individuals have symbolized the South in popular culture as directly
and indelibly as Charlie Daniels.
Charlie Daniels is partly
Western and partly Southern. His signature bullrider hat
and belt buckle, his lifestyle on the Twin Pines Ranch (a boyhood dream
come true), his love of horses, cowboy lore and the heroes of championship
rodeo, Western movies, and Louis L'Amour novels, identify him as a Westerner.
The son of a lumberjack and a Southerner by birth, his music - rock,
country, bluegrass, blues, gospel - is
Like so many great American success stories, The Charlie Daniels saga begins in rural obscurity. Born in 1936 in Wilmington, North Carolina, he was raised on a musical diet that included Pentecostal gospel, local bluegrass bands, and the rhythm & blues and country music emanating respectively from Nashville's 50,000-watt megabroadcasters WLAC and WSM.
He graduated from high school in 1955 and soon enlisted in the rock .n' roll revolution ignited by Mississippian Elvis Aaron Presley. Already skilled on guitar, fiddle and mandolin, Daniels formed a rock .n' roll band and hit the road.
While enroute to California
in 1959 the group paused in Texas to record Jaguar, an instrumental
produced by the Bob Johnston, which was picked up for national distribution
by Epic. It was also the beginning for a long association with Johnston.
The two wrote It Hurts Me, which became the B side of a
1964 Presley hit. In 1969, at the urging of Johnston, Daniels moved
to middle Tennessee to find work as a session
Among his more notable sessions were the Bob Dylan albums of 1969-70 Nashville Skyline, New Morning, and Self Portrait. Daniels produced the Youngbloods albums of 1969-70 Elephant Mountain and Ride the Wind, toured Europe with Leonard Cohen and performed on records with artists as different as Al Kooper and Marty Robbins.
Daniels broke through as
a record maker, himself, with 1973's Honey In the Rock and its hit hippie
song Uneasy Rider. His rebel anthems Long Haired Country
Boy and The South's Gonna Do It propelled his 1975
collection Fire On the Mountain to Double
Following stints with Capitol
and Kama Sutra, Epic Records signed him to its rock roster in New York
in 1976. The contract, reportedly worth $3 million, was the largest
ever given to a Nashville act up to that time. In the summer of 1979
Daniels rewarded the company's faith by delivering The Devil Went
Down to Georgia, which became a Platinum single, topped both country
and pop charts, won a Grammy Award, became
The album's title was a reference
to a milestone in The Charlie Daniels Band's legendary coast to coast
tours. Including two drummers, twin guitars, and a flamenco dancer,
the CDB often toured more than 250 days a year and by this time had
logged more than a million miles on the road. On the Million Mile Reflections
Tour, transported in a convoy of busses and gleaming black tractor-trailer
rigs - a show that stopped traffic
Daniels' annual Volunteer
Jam concerts, world-famous musical extravaganzas that served as a prototype
for many of today's annual day-long music marathons, always featured
a variety of current stars and heritage artists and are considered by
historians as his most impressive contribution to Southern music. Among
the artists Jam Daddy has hosted at 16 of these mega musical
samplers are Roy Acuff, Don Henley, Tanya Tucker, Amy Grant, Leon Russell,
Billy Ray Cyrus, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, James Brown, Duane Eddy,
Pat Boone, The Outlaws, Dwight Yoakam, Steppenwolf, Bill Monroe, Exile,
The Judds, Orleans, Willie Nelson, the Allman Brothers, Link Wray, Ted
I used to say, .I'm not an outlaw; I'm an outcast,' says the Grammy Award winning star. When it gets right down to the nitty gritty, I've just tried to be who I am. I've never followed trends or fads. I couldn't even if I tried. I can't be them; I can't be anybody but me.
When you hear a classic Charlie
Daniels Band performance like The Devil Went Down to Georgia,
you hear music that knows no clear genre. Is it a folk tale? A southern
boogie? A country fiddle tune? An electric rock anthem? The answer is,
yes to all of that and more. And the same goes for In
America, Uneasy Rider, The South's Gonna Do
It, Long Haired Country Boy, Still in Saigon,
The Legend of Wooley
His resume includes recording sessions with artists as diverse as Bob Dylan, Flatt & Scruggs, Pete Seeger, Mark O'Connor, Leonard Cohen and Ringo Starr. His songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley and Tammy Wynette. This touring legend has been documented by ABC Newsmagazine 20/20.
In April 1998, top stars and two former Presidents paid tribute to Daniels when he was named the recipient of the Pioneer Award at the Academy of Country Music's annual nationally televised ceremonies.
In his time he's played everything from rock to jazz, folk to western swing, and honkytonk to award-winning gospel, former President Jimmy Carter said. In Charlie's own words, .Let there be harmony, let there be fun and 12 notes of music to make us all one.'.
Charlie's love of music
is only surpassed by his love of people, especially the American people,
former President Gerald Ford said. He's traveled this land from
coast to coast singing about the things that concern the American people.
The Academy of Country
On Saturday night, January
19th, 2008, Charlie's life long dream became a reality. He was inducted
as a full-fledged member into the Grand Ole Opry. It is an honor
that I can't begin to articulate, there is no way I can express what
it means to me, says
I have been blessed
with Gold, Platinum and Multiplatinum albums, I have appeared many times
on network television, even in moving pictures. I have won multiple
awards from The Country Music Association, The Academy of Country Music,
Ain't God good!!!!!!!!!!