Charlie Daniels to a lot of us is bigger than life. We've heard his music for years and have heard the attitude that comes out of some of his songs. Sometimes it's gentle, but more often than not he sounds like the kind of a man that would be trouble if you were looking for it. (In a song from the 1977 Midnight Wind album called "Good Ole Boy," Charlie sings, Well I went down the road and I got in a fight/We was cuttin' and a-shootin' in the middle of the night/When the police came to raid the place/Well I jumped up and cussed in the police face." ) In reality though, he's a big hearted gentleman, and after speaking with him, you realize that the only people that he would have cussed at were those that had it coming, and then I think he'd have to be pushed. The way he lives now, though, I don't think you'd get that out of him. If you've ever met him, tell me about it and I'll post it here. My email address is at the bottom of this page. Any personal information such as email or snail-mail addresses have been put on this page by permission. The first is my own story...I hope you enjoy it. Thanks, Matt.
I was in Reno with a bunch of friends a few years ago to see the Charlie Daniels Band at the Sparks Convention Center. We were killing time before the show at a big casino there, when we spotted the man himself, dressed casually in slacks and a sweater, thumbing through chips to play some blackjack. We introduced ourselves and then kept a respectful distance away. At least we did until one of us worked up the nerve and $5 to ante up next to him at the blackjack table.
Brian sat down next to Charlie, in a nervous state of confusion and tried to play some blackjack. He was sitting at the table next to the guy who sang the Devil Went Down to Georgia! Right next to him, and getting tips from him at that. "Get your hand off the table, son," Charlie said. "Scratch your card like this when you need a new one. And get you're hand off the table!" "...I'm next to Charlie," was all Brian could think. Meanwhile, Aaron yapped it up happily with Hazel, Charlie's wife.
The battleaxe dealing cards noticed the small crowd of young men gathered around her table."What are you boys in town for?" she asked. As if! Why was the whole town there?
"To see him!" Aaron volunteered, pointing to Charlie Daniels, the greatest fiddle player of all time. The old crone peered up through thick glasses as her nicotine yellow fingers deftly stacked the deck. "Who are you?" she asked Charlie Daniels, hero of American youth.
The casino hushed. Coins stopped jingling and slot machines froze, as if by some supernatural power. Somewhere in the background, a person coughed.
"Why, I'm Charlie Daniels," Charlie said. Immediately a wild cheer arose from the patrons of the casino. The sound was deafening, and the building shook as one armed bandits regurgitated coin. "Drinks on the house!" a waitress yelled.
The card dealer vaporized on the spot, and Charlie patted Brian on the shoulder and ascended to his room before the show.
"He's the best that's ever been," we all agreed.
The moral of this story is, if you don't know, fake it.
"I went to a Charlie Daniels concert at the New York State Fair. I am a really big fan and so is my father. My brother called up a radio station and won three backstage passes to see Charlie Daniels. My brother couldn't go but he gave the tickets to my mother, my father, and me. We got to watch the whole concert from backstage and to me that was really neat. There were approximatly thirteen or fourteen thousand people there that day watching the show. After the show we waited around for a while because he had a few interviews to do first. When it was my turn to go in I went in and sat on that mans lap just like he was Santa Claus. It was really neat because we talked about Christmas and some our family traditions. We took a few pictures, had some pictures signed and went home. To me that was really neat because Charlie is my favorite singer. I went home and I think I was the happiest little girl at the whole fair that day.
Fulton, New York
I was a freelance concert photograph during the late 70's and 80's. I met several bands, and most were friendly, but none were as genuine as Charlie Daniels. He always asked me if I had tickets. When I told him I didn't, he always made sure I got front row tickets or a backstage pass. I remember one time he asked me before a show if he should play "Uneasy Rider". I told him people loved that song. As he started to play the song, the crowd went wild. I had a grin from ear to ear.
Twenty years ago, my buddy took a picture of Charlie and me. Today that pictures hangs in my living room. That same night I took one of my best photos of Charlie playing the fiddle. The next time I saw Charlie I gave him a 16x20 of that picture. He said he would hang it in his living room. He also gave me his home address in Mt. Juliet, TN and told me to stop by if I was in that part of the country. I haven't yet, but if I do I believe I'll see a photo hanging on his wall taken 20 years ago.
