Charlie Daniels

Born October 28, 1936 in North Carolina, Charlie Daniels would enjoy a decades long career as a country superstar and one of the originators of southern rock. A gifted multi-instrumentationalist before he graduated high-school, Daniels carved out a living as a working musician, eventually finding himself an in-demand session player in Nashville in the 1960s, most notably on Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline. He began releasing solo work in the 1970s, and his fusion of country, rock, and blues helped establish the nascent southern rock movement alongside bands like The Allman Brothers. He achieved his first chart success with the 1973 novelty song “Uneasy Rider”, which climbed to number 9 on the pop chart. 1974’s Fire on the Mountain was his first top 40 album and contained another top 40 pop hit, “The South’s Gonna Do It”. As the seventies progressed, his sound shifted more toward country than rock, and in 1979 he scored his greatest success with Million Mile Reflections. His only number 1 country album, the LP also hit number 5 on the regular album chart and it included his career defining single “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”, a number 1 country hit in multiple countries that crossed over to number 3 on the US pop charts. He became an institution in the 80s, releasing five more top 30 country albums and racking up a half-dozen top 40 country singles. While his chart success began to dwindle in the 90s, he remained a perennial concert favorite, and a sharp turn towards conservative politics in the 2000s brought him a new wave of fans as well as his final top 40 country single, 2001’s “This Ain’t No Rag, It’s a Flag”. He toured regularly throughout the 21st century, often staging his all-star Volunteer Jam once a year. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016, and suffered a fatal stroke on July 6, 2020.

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