Spotlight On The Charlie Daniels Band
Story and Photos by Glenda S.
Daniels Band performed at the Dodge Theater in Phoenix, Arizona on
August 29, 2010 to a packed house.
disappoint, he performed all his big hits including Long Haired
Country Boy, Simple Man, The South's Gonna Do It Again, Drinkin' My
Baby Goodbye, The Legend of Wooley Swamp, and of course,
The Devil Went Down to Georgia. He also sang his newest hit
"(What the World Needs Is) A few More Rednecks. One of my
favorite moments is when he sang Amazing Grace.
had his very talented band jam on many numbers throughout the
evening. Daniels also had a Phoenix area favorite
blues guitarist, Paris James, join him on stage for an exciting
Daniels looked and sounded great.
He had the audience on their feet. Next time Charlie comes to
town, make sure to go see the living legend, Mr. Charlie
Upcoming The Charlie Daniels Band Tour
09/02/2010 NICHOLS, NY TIOGA DOWNS
09/03/2010 LANCASTER, PA AMERICAN MUSIC THEATER
09/04/2010 FONDA, NY MONTGOMERY COUNTY FAIR
09/05/2010 WEBSTER, MA INDIAN RANCH
INDIANAPOLIS, IN THE VENUE CONFERENCE CENTER
09/11/2010 POWHATAN, VA VISTA DEL LAGO ESTATE
09/12/2010 LONDON, ON WESTERN FAIR GRANDSTAND
09/17/2010 AUGUSTA, GA RIVERWALK AMPHITHEATRE
09/18/2010 VAN WERT, OH NISWONGER PERFORMING ARTS
09/19/2010 KNOXVILLE, TN TENNESSEE VALLEY
09/24/2010 CLEAR LAKE, IA SURF
09/25/2010 HOT SPRINGS, AR HOT SPRINGS
09/28/2010 NASHVILLE, TN GRAND OLE
09/30/2010 MARIETTA, GA NORTH GEORGIA STATE
10/02/2010 CORPUS CHRISTI, TX WHATABURGER FIELD
10/03/2010 GRETNA, LA GRETNA HERITAGE FESTIVAL
10/08/2010 LEXINGTON, TN LEXINGTON OPERA HOUSE
10/09/2010 ELKIN, WV MOUNTAIN STATE FOREST FESTIVAL
10/12/2010 DAVIDSON, SC BRICKHOUSE TAVERN
10/14/2010 MELBOURNE, FL KING CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING
10/15/2010 FT. MYERS, FL LEE CIVIC
10/16/2010 MONTGOMERY, AL ALABAMA NATIONAL
10/23/2010 SHIPPENSBURG, PA H.RIC LUHRS
PERFORMING ARTS CTR,
10/24/2010 WESTBURY, NY THEATRE
10/30/2010 PENSACOLA, FL PENSACOLA
11/06/2010 THACKERVILLE, OK WINSTAR CASINO
11/22/2010 NASHVILLE, TN CHRISTMAS FOR KIDS CONCERT - AT THE
RYMAN AUDITORIUM - CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND
11/27/2010 MARSHALL, TX MARSHALL CONVENTION
12/02 thru 12/04, 2010 TAMPA, FL THE ANGELUS CONCERT
AND GOLF TOURNAMENT
12/16/2010 ST. CLOUD, MN
PARAMOUNT THEATER AND VISUAL ARTS CENTER
Glenda S. Paradee-Villaverde,
with Charlie Daniels
with Charlie Daniels
MORE ON CHARLIE
The Early Years
Charlie Daniels was born October 28, 1936 in Wilmington, North
Carolina at the James Walker Memorial Hospital. He grew up in a
family that respected God and knew hard work was a virtue.
Carlton Daniels, Charlie's dad, passed on a faith in God and a
philosophy of life. "He was an honest, self-reliant man who loved
music and singing, joking and laughing, good people and good food
and his work." His work was as a lumber man. "He could look at a
tree and tell you within a fraction how many board feet of lumber it
would make after it was cut down," Charlie remembered.
As work for his dad was hard to come by, Charlie moved around the
south a bit as a kid. He lived in Wilmington, Elizabethtown, and
Spartanburg, South Carolina. He graduated from high school in
Goldston, North Carolina in 1955, but during those years he found a
love for music and hunting with his dad.