"In appreciation of your fine music" written on the bottom of the photo, and after 20 years I still appreciate Charlie's music.
I dont have a bonified meeting with charlie to tell you about, but i do have an experience that i would like to share. when i first heard the "The Devil went down to Georgia", i was 9 years old . It turned me on to music. I would stand ,air guitar in hand, in my room playing along with every Charlie Daniels song I could get for my record player. It became a challange to get every Charlie Daniels album I could. I did , in time, somehow get every album Charlie had made. I was and still am a huge fan. I learned to play the guitar,played in a few bands, and always had a list of CDB songs on our list we played. When I was 11 I wrote a letter to Charlie. The letter was the usual fan stuff. I told Charlie I loved his music. I also said Hey to all his bandmates to which I knew all their names. I was told to take the letter to the post office and get the zip code to MT Juliet Tn. I did. Six weeks later I recieved a hand written response from Charlie himself. It was a great boost for a poor boy from southwest Va. I had picked up cans for money in order to buy his records and it seemed as If he was repaying me by showing a geniune interest in me. Of course it was only an act of kindness but it meant the world to me. I still have the letter in a frame on my wall. I now have a 4 year old son thats favorite song is the Souths going to do it again. when i see him dancing around playing his air guitar It always reminds me of myself. So if Charlie every wonders if he has made a difference with his music and actions my experiences states a tremenedous Yes.
God Bless Charlie Daniels ,
Charlie Daniels is the coolest and nicest musician alive! He has the best club manager--Ginger! They both have given me opportunity to interview Charlie and get backstage. They even allowed my husband backstage and Charlie was signing autographs, I told my husband to shake his hand and Charlie would have none of that, he stood up and threw his arm around my hubby. See, my hubby uses a cane and can hardly walk. I trully believe Charlie is so kind hearted that he realized this and was extra special to my hubby! My picture is in the last newsletter, and I write for www.comportone.com u can look on the homepage and look into archives to find articles about Charlie. He even asked for a hard copy of the article about him and the Firemans concert in Rockford,IL.!
After reading those "Charliefied" experiences, I thought, well, lucky them! They've met the man, but I have'nt! But then again, I DO have a "Charliefied" experience even though I've never personally met Charlie Daniels, so I thought, why not put in my two cents worth because the story I am going to relate may be pretty unusual. So here goes...
I was born in Columbia, SC to deaf parents. I was your typical kid. The highlights of my kid years during the 60''s were visiting my grandmother's farm in New Zion, SC, a small farming community near Kingstree. In that little county, most of the people living there were either my relatives or distant relatives. But the person I looked to most, was my grandmother, Lord bless her. You've heard of typical grandmothers, sweet, serene, christian and a world class cook! Well, my grandmother was all of them. I loved watching her rock in her chair at the end of a busy day humming hymns. She could hum "Just As I Am" with soul! You could swear Heaven heard her. If I knew that the lifestyles would vanish in a few years, I would not have taken for granted those misty wonderful times.
A few years later, my dad told us that we were going to Virginia because he had a new job. That was in 1967. I thought Virginia was a far off place where it was always cold, with lots of snow. No, not THAT part of Virginia, it is EASTERN Virginia, where we would be living in a coastal community. Well, I adjusted to life in VA but missed SC terribly and longed for the goodness of my grandmother's home. Christmas 1968 saw a big change in my life. I got a new record player! You know, one of those funky portable record players. Well I plumb wore this thing out playing records. I had a paper route so I could finance my record collection. Oh, I loved music! Especially the Butterfield Blues Band. They were awesome! A neighbor, a kid told me about this band who sounds almost like the Butterfield Blues Band but played it with guts and we got into the Allman Brothers Band. That was in 1969. That year, I started having problems with my hearing (hereditary) and that fall of 1969, I went to the Virginia School for the Deaf in Staunton. Talk about those mountains! I fell in love with them right away. In 1972 or 1973 while I was still a student at the school, a friend of mine who was hard of hearing like me, who also loved music showed me an album that I listened to which struck me as kinda country, kinda rock, but with a lotta oomph! That album was TE JOHN GREASE AND WOLFMAN by Charlie Daniels. That hooked me. I became a hardcore fan. Summers at home was spent delivering newspapers so I could buy CDB records. His music took me back to SC. The religious, musical and social values and the music that the CDB represents mirrors mine.
