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The great CHARLIE DANIELS has passed away. He died yesterday after suffering a stroke. He was 83. He’s survived by his wife Hazel and their son, Charlie Daniels Jr.
The world knew him as a brilliant fiddle player and for his classic song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” . . . but his list of credits is a mile long. He put 34 singles on the “Billboard” Country Songs chart and sold over 13.5 million records. Some of his bigger hits included “Long Haired Country Boy”, “The South’s Gonna Do It”, “In America”, “Uneasy Rider”, “Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye”, and “Boogie Woogie Fiddle Country Blues”.
Charlie was born in Wilmington, NC, and has been in the music business since the ’50s. An early break came in 1964 when Elvis recorded a song he co-wrote called “It Hurts Me”. He was also a respected session musician who played on records by The Marshall Tucker Band, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Flatt & Scruggs, and Ringo Starr.
Charlie was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Musicians Hall of Fame, and the Grand Ole Opry. He performed at the Super Bowl and at President Jimmy Carter’s inaugural ball. He was an “outspoken Christian” and his religious recordings won Dove Awards in 1995 and 1997. There’s a good collection of his faith-based songs on the 2002 album “How Sweet the Sound: 25 Favorite Hymns and Gospel Greats”. When it came to politics, he leaned heavily to the right, especially in his later years. He shared those feelings on his website’s popular Soap Box posts. One of his lasting legacies is the Volunteer Jam, which started back in 1974, and benefits Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. He loved the troops and performed for service members all over the world.
Charlie lived in the Nashville suburb of Mount Juliet, Tennessee . . . and he was so beloved that when the police escorted his body to a local funeral home, fans lined the streets to pay their respects. The Daniels family will also hold a patriotic-themed memorial at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 8 outside the Sellars Funeral Home in Mt. Juliet. The event features musicians Trace Adkins, Tracey Lawrence, Darryl Worley, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and others. Attendees can expect a military flyover and 21 gun salute to Daniels. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, July 10 at World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, per the Sellars Funeral Services website. Sellars Funeral Home will host a visitation Thursday in Mt. Juliet from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.