His first shot at music came when he was visiting a friend named
Russell Palmer. Russell pulled out a Stella guitar and played "about
two and a half chords." Charlie was immediately hooked, having
wanted to play ever since he was a small kid listening to the Grand
Old Opry on 650-WSM on Saturday nights with his folks.
He practiced a lot, out of necessity. "I never had what you'd
call a natural talent as a musician, so I had to practice hard on
every instrument I ever learned to play. And if I ever found anyone
around town who could play, I'd bug them until they taught me what
they knew." His practice paid off. Charlie is now a master on not
only the guitar, but the mandolin, fiddle and banjo, as well.
He was in high school and building a set for the senior play when
he almost ended his music career prematurely by cutting off the
first knuckle of his right ring finger with a ripsaw. "The first
thing I thought of when I looked down — it hadn't even started
bleeding yet — was thank goodness it was on my right hand instead of
my left. It would be tough picking chords with a short finger, but I
can pick just fine with it."
Charlie and some friends formed a bluegrass band called The Misty
Mountain Boys, and after a few setbacks, got a regular gig at a
radio station playing every Saturday morning. Eventually the gig got
moved to Saturday afternoon and the band was able to play a few
local square dances, and make about five bucks apiece. Charlie
played fiddle and sang lead vocals.
Charlie's family moved just as The Misty Mountain Boys were
starting to land paying gigs, so when Charlie went with them, the
band fell apart. Charlie wasn't out of the music business for long
and landed a gig back in Wilmington as a guitar player for a girl
named Little Jill that paid $50 a week. This was big money in the
mid-fifties, and was as much as he earned at his day job. When
Little Jill quit and the bar they played was shut down, the band
moved across the street with Charlie leading the band and started
making $80 a week.
The decision to work full time as a musician and end his day job
as an inspector came out of an economic decision by the Taylor
Colquitt Creosoting Company to lay off workers in the summer of
1958. There were two people in Charlie's department that were
eligible for the layoff, but Charlie was not at the top of the list.
Another man who had been there longer than Charlie who had a family
to support was actually picked to be laid off because he was black.
"Simply by virtue of my being born white, they were going to keep me
and lay off Louis Frost," Charlie recalled. Charlie approached the
foreman and talked him into letting him go and giving the job to
Frost instead. Frost continued working at the company until
retirement, and Charlie went on to pursue his life as a professional
Life As A Musician
Charlie Daniels' career as a professional musician has now
spanned five decades. Since his start with the Misty Mountain Boys
back in the fifties, he's had numerous hits, won countless awards
and is recognized as a legend in the music business. The following
chronology of his career is taken from his website, Charlie
1959: Charlie has by now been in several rock and roll and R
& B groups. The longest stretch is with the Jaguars (1959-1967).
They record an instrumental single in Fort Worth, Texas. It's called
Early 60's: Charlie, raised on country, a fan of bluegrass, and
an adept rock and roll singer and guitarist, discovers jazz on a
visit to Washington, D.C. The Jaguars begin to play Louis Prima
shuffles, "Mack the Knife", and "some really jazzy stuff".
1964: Back to country and rock. Daniels cowrites"It Hurts Me,"
and it's recorded by Elvis Presley and put on the flip side of
1967: Daniels is invited by producer Bob Johnston, who's joined
CBS Records in Nashville, to try Music City. He agrees, "I was
playing a lot of clubs, and I wanted to get off the road." He begins
work as a session player. After being told by producers that he
plays too loud, he joins Johnston on Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline.
"It was the first time I felt at home in Nashville. You experienced
a lot of freedom from Dylan. He liked what I did, and I was very
much into what he was doing." Charlie and his fiddle go on to other
sessions and other stars, among them Ringo Starr and Marty
1969: Charlie tries his hand as a producer, and when Johnston
gets overloads with work, he suggests Daniels to the Youngbloods. He
produces Elephant Mountain and Ride The Wind, the latter recorded
live at a rock festival in Louisiana and at the Filmores East and
1970: Daniels cuts his first solo album, Charlie Daniels (Capitol
Records). He forms the Charlie Daniels Band and joins the first wave
of Southern Rock bands. The CDB joins Kama Sutra Records and records
Te John, Grease and Wolfman, named after the band members'
nicknames. "Grease" was keyboard player Joel DeGregorio, still with
the CDB. Daniels was just "Charlie" on occasion, "the Fat Boy".
1972: Their next album, Honey in the Rock, includes "Uneasy
Rider," a talking bluegrass number which becomes a hit the following
year, reaching #9 in Billboard in August 1973.
