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Charlie Daniels

A talented and showy fiddler, Charlie Daniels and his band fuse hardcore country with a hard-edged Southern rock, boogie, and blues. The group -- which has had a rotating cast of musicians over the years -- has always been known for its instrumental dexterity, but Daniels and company were also notorious for their down-home, good-old-boy attitude; in the early '80s, they became a virtual symbol of conservative country values. Daniels and his band experienced the height of their popularity at the end of the '70s and early '80s, but they remained a popular concert attraction well into the '90s.

Daniels was born and raised in North Carolina, playing fiddle and guitar in several bands during his teenage years. At the age of 21, he decided become a professional musician, assembling an instrumental rock & roll combo called the Jaguars. The group landed a recording session for Epic Records in 1959 with Bob Johnson, who would later become Columbia Records' leading folk and country producer. The record didn't receive much attention, but the band continued to play and Daniels continued to write songs. One of his originals, "It Hurts Me," was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1963. By the late '60s, it had become clear that the Jaguars weren't going to hit the big time, so Johnson recommended to Daniels that he move to Nashville to become a session musician. Daniels followed the advice and became one of the most popular fiddlers in Nashville. He played on several Bob Dylan albums -- Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait, New Morning, and Dylan -- as well as Ringo Starr's 1970 record Beaucoups of Blues. He also became part of Leonard Cohen's touring band in the late '60s and produced the Youngbloods' Elephant Mountain album around the same time.

Daniels cut an album for Capitol Records in the early '70s that was ignored. In 1972, he formed the Charlie Daniels Band, using the Southern rock of the Allman Brothers as a blueprint. The band was comprised of Daniels (lead guitar, vocals, fiddle), lead guitarist Don Murray, bassist Charlie Hayward, drummer James W. Marshall, and keyboardist Joe DiGregorio. The formula worked, and in 1973 they had a minor hit with "Uneasy Rider," which was released on Kama Sutra Records. In 1974, they released Fire on the Mountain, which became a gold record within months of its release; the album would eventually go platinum. Its successor, 1975's Nightrider, did even better, thanks to the Top 40 country hit "Texas." Saddle Tramp, released in 1976, became his first country Top Ten album, going gold.

Throughout the mid-'70s, the Charlie Daniels Band pursued a Southern rock direction. They were moderately successful, but they never had a breakthrough hit either on the pop or country charts. By the late '70s, Daniels sensed that the audience for Southern rock was evaporating, so he refashioned the band as a more straightforward country band. The change paid off in 1979 when the single "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" became a number one hit, crossing over into the pop charts, where it hit number three. The song was named the Country Music Association's Single of the Year and helped its accompanying album, Million Mile Reflections, become a multi-platinum success.

Daniels wasn't able to follow "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" with another blockbuster single on the country charts but, ironically, he had several rock crossover successes in the years following the success of Million Mile Reflections: Full Moon (1980) went platinum and Windows (1982) went gold. Although he continued to sell respectably throughout the '80s, he didn't have a big hit until 1989's Simple Man, which went gold. In the '90s, his records failed to chart well, although he remained a popular concert draw, a trend that continued through into the 21st century.

