American Singer-Songwriter Charlie Daniels Dies at 83

Charlie Daniels, legendary American singer-songwriter, died at the age of 83 on July 6 after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. He was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and wrote the hit, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

 Charlie Daniels in concert at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California. Photo by Dwight McCann.

Daniels was born on October 28, 1936, in Wilmington, North Carolina. He had a musical background with his father William Carlton Daniels who played fiddle and guitar. Daniels quickly learned both instruments while in school before forming his own group the Jaguars, in the late 1950s.

Daniels started writing his own music after forming Jaguars and ended up writing “It Hurts Me,” which was a collaboration with Joy Byers that ended up being a Top 40 hit for the B-side of Elvis Presley’s album Kissin’ Cousins in 1964. After Jaguars broke up Daniels moved to Nashville in 1967 and teamed up with producer Bob Johnston. Daniels became a well known and successful session musician. He worked on albums like Bob Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” and Leonard Cohen’s “Songs of Love and Hate.”

Daniels then recorded his first album under his name in 1970. The solo album was titled “Charlie Daniels” and didn’t make much of a splash. He then signed with Kama Sutra label and recorded “Uneasy Rider” before he ended up landing with Epic Records in 1975. Having two dozen hits on the country charts and four then crossed over on to the pop charts including “The Devil” and “In America” Daniels was a house hold name. The hit song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” was written and released on the Charlie Daniels Band’s album Million Mile Reflections in 1979.

Danial received the Pioneer Award by the Academy of Country Music in 1998. He than received the BMI Icon Award at the 53rd annual Country Music Awards in 2005. He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 2008 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

Daniels will be greatly missed from the music community. We mourn his loss and send our condolences to his family and friends. 

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