1974: The CDB issues Way Down Yonder, which will be reissued in
1977 by Epic as Whiskey. Recording Fire On The Mountain, including
"The South's Gonna Do It Again", which hits the Top 30 , and "Long
Haired Country Boy," which peaks at #56. Daniels decides to record
several songs live in concert and chooses an auditorium in
Nashville. In a nod to the Volunteer State, the CDB calls the
concert the Volunteer Jam and invites friends from the Allman
Brothers Band, the Marshall Tucker Band, and others to join them.
"We had such a good time, we decided we should do this once in a
1975: CDB issues the Night Rider album. A second Volunteer Jam in
Murfreesboro, Tennessee, will result in an album, Volunteer Jam.
1976: With the album, Saddle Tramp, the CDB joins Epic Records.
Daniels aligns himself with presidential candidate Jimmy Carter. "I
didn't think he had a chance. When I was asked about doing something
for him, he was 'Jimmy Who?' But he called me one night. I read some
clips about him, and felt good about him. We'd come out of a
catastrophic political time...Carter personified honesty and
goodness." When 'Jimmy Who?' becomes President Carter, the CDB are
among the performers at his inaugural.
1977: The CDB issues two albums, High Lonesome and Midnight
1978: More Volunteer Jams results in a two-record set, Volunteer
Jam III and IV.
1979: Million Mile Reflections yields "Devil Went Down To
Georgia", which reaches #1 and for which Daniels wins the Grammy for
Best Country Vocal.
1980: The CDB appears in the film, Urban Cowboy, another Jam
brings another VJ (VI) album. CDB's Full Moon includes "In America".
Daniels' response to the Iran hostage crisis and the renewed
patriotism it ignites. The record reached #11 in Billboard. "We'd
just come through the sixties and the backlash of Watergate and
Vietnam," say Charlie. "I got the feeling that patriotism was almost
dead. But then they took the hostages. I travel a lot, and
everywhere I went, people were saying, 'How dare that S.O.B. take
our people! We oughta go over there...'. I never thought I'd see
somebody standing up and saying, 'Damn, we're America man. How dare
they do that!". The CDB also hit the charts with "The Legend Of
1981: Yet another VJ and album (VII).
1982: In the Windows album, the CDB's version of Dan Daley's
"Still In Saigon" reaches #22.
1983: The CDB issues a compilation, The Charlie Daniels Band - A
Decade Of Hits.
1985: Me And The Boys album is released.
1987: The Volunteer Jams have continued nonstop since 1977, but a
combination of business and financial difficulties - along with the
time and energy required of the CDB staff - take their toll, and the
13th will be the last for a few years. The CDB releases its Powder
1988: Homesick Heroes is issued out of CBS/Nashville and results
in a Top 10 record on the country charts. "Boogie Woogie Fiddle
1990: Simple Man is issued and rises to #2 on the country charts.
The album is ignited by the title single, in which a simple man
("with simple attitudes," Daniels explains) calls for the lynching
of drug-dealers and slow deaths by the way of gators and snakes for
murderers, child abusers and rapists. The song gets Daniels onto
numerous talk shows, where he's asked to explain himself. He wrote
the song, the says, "out of frustration". He's read about a
scandalous case in which a child was killed by her stepfather. "I
know how I feel about it; I know what I'd like to do. Some of it's
kind of tongue-in-cheek; it's a knee-jerk reaction. I don't really
want to take people out and leave them in the swamps...But violent
crimes - that's what that song's about". Daniels is also the subject
of a long-form music video, Charlie Daniels: Homefolks and Highways.
The CDB released its first holiday album, Christmas Time Down
1991: Renegade is released, and Daniels announces the return of
the Volunteer Jam, in May in Nashville. "We took a three and a half
year look at it and feel that we're ready to do it again," says
Daniels. As always, the VJ will provide a stage for a wide mix of
music. Including B.B. King, Steppenwolf, Tanya Tucker, and, of
course, The Charlie Daniels Band.
1992: Charlie Daniels signs a new record deal with Liberty
Records. Daniels says, "I have been a long time admirer of Jimmy
Bowen. I like his style; we both kind of came to Nashville as
renegades... Jimmy runs a different kind of record company - an
energetic record company... Jimmy wants the Charlie Daniels Band to
sound like us and be what we are. That means an awful lot to us".