In 1980, I became a Born Again Christian. Throughout my christian life, I balanced my love for the Lord and my love for CDB music and try to apply it to daily living. I was proud of Charlie when he made those two gospel albums, THE DOOR and STEEL WITNESS. I am thinking about having some of his songs be sung in sign language in the church where my dear wife, Helen and I attend. I have told a lot of hearing impaired people about the CDB and many of them became fans as a result. I don't think Charlie realizes how much he has touched the lives of not only hearing people, but hearing impaired people as well!
Today, I am TRYING to get some of the record companies to get some of the CDB albums that have not been reissued on CD. I am in my own small way trying to spread the goodness of his music everywhere I go.
In closing, and the most important one of all, although I have never attended his concerts due to incredible bad timing, I still want to attend one and MEET the MAN himself and give him a great big hug for making a difference in my life. My wife, who is also hearing impaired recognizes and senses the love Charlie pours out to people.
God bless you Charlie! Oh yes, and one more thing and this is most important...you sent me an autographed picture of yourself and the Blues Hat CD about last year and I haven't thanked you. THANKS!!
217 WINCHESTER DR, HAMPTON, VA 23666
I have known Charlie and the band for over 20 years. I have been back stage for well over 100 shows. This past Sept. I went to south west NY state to see them and visit some friends. I had taken my children with me but had arranged to have a babysitter while I was at the show. While we were getting ready to leave from the hotel loby where myself and the band were staying a close friend of mine and also a band member caught us. He met the kids and insisted that they come to the show also. The kids and I were standing out of the way as Charlie came off the bus. He looked at me and politely spoke as he usually does when he noticed my children with me. Charlie stoped and came over to speak to them and to shake their hands. When the show was about to begin one of the road crew came over and escorted us to side stage. They had arranged a place right in front on side stage where the kids could sit and see everything ( thank goodness their father is a musician also and they know how to behave when sitting on stage).
What a story they had to tell when they returned to school on Monday. I have always known what a great bunch of guys the Band and crew are but this act touched my very soul. Thank you Charlie, Taz, CharlieH, Jack, Jimmy, Roger and the rest. You are the best and I love ya !
my dad has sung with him before
Ever since I was a little boy I've always heard a story told by my dad numerous times of his friendship with Charlie Daniels back in the 60's and early 70's. My dad is a barber in Tulsa, OK and he's been a country music fan ever since he's ever heard music, which is a long time. He used to tell me the story about when Charlie was first trying to make it in music and playing rock n roll in Tulsa . The story goes like this: Charlie an his band was getting a haircut one day and the band and my dad were talking while listening to country music and my dad said, "Chalie if you're ever going to make it son this here is the type of music you need to play", and they all laughed like all good friends laugh at a good joke. I know that my dad gets great joy from this story . He loves Charlie Daniels and I would like to some day arrange for him to see him in concert and go backstage to see him again .
