Charlie Daniels (born
Charles Edward Daniels on October 28, 1936, in
Carolina) is an
famous for his contributions to country and southern
He is known primarily for his Number One
country hit "The Devil
Went Down to Georgia
", and multiple other songs he has
performed and written. Daniels has been active as a singer since
the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.
Daniels is a singer
, and fiddler
began writing and performing in the 1950s. In 1964, Daniels
co-wrote "It Hurts Me" (a song which Elvis
recorded) with Joy Byers. He worked as a Nashville
, often for
producer Bob Johnston
playing on three Bob Dylan
1969 and 1970, and recordings by Leonard
. Daniels recorded his first solo album, Charlie
, in 1971 (see 1971 in
).His first hit, the novelty song
", was from his 1973 second album, Honey in the
, and reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100
Daniels organized the first in a series of Volunteer Jam concerts based in or around
Nashville, Tennessee, often playing with members of Barefoot Jerry.
Except for a three-year
gap in the late 1980s, these jams have continued ever since.
Charlie Daniels at Waterfront Park,
Louisville, Kentucky April 29, 2009
In 1975, he had a top 30 hit as leader of the Charlie Daniels Band
with the Southern rock
self-identification anthem "The South's Gonna Do It Again". "Long
Haired Country Boy" was also a minor hit in that year.
Daniels won the
Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance
in 1979 for
"The Devil Went Down to
", which reached #3 on the charts. The following year,
"Devil" became a major crossover success on rock radio stations,
after its inclusion on the soundtrack for the hit movie
. He also appeared
in the movie. The song is by far Daniels' greatest success, still
receiving regular airplay on U.S. classic rock and country
stations, and is well-known even among audiences who eschew country
music in general. A hard rock
/heavy metal cover
of the song was also included in the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of
as the final guitar
against the last boss (Lou, the devil
). Daniels has openly stated his opposition to
the metal cover and the devil winning occasionally in the
Subsequent Daniels pop hits included "In America" (#11 in 1980),
"The Legend of Wooley
" (#31 in 1980), and "Still in Saigon" (#22 in 1982). In
1980, Daniels participated in the country music concept album,
The Legend of Jesse
In the late 1980s and 1990s, several of Daniels' albums and singles
were hits on the Country
the music continues to receive airplay on country stations today.
Daniels also released several Gospel
records.In 1999, he
co-wrote the song "All Night Long" with Montgomery Gentry, which
was a commercial success.
In 2005, he has made a cameo appearance along with Larry the Cable Guy
, Kid Rock
, and Hank
's music video for the song "All Jacked Up
". In 2006, he appeared
with Little Richard
, Bootsy Collins
, and other musicians as the
backup band for Williams' opening sequence to Monday Night Football
November 2007, Daniels was invited by Martina McBride to become a member of the
Opry. He was inducted by Marty Stuart and Connie
Smith during the January 19, 2008, edition of the Opry at the
now resides in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, where the city has named a park after him.
Daniels continues to tour regularly. Daniels appeared in
commercials for UPS
in 2001 with other
celebrities convincing NASCAR
driver Dale Jarrett
to race the UPS Truck.
Daniels describes himself as a born again
Charlie Daniels played fiddle on many of The Marshall Tucker Band
's early albums: "A
New Life", "Where We All Belong", "Searchin' For A Rainbow", "Long
Hard Ride" and "Carolina Dreams". Charlie can also be heard on the
live portion of the "Where We All Belong" album, recorded in
Milwaukee, WI on July 11, 1974.
In addition to the Marshall Tucker Band, Charlie also played fiddle
on Hank Williams, Jr.'s 1975 album "Hank Williams Jr &
Friends". The Marshall Tucker Band's Toy Caldwell can also be heard
on this classic album.
Daniels is married to Hazel and they have a son Charles. He met
Hazel in Tulsa when he had the rock band "Charlie Daniels and The
Jaguars" who were the house band at "The Fondalite Club".
They live (or lived) in North Little Rock, Arkansas for a time.
There is also a nightclub on the road to Lonoke,Arkansas that is
owned by Charlie Daniels.
Charlie also went to Iraq several times to play for the troops. On
his fourth visit he recorded an album, Charlie Daniels Band live in
Iraq (2007 Blue Hat Records).
Charlie Daniels performing at
Naval Station Great Lakes, September 2003
Daniels has never shied away from politics
"The South's Gonna Do It" had a mild message of Southern cultural
identity within the Southern rock movement. Daniels was an early
supporter of Jimmy Carter
performed at his January 1977 inauguration.
"In America" was a reaction to the 1979-1981 Iran Hostage Crisis
; it described a
patriotic, united America where "we'll all stick together and you
can take that to the bank / That's the cowboys and the hippies and
the rebels and the yanks." The song experienced a revival following
the September 11 attacks
it was floated around the internet as "F*** Bin Laden
." In contrast, "Still in Saigon"
(written by Dan Daley) was an effective portrayal of the plight of
the American Vietnam veteran
years after the war; it was part of an early 1980s wave of
attention to the subject, presaging treatments such as Bruce Springsteen
's "Born in the U.S.A.
" and "Shut Out
the Light", Billy Joel
's "Goodnight Saigon
", Huey Lewis and the News
' "Walking on
a Thin Line", Paul Hardcastle
" and somewhat later Steve Earle
's "Copperhead Road".
In 1989, Daniels' country hit "Simple Man" (not to be confused with
the Lynyrd Skynyrd song of the same name
) was interpreted by some as
. Lyrics such as
"Just take them rascals [rapists, killers, child abusers] out in
the swamp / Put 'em on their knees and tie 'em to a stump / Let the
rattlers and the bugs and the alligators do the rest," got Daniels
considerable media attention and talk show visits.
In 2003, Daniels published an Open Letter to the Hollywood
in defense of President George
policy. His 2003 book Ain't
No Rag: Freedom, Family, and the Flag
contains this letter as
well as many other personal statements. During the 2004
presidential campaign, Daniels said that having never served in the
military himself, he did not have the right to criticize John Kerry
's service record. His band's official
website contains a "soapbox" page, where Daniels has made
statements such as the following: "the topic de jour among the self
proclaimed wise and elite these days," regarding global warming,
"In the future Darwinism will be looked upon as we now look upon
the flat earth theory," and "I am more afraid of you and your ilk
than I am of the terrorists," regarding U.S. Senator Harry
. On March 27, 2009, Daniels criticized the Obama Administration
for changing the
name of the War on Terror to the "Overseas Contingency
" and referring to terrorism as "man-caused
- Charlie Daniels - Soap Box - "Guitar Hero"
- Charlie Daniels Invited to Become the Newest Member of the
Grand Ole Opry
- The Grand Ole Opry inducts Charlie Daniels as newest