RIP Charlie Daniels, a truly great American.
Country Music legend Charlie Daniels, best known for his monster 1979 hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” died Monday of a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 83.
According to a press release from his representatives, the acclaimed Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member died at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tenn., where doctors determined his cause of death.
Daniels accumulated a slew of accolades and awards during his long career in music, including his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Musicians Hall of Fame and becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He also won a Dove Award for gospel albums and a coveted Grammy Award for best country vocal performance by a duo or group
I didn’t actually know he was an Opry member, bless his ornery ol’ heart.
“Few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than Charlie Daniels. An outspoken patriot, beloved mentor, and a true road warrior, Daniels parlayed his passion for music into a multi-platinum career and a platform to support the military, underprivileged children, and others in need,” a statement from Daniels’ representatives reads.
In addition to his music, Daniels was a major advocate for several causes that were close to his heart including supporting the U.S. military with The Journey Home Project, which he founded in 2014 with his manager, David Corlew, to help veterans.
The article mentions several other charitable organizations either started or supported by Daniels, before getting to something else I didn’t know:
Daniels, a singer, guitarist and fiddler, started out as a session musician, even playing on Bob Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” sessions. Beginning in the early 1970s, his five-piece band toured endlessly, sometimes doing 250 shows a year.
“I can ask people where they are from, and if they say `Waukegan,′ I can say I’ve played there. If they say `Baton Rouge,′ I can say I’ve played there. There’s not a city we haven’t played in,” Daniels said in 1998.
Daniels performed at White House, at the Super Bowl, throughout Europe and often for troops in the Middle East.
Daniels, a native of Wilmington, N.C., played on several Bob Dylan albums as a Nashville recording session guitarist in the late 1960s, including “New Morning” and “Self-Portrait.”
Well, whaddya know. All in all, a life well-lived, and now a reward well-earned. I’ll put up two of my favorites among Charlie’s long string of monster hits, by way of wishing him a fond farewell. He will surely be missed.