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Charlie Daniels passes away at 83

Monday, July 6, 2020 – Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Daniels, passed away this morning at 83 of a hemorrhagic stroke.

Daniels, who was probably best known for his song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," died at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tenn.

Daniels, who also instituted his Volunteer Jam festival, became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

Daniels also had formed his own record label to release his material along with other artists.

Daniels was born Oct. 28, 1936, in Wilmington, N.C. He listened to Pentecostal gospel, bluegrass, rhythm and blues and country music. As a teenager, Daniels moved to Gulf, Chatham County, N.C. He graduated from high school in 1955. By that point, he already knew how to play guitar, fiddle, banjo, and mandolin.

In 1964, Daniels co-wrote "It Hurts Me," which Elvis Presley recorded, with his friend, producer Bob Johnston, under Bob's wife's name, Joy Byers. Daniels worked as a Nashville session musician, including playing guitar and electric bass on three Bob Dylan albums during 1969 and 1970 ("Nashville Skyline," "Self Portrait" and "New Morning"), and on recordings by Leonard Cohen. Daniels recorded his first solo album, "Charlie Daniels," in 1971.

Daniels' first hit, the novelty song "Uneasy Rider", was from his 1973 third album, "Honey in the Rock," reaching number nine on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1974, Daniels organized the first in a series of Volunteer Jam concerts based in or around Nashville. They continued until 1996 with several more coming in 2015 and 2016.

Ray Price, Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, Alabama, Vince Gill and Tammy Wynette have shared bills with acts as diverse as Ted Nugent, B.B. King, James Brown, Billy Joel, Eugene Fodor, Little Richard, Steppenwolf and Don Henley at the Jam. The Volunteer Jam Tour, including The Charlie Daniels Band, The Outlaws, and The Marshall Tucker Band toured the U.S. in 2007.

Daniels, who would form the Charlie Daniels Band, had a 1975 hit with the Southern rock anthem "The South's Gonna Do It Again" and "Long Haired Country Boy."

Spiced with Daniels' fiddle playing, he won the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1979 for "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."

Daniels placed 34 songs on the Billboard Country charts. Daniels would go on to record gospel, Christian and blues albums over the course of his career.

Daniels also became involved in politics during his career. He was a supporter of President Jimmy Carter and played at his inauguration. His views veered far more to the right over time. He also was a strong supporter of the military.

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If anyone has any idea why it took Charlie Daniels so long to get mainstream respect from the country establishment, please speak now. By the time he was invited as a member of the Grand Old Opry, in 2007, he had been in the business nearly 50 years. 2016 - the year in which he turns 80 - saw Daniels finally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Yet few country artists have managed the crossover success of a "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" (way back in 1979). »»»