A few years back me amy cousin went to play golf in my hometown of Lebanon, TN. And Charlie just happend to have teed off in front of us. I couldn't believe it! We played it cool and made small talk with him. He was overly friendly and asked if we would like to play with him. Of course! I was only 15 and played on the Lebanon golf team, Charlie immediately noticed my fine play and asked for bet. We started out at 20 bucks and took it and raised the stakes to 50. He was more than willing. I ende taking 200 from him and 4 backstage passes to the upcoming volunteer jam. Needless to say he kept a level head and never said a curse word the whole time a 15 year old was taking him for a ride. I really love his music and personality. thought you'd enjoy the story! write back sometime, Owenscraft.com
My name is Charles Cook, I had the privlege of flying (I'm a professional pilot) for Charlie Daniels during the seventys. I was there with him and his manager when they chose the song "Devil Went Down to Georgia", which was a filler song for the album. Hopes, were great for the title song "Reflections", which if everyone recalls in the one verse "I remeber the night in St. Louis town when I heard that the Free Bird had fell to the ground". I flew him to St. Louis that very night. He was told of the accident right before he went on stage. He was heart broken, in that Ronnie VanZandt was a close and personal friend. The show was not as planned, and I had decided to sit in the crowd rather than back stage with one of his office staff members. She immediately knew that something was terribly wrong. We later found out on the flight home which was very quiet the whole trip. Some days later (I would have to check my log book for the exact date) I flew Charlie to Ronnie's funeral. We departed Nashville that morning and it poured rain. I must admit I was concerned with the torent of water that the engines would continue to run smoothly, which they did. As we decended into Jacksonville, FL we broke into sunshine. Solid sheets of rain the entire flight from Nashville to Jacksonville. But all of a sudden sunshine almost as some sort of omen. I waited at the airport for Charlie, while he attended the funeral with his manager who was Joe Sullivan who I think now lives is MO., but we went on to land at a small airport just south of Jacksonville and we fished for several days in the Oklawaha River and the bass fishing was great. Charlie sat in the cabin and played his fiddle the night before our first day out of fishing. What a treat to sit there in that informal manner and listen to him play that fiddle. It was something I will never forget. We caught lots of big bass and enjoyed the change of venue immensely. I have flown many entertainers through the years of my career but none as kind and caring and considerate of his fellow man as Charlie Daniels. He handles his fame with grace and humility. He is to me a living legend, a John Wayne a man bigger than life itself. He is a mans man, a living hero. I was able to fly Charlie many times after that, though flying was by no means his love and so many entertainers particularly country entertainers have died in untimely airplane accidents, he trusted me. When he was in Washington DC he was offered an aircraft, no cost to fly him back home. I was out on another flight, he chose to wait for me several hours before I could refuel and takeoff to pick him up. He is loyal, loyal to his God, his wife, his children and to his fans. My perspective of Charlie was so unique. I am honored to have known him. And, I say to each and every member of his fan club: You have chosen well! There is no better!
Charles N. Cook, Pilot, Deltona, FL
I'm also a CDB fanclub member. If you have the time, check out this link to a webpage on countrycool.com. It's a story about my son, Levi, and in it is a photo and a couple of paragraphs about Charlie and his support with my son's battle with cancer.
I've played guitar for about 30 years and have always had rock and roll leanings. I never could get very excited about Charlie Daniels. I mean, I was like everybody else. I had heard him a lot ever since "Uneasy Rider" was popular. I was at Frontier City in Oklahoma City about two years ago and one of the benefits of paying your admission that day was to see the CDB in concert that evening if you wanted to. I thought, "what the heck" and hung around for the concert. The CDB just blew me away. Man, there was something about seeing "Big Charlie" walk out on that stage swinging his fiddle bow that just went all through me,(and I'm VERY jaded where concerts are concerned). To make the show even better, Charlie was not the SLIGHTEST bit shy about sharing his conservative political philosophy with the crowd. "If I caught somebody sellin dope, I'd take a tall, tall tree and a short piece of rope; hang em up high and let em swing till the sun goes down". RIGHT ON CHARLIE!!!!! If there had been more dope pushing SOBs locked up or swinging from trees, I might not have wasted HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dollars, most of my life and a lot of talent,(I had a job playing guitar for Reba McEntire but got fired because of a drug bust...I had it coming). Charlie Daniels represents just about everything good about country music and Southern rock, if not the whole Southern way of life; treating people right, Christian living, being "a good ol boy",(laugh if you want, a lot more good old boys would cure a LOT of what ails this country). Charlie stopped in the middle of the concert and made a little speech about the effects of violent crime on America and how we had better stop it before it gets COMPLETELY out of control. Again, RIGHT ON CHARLIE!!!!! I like everything about this guy and cannot find fault with him or his band. Count me as a BIG CDB fan from here on out!!!!!!!!