Bowen says, "Charlie Daniels is a trend setter and an innovator. We
at Liberty are proud to have him recording for us and look forward
to a long association.
1993: Liberty Records releases the first Charlie Daniels album in
April, titled, America, I Believe In You, and commences a tour.
Dickies workwear, out of Ft. Worth Texas signs Daniels as a
celebrity spokesman for the second year and announces their
involvement as a sponsor of the 1993 tour.
1994: Charlie Daniels releases his first Christian album on
Sparrow Records, titled, The Door. Produced by Ron Griffin, the
project centers around material written by Charlie and the band, and
includes a cowritten song with Grammy Award winner Steven Curtis
Chapman. "Sunday Morning", the first single release to Christian
Country radio takes the #1 slot on the Positive Country chart. A
video is released for the single "Two Out Of Three", and is voted
Video of the Year for the Christian Country Music Association.
Charlie and Chris LeDoux celebrate Christmas, cowboy-style, through
song and story at Charlie's home, Twin Pines Ranch where "A Wrangler
Cowboy Christmas" television special is taped for TNN with Charlie,
Chris, Baxter Black, Diamond Rio and Lind Davis.
1995: Charlie Daniels is named Cashbox Magazine's Best Positive
Christian Country Performance by a Secular Artist for 1994. He
receives a Dove Award and a Grammy nomination for his Christian
album, The Door, and inks another contract to host the nationwide
talent search television show, Charlie Daniels' Talent Roundup, on
TNN: The Nashville Network. A tour is set with Charlie, Lynyrd
Skynyrd and Travis Tritt.
1996: Charlie's second gospel album Steel Witness is released.
The Charlie Daniels Band is a featured performer in the very
successful "Southern Thunder Tour' with Hank Williams Jr. and The
Marshall Tucker Band. Charlie celebrates his 60th birthday with
Volunteer Jam XVI - the first-ever Acoustic Jam - at The Tennessee
Performing Arts Center in Nashville, TN. Guest performers include
John Berry, David Ball, Tracy Byrd, Billy Ray Cyrus, Cledus T. Judd,
Tracy Lawrence, David Lee Murphy, BlackHawk, Lorrie Morgan, Jimmy
Hall and Victoria Shaw. Proceeds from the Jam Benefit TPAC's
Humanities Outreach Program (H.O.T.) and the T. J. Martell
Foundation for cancer research. Charlie Daniels: The Roots Remain
box set is released. The three-CD set features some of Daniel's
classic hits including "The Devil Went Down To Georgia", "Long
Haired Country Boy" and "Uneasy Rider".
1997: Charlie releases Blues Hat, the bands first album on
Charlie's new label, Blue Hat Records. The first single features a
remake of The CDB smash, "Long Haired Country Boy" with special
guests John Berry and Hal Ketchum and is nominated for the Country
Music Association's Vocal Event of the Year. Sony Wonder releases
Charlie's first children's album, By The Light Of The Moon: Campfire
Songs and Cowboy Tunes.
1998: Charlie was presented The Pioneer Award by the Academy of
Country Music. It is presented annually to an outstanding individual
who has enhanced country music and contributed to its growth. Garth
Brooks along with congratulatory messages from two American
Presidents, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford and music by Travis Tritt
and Marty Stuart made it a big surprise for Daniels. The Charlie
Daniels Band releases Fiddle Fire / 25 Years of The Charlie Daniels
Band on Blue Hat Records. The first single "Texas" includes guest
appearances by Lee Roy Parnell and Ray Benson on both the recording
and the video.
1999: The Charlie Daniels Band releases Tailgate Party, released
on Blue Hat Records is a collection of songs that have inspired the
band over the years. Charlie takes his historical Volunteer Jam on
the road for the first time for Volunteer Jam Tour '99 with friends
Molly Hatchet, The Marshall Tucker Band and for several dates, Hank
Williams Jr. A charity partnership was developed between Charlie and
Habitat for Humanity and several houses were built while on tour.
Charlie receives the prestigious Living Legend Award from The Music
City News/TNN Awards show.
Charlie and the band continue to tour, after releasing several
new albums, including a bluegrass gospel album called Songs from the
Longleaf Pines, CDB Instant Live, :ove Om Oraq (Wotj bpmis DVD
Video), Deuces, Preachin', prayin, Singin' DVD, Charlie Daniels
& Friends Joy to the World and his newest release, The Land That
Thanks For The Music!