performer to achieve country music superstardom.

As a black man trying to break into one of the whitest segments of the music industry in the 1960s, Pride's career was managed — carefully.

Like many of his contemporaries (and pretty much all of his predecessors), Pride had to put up with more than his fair share of racist BS. Even some of his supporters used nasty epithets when pitching him and his music.

His first couple of recordings didn't even feature a picture of his face.

Ultimately, however, talent won out. Pride topped the country charts 36 times and has sold over 70 million albums.

Hits like "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'" and "Is Anybody Going to San Antone" made Pride the biggest-selling artist for his label (RCA) since Elvis.

Pride never liked being defined by his race, despite the long odds he had to overcome to succeed in Nashville.

Pride with Trisha Yearwood, Bill Anderson, and Ricky Skaggs. Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images.

In a 2006 interview, he told The Guardian, "People are so hung up on skin. They're always asking 'Why do you look like us and sound like them?' or 'Why do you look them and sound like us?'"

His rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" is notable today for how un-notable it was.

These days, performances of America's national anthem at the big game are known for soaring leaps, dazzling melodic flourishes, and notes in the ionosphere. Pride just sings the damn song.

It's pretty striking.

After making Super Bowl history on Jan. 13, 1974, Pride's career endured. He continues to tour to this day, at age 77.

Watch the rare video of Pride's groundbreaking performance below.

(The national anthem starts around 1:40 — Pride sings "America the Beautiful" first):

This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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Images from Denver Animal Shelter's Facebook page.

Imagine rummaging through secondhand finds in your local thrift store, only to find that some items include a bonus feline at no extra charge.

Montequlla the orange tabby had somehow not gotten the memo that he and his family were moving. As they dropped off furniture, including a big recliner chair, to the Denver Arc Thrift Store on New Year’s Eve, they had no idea that poor little Montequlla was tucked away inside.

Luckily, the staff began to notice the chair meowing.

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"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) and actor Peter Dinklage.

On Tuesday, Upworthy reported that actor Peter Dinklage was unhappy with Disney’s decision to move forward with a live-action version of “Snow White and the Seven Drawfs” starring Rachel Zegler.

Dinklage praised Disney’s inclusive casting of the “West Side Story” actress, whose mother is of Colombian descent, but pointed out that, at the same time, the company was making a film that promotes damaging stereotypes about people with dwarfism.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on, I've gotta say, from being somebody who's a little bit unique," Dinklage told Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast.

"Well, you know, it's really progressive to cast a—literally no offense to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by, they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White," Dinklage said, "but you're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there.”

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