Skip to main content

Music Legend: Charlie Daniels

Readmikenow has written about various medical conditions. He has previously written a series of articles on Polyarteritis nodosa.

Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels was active as a musician and singer from 1950 until his death in 2020. His signature song was The Devil Went Down to Georgia. Daniels had eight Billboard Hot 100 chart singles. He is known for turning his love of music into a multi-platinum career. Daniels developed a platform that was able to help with various charities and provide important support for members of the military and their families, underprivileged children, and other needy individuals.

Young Charlie Daniels

Young Charlie Daniels

Early Years

Charles Edward Daniels was born in Wilmington, North Carolina on October 28, 1936. His early years were strongly influenced by local bluegrass bands, Pentecostal gospel, rhythm & blues, as well as country music from Nashville radio stations. When he was a teenager, his family moved to Chatham County, North Carolina, and lived in the small town of Gulf. In 1955, Daniels graduated from high school. He knew his future was music, Daniels could play the mandolin, guitar, banjo, and fiddle. He formed a band and went on the road.

Musical Career

Daniels co-wrote with his friend, producer Bob Johnston, the song It Hurts Me in 1964. It was a song that was eventually recorded by Elvis Presley. They wrote the song under Johnston's wife's name of Joy Byers. During this time, Daniels worked as a Nashville session musician. He played electric bass as well as guitar on three Bob Dylan albums. In 1971, Daniels recorded his first solo album called, Charlie Daniels. His first musical hit was a novelty song called Uneasy Rider. It was from his third album called Honey in the Rock, released in 1973.

Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels

Career Success

In 1975, Daniels was the leader of the Charlie Daniels Band. The musical group had several top 30 hit songs. They included Long Haired Country Boy, The South's Gonna Do It Again, and others. In 1979, Daniels was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance. It was for his song The Devil Went Down to Georgia. This song soon became a huge success on crossover on rock radio stations. It reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1979. Daniels had a pop hit called In America that reached number 11 on the top pop hits in 1980. In that same year, his song The Legend of Wooley Swamp reached number 31. In 1982, his song Still in Saigon reached number 22. During the 1990s, Daniels' singles and albums continued to become hits on country charts. Daniels then released several Christian and gospel albums.

Poster for movie "Across the Line"

Poster for movie "Across the Line"

Movies and Television

The feature film Across the Line was released in 2000. Daniels performed the score for the movie. He was on two episodes of the animated television series King of the Hill and played himself. Daniels made a cameo appearance in 2005 on Gretchen Wilson's music video called All Jacked Up. He also made a musical guest appearance on an episode of VeggieTales. Daniels was part of the backup band for the opening sequence to Monday Night Football done by Hank Williams Jr. He appeared in over 20 television shows during his career.


Daniels appeared in a 2002 commercial for UPS. During this commercial, he convinces NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett to participate in a race with a UPS truck. In 2009, he was featured playing the fiddle in a GEICO commercial.

Charlie Daniels with CMA Award

Charlie Daniels with CMA Award


Daniels won his only Grammy in 1979 for The Devil Went Down to Georgia. It was his biggest mainstream hit. He won Dove Awards for his gospel music in 1995 and 1997. In 1998, Daniels was given the Pioneer Award from the Academy of Country Music Awards. In 1999, he was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of fame. Daniels was honored on October 18, 2005, with a BMI Icon Award during the 53rd annual BMI Country Awards. During his musical career, Daniels would be awarded six BMI Country Awards for his songwriting. On January 19, 2008, Daniels was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry as a member. He became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in October 2016. Daniels also received a star on the Music City Walk of Fame.

Charlie Daniels with wife

Charlie Daniels with wife

Personal Life

On September 20, 1964, Daniels married Hazel Juanita Alexander. They had one child named Charles Edward Daniels Jr. Daniels was known for enjoying outdoor sports. He liked snowmobiling, fishing, hunting, and other various outdoor activities.

Charlie Daniels grave marker

Charlie Daniels grave marker


Charlie Daniels died on July 6, 2020, at the Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee. His cause of death was a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 83 years old.



Scroll to Continue

Charlie Daniels Band Website

All Music

Famous People

© 2021 Readmikenow


Readmikenow (author) on March 09, 2021:

Brenda, thanks. Yeah, he was a musical legend.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on March 08, 2021:

Great article. It's hard to believe he is gone.

Lot's of good talent. His music will live on.

Readmikenow (author) on March 08, 2021:

Pamela, thanks. I agree with you.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 08, 2021:

This is a terrific article, Mike. i really liked Charlie Daniels and think he was very talented.

Readmikenow (author) on March 08, 2021:

Liz, thanks.

Liz Westwood from UK on March 08, 2021:

This is an interesting and well-illustrated biography.

Related Articles