Back in '95, I took a good buddy of mine to see the CDB play about 4 hrs away from where I lived at the time. My friend had never met him before, and was pretty sure I was full of crap about knowing him. We arrived at the venue, and I presented my pass to security to get in the stage door (as usual) but, for whatever reason, that day, the security dudes were in a foul ood and decided to give me trouble. I told them that Charlie was going to be expecting me, and he would want to know what was going on. But, hey were not impressed. Needless to say, this didn't help convince my friend that I really did know Charlie. So, when old "TPR II" came rollin' in, I made myself visible.(the idot gaurd had roped us off) Charlie stepped off of the bus, and said "he Danny, what in the heck are you doin' over there?!" So, I just told him what had happened.
He immediately called the HEAD of security over there, and told him to take a good look at me and my friend because we were his PERSONAL GUESTS. He also informed them that ths was a CDB show, and he would be letting them know who could come in as long as he was there. We followed like little ducks to the dressing room. It was a two show gig. So, he signed autographs before the first show, and between shows, Charlie, my friend, and me chatted, played a game called "Stump Dan" where Charlie would play his oldest material, thinking I wouldn't know it. But I did"! It quickly turned into a game of "stump Charlie" we spent almost two hours, just the three of us in that room, talking, laughing, and pickin' guitar. Needless to say, my friend was not only impressed, he was in disbelief. I've known Charlie a long time, and I have had too many backstage experiences to count, but that day was the most enjoyable, laid back times that I can remember. By the way, he saw to it that we had front row seats for both shows (free) and hetook our requests. (How Great Thou Art, and Uneasy Rider) DAN
Be sure to check out Dan's home page. He's got some info about his Southern Rock band C.O.D. in St. Louis.
Nate Gross (18)
I've never met the man in person like some of you lucky people, but I had a sort of Charlified experience...
The first time I heard "the Devil Went Down to Georgia" I was a high school kid in a mall record store and they played it over the sound system- I bought the album right then and there.
Later that summer I was in far northern Minnesota and a racetrack in Winnipeg Canada was holding a CDB concert for free before the horse races. Naturally I went. and even though he didn't start playing until 6pm , we got our seats at 2 and were front and center for one of the best concerts I've ever attended. (festival seating does have its good points).
The next year he came back to the track and of course I was there- again front and center- with two of my best friends. I had my $10 Sears cowboy hat on with the hawk feathers in the brim and could see that the success of Million Mile Reflections had worn well on Charlie and the band. The year before they traveled in one beat up charter bus and hauled equipment in a nondescript old semi- this year they were in brand new, custom rigs with the big CDB logo proudly displayed on the side. I was happy for them and thought they deserved their success. There were also a lot more people at the second show and the band was dressed better.
The concert started and I hollered for "Long Haired Country Boy." Toward the end of the show he said "This song is for anybody that ever owned a cowboy hat." and looked right at me with a big old grin as the band kicked into "Country Boy" I stood up on my seat and let out the biggest rebel yell ever heard in all of Canada. The skies opened up and Charlie played Orange Blossom Special for an encore while we all danced like crazy in the pouring rain.
Charlie has one of the best bands in the business and I think it speaks a lot for him that he can hold nearly the same lineup together for thirty some years. I hope he comes around here sometime soon- talking about this makes me want to go find my Sears hat and go see some great music. I'll take the kids this time.
Gary's in a band called Six Legged Frog that covers the CDB song Trudy.
