Charlie Daniels, the multi-faceted instrumentalist and Country Music Hall of Famer, passed away on Monday, July the 7th from a hemorrhagic stroke according to his publicist. He was 83.
Charlie Daniels left his home state of North Carolina in the early 1960s to become a songwriter and session musician in Nashville. He found early success with “It Hurts Me”, a song co-written with producer Bob Johnston and recorded by Elvis Presley. It was his time in the studio, however, that would lead Daniels into the ranks of Music City’s elite with artists like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen often requesting him by name.
Daniels released his self-titled solo debut in 1970, but it would be his third album Honey in the Rock that would lead to his first Top 10 hit, the tongue-in-cheek tale of “Uneasy Rider”, in 1973. He was a pioneer in southern rock, a frequent collaborator with the Marshall Tucker Band (Toy Caldwell idolized him), and a relentless live performer whose Volunteer Jams showcased the best musicians from every genre of music under the sun. Daniels also recorded in Macon’s own Capricorn Studios with his friends from the MTB, the Allman Brothers Band, and producer Paul Hornsby.
The Charlie Daniels Band become a part of American music history and identity with 1979’s “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”, the blistering saga of Johnny, a fiddlin’ hero who outplays the devil himself. With a 60 year career, over fifty albums, and a prolific number of studio appearances, Charlie Daniels was, is, and always will be in a class all his own.
All of Creek Media extends its most heartfelt condolences to the Daniels family and crew.