During the first decade of the new millennium, Daniels quietly transitioned from major labels to independents, releasing records on Blue Hat and Audium, garnering some headlines in 2003 with his pro-Iraq War anthem “This Ain’t No Rag, It’s a Flag,” a song popular enough to launch a spinoff book Ain’t No Rag. Two years later, Daniels established a long-running relationship with Koch in 2005 with Songs from the Longleaf Pines. Daniels’ albums for Koch ran the gamut from bluegrass to bluesy country-rock, punctuated with holiday collections and live records, or thematic compilations like 2010’s patriotic The Land That I Love. Daniels was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2007. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Charlie Daniels is where it's at. He's one badass musician.
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Rednecks, white socks and blue ribbon beer...
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We need more rednecks!!!! ! ! !
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Simple man made the good ole. U. S. A. He found it and will fight to keep it thank god for us good. Ole Rednecks
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Love Charlie Daniels one of the greatest Americans to ever live. 'simple man' is where this country is we need to be like his song 'in America '
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Ok people lets just put it out there and get it over with the rebel flag stands for a lot not slavery any one who thinks that needs sum serious help. Just ask a true country boy about. History! !!!!!!!
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Simple man. speaks the truth this country has gone to hell personally think we thar know the truth about rebel flag it's heritage not hate im a Rebel and dam straight I have a bi -racial daughter and i still love my daughter's mommabTomika is a beautiful woman and the mother of our daughter Bre Breaanna i love her and always will
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WE NEAF TO STAND UP AND PRAY FOR EACH OTHER LOVE EACH OTHER
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Yesh
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The south needs to stand up again
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With them bringing down the rebel flag we need Charlie more than ever it's not about race or color its southern pride hell yea
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A jerk that's not the truth he has helped out alot of people you need to do some research and not just put the good down. You don't know
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kvgianakos
He liked to sing about pot smoking when he was young but he kind of became a jingoistic jerk like Toby Keith when he got old.
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Simple made the good ole USA if we had a lot more Rednecks now we would have alot less crime
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I've been to a "concert" of his in Waite park mn
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The Devil went down to georgia
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Nice
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Charlie Daniels is a HELL lot better them dem pop stars most like the world "needs more rednecks " YEEEHAWWW
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annemakson
#Stupid #racist #monger
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Love Charlie Daniels Band but i disagree witjh him say!n Sputh Goma Do It my daughter Bre is bi _racial and anybody tries to hurt my daughter they'y get shot , As Roman Reiwngs says Believe That
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I love you charlie daniels i would love to come to one of concerts
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Still would love to hear "The South Is Gonna Do It Again"!! Being proud to be Southern does not make you ignorant or a bigot! Do your homework and you will find that the most amount of racism exists in the the North - only difference is that's it's hidden behind hypocrisy! If it is appropriate to be a proud Yankee, it seems that we have the right to be proud Southerners! Yes, we are college educated....
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Drinking my baby good bye. Sounds about. Right man has his own way that don't mean laying with every thing or body.
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Damn straight the South's gonna do it again
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The Devil sucks and he put that into song


I like it
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What this world needs is a little more rednecks...a n d this world needs a few more with RESPECT!!!
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25. 26. Good. Question
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Long haired country boy. I am and proud. Tell it. Charlie.
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You have to see him n concert to know how great hé really Is
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A Country Boy Can Survive is one of my all-time favorites of theirs.
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Was it. 26 one true country boy song. Most. Can't remember !!!!!!!
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The last fallen hero. Well. Deserving. Song.
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Ralph..Devil s going down to Georgia with Charlie Daniels too,late, but we had fun.
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Uneasy Rider...love d that..Lol.
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A few more rednecks is what we need that would stop a lot of bullshit because we will stop the stupid against ours. Red. White. Blue. Can't go wrong. !!!
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I love waking up to. C. D. B. The best. One hel. Of a man !!!! !
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misterpanic
Charlie is awesome!!!!! ! !
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Can't you see. Says a lot. Tell it Charlie
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IS THERE A DEVIL IN GEORGIA? OR IS THIS RELATING TO GOD AND THE DEVIL????
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This was when country music was great music.dtzbab y @ i c l o u d
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Saw Charlie at Gilley's in june of 1986...he broke every string but one on his fiddle playing this song.
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cannonboy321
Awesome song
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Best country song ever! !!
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Simple man. Amen. That's the southern anthem
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Saw several of his Volunteer Jams in Nashville TN
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He's from North Carolina
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Proud he is a Tennessean! His music speaks the truth...
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I saw CDB every time they played n Dallas during the 70s each time they put on a great concert
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alabastervil l i s 0
keep your confederate cash for the south will rise again
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Amen to the song " Simple Man ", Mr Daniels' hit the state of our society right on the nail.
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