Hi everyone. I too had a Charlie experience :) I got to meet him backstage (thanks to Ginger the fan club president) at Island Resort and Casino in Michigan. As one of the other stories I read, I too had an awful time with the security guards. I had my sticker on, my passes and confirmation in hand and they didn't care. I finally saw a man standing off to the side with a CDB hat on, I thought to myself...DO OR DIE !! I walked over to him and asked some questions and come to find out he was one of the bus drivers. I then saw Taz come and talk to him and thank goodness for those two !! Taz immediately went and got help for us to go back and see Charlie. I didn't get to talk much with him, that kind of bummed me out, but I plan on seeing him again real soon. One moment I will remember is this. I was in the 3rd row, and once the show began I would wave to Charlie whenever I thought he was looking my way. My husband and friends laughed at me, saying, "He isn't going to notice you with the lights !!" I said, "I will keep waving until my arm falls off, or until Charlie notices me waving!!" hee hee. Anyway, about 3/4 of the show was finished when I waved onced again when I thought he was looking my way. He nodded his head and got the neatest grin on his face, and boy were my friends quiet after that. It's funny, Charlie would never remember some goofy person like this in the audience...yet that memory will last me a lifetime. After I got that 'response' from Charlie, the lady I didn't know who was sitting next me (and hadn't made a sound or movement through the whole concert) said, "Well, you finally got him !!", we then laughed about it. Later that night we were out in the Casino and Taz came out to listen to the band playing there. My husband and I talked with him for about 20 minutes and he is just the greatest person too. I had hand made a special gift for Charlie, but didn't bring it because I wanted to do a better one (the perfectionist in me :) and my husband was telling Taz all about it. He said Charlie never received a gift like that and to bring it to any show and ask for Taz himself. I said, "How will you remember me ?" and he said he'd never forget a face. I am hoping he doesn't, I have been working really hard on this gift for Charlie and if Security gives me a problem AGAIN, I won't even have a shot at giving it to him. Charlie plays in Wisconsin on Aug. 16, that gives me a couple more days to finish, wish me luck :)
Ive never personally met Charlie Daniels, but I have Christmas cards that the family sent to my brother, Michael Nations. Michael and Liz Bundy made some vests for Mr. Daniels. Michael always spoke highly of Mr. and Mrs. Daniels, how down to earth they are and such good, honest people. I will cherish the little stories my brother told me and the cards that have wound up in my possession. Michael died five years ago and I miss him greatly to this day. Im glad I got to know a little bit about Charlie Daniels family through my brother. I went to his concert in Winston-Salem in hopes of meeting him, but plans didnt work out, but I thoroughly enjoyed the concert. Its nice to know he is not ashamed to show his allegiance to America in his songs and his strong feelings for the best country on this earth!
Faye Nations Moss
I work at the Christian Broadcasting Network as a makeup artist. I had the pleasure of doing Charlie's makeup and meeting his lovely wife, Hazel, as well. I knew Charlie was coming to shoot a couple of beautiful songs for the 700 Club, so I brought my stepson to meet him that day. I married Ronnie's daddy two years ago and in that time, this now 17 yr old has been in the hospital 5 different times. Ronnie was born with Transverse of the Great Vessels. Basically saying that his heart was backwards. He underwent many surgeries from the time he was 3 hours old until he was 3 years old. He did great until he hit 14. Ronnie had a huge growth spurt and had outgrown his surgeries. His heart's electrical system started going haywire. He had two different beats in his heart one part beat at 300bpm and the other part was beating at 138bpm. His color was bad, his lips always blue. Ronnie had to take 4 hour naps each day after school just to function.
Just after I married his dad, he was placed at the borderline list for
a transplant. When Charlie was here in Virginia, it was just before a
last surgery to try an give Ronnie a
Things didn't go well. Right after putting Ronnie under, his whole body
shut down including his heart. It was scary, but my husband and I knew
that Ronnie was in God's
Two days later, they took Ronnie off the machinery and moved him into a regular room. He never had the surgery that he'd been scheduled for. When he awoke that Friday morning and they took his vitals...Ronnie's heart was beating normally for the first time in several years. The doctors told us that would never happen again, that he was headed for transplant. God had other ideas!!!! The doctors were stumped and couldn't explain it. We knew...it was God! Ronnie has been removed from the transplant list and his doctors are still amazed at how well he is doing. He still can't play sports, but he's functioning now like a normal kid. He doesn't have to take naps anymore, his color is excellent and his lips are ruby red!!!
Charlie has checked on him periodically since and Ronnie has reported
his progress to Charlie. Charlie restored my faith in entertainers. See,
a lot of them aren't as kind and giving as Charlie. I've been in the entertainment
industry for over 20 years now. I had