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The Charlie Daniels Band

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

Comments

dodea48
CD, the fattest (used to e fastest) fiddler is country music
sailorboi102 3
Where's the Decade of Hits album? One of his very best.....whe r e ' s The Legend of Wooly Swamp, etc......??? ? ?

I really dug A Decade of HitsAnd the bio was correct about his ability for putting on a foot stomping show. I remember in Paris California he put on a show. In the front row was about 12 to 14 purple haired spike hairdos, they came to heckle Ol'Charlie but as soon as he got on stage with his trademark fiddle they were diggin' it as well as everyone there. I'd like to see him in concert one more time before I'm pushing up daiseys.
Wild Bill Sheridan OR
Excellent musician and song writer. I like the swing dancing songs like Sitting on a bar stool, In America, and The South's going to do it again.
GOTTA LOVE CHARLIE
That hat of Charlie's make me crazy. That is soooo cool!! Luv it!!!
The discography is UN finished . The Charlie Daniels band has at least a couple more albums. There's a decade of hits, fire on the mountain,nig h t r i d e r , m i l l i o n mile reflections.
dkell1058
First 'Daniels show,Palace Theater, Waterbury CT., 1976. Have seen CDB a dozen times over the years, most recently a return to the Palace where they haven't played since the 80's? Love this man and his music. I sat in tears the first time I watched them play Reflections, I have goosebumps now... God Bless You Charlie Daniels
rock rolls and country flows
you can't censor me.
Love this song
Was on a Caribbean cruise w/him and his band in the early 90's. It was excellent.
I saw him at SIU Edwardsville in the 80's, was so close saw the strings pop on the violin. He was so awesome that I turned around & saw him again the following week in St. Louis, since then I have had the pleasure to see him at fairs & hope to catch him again.
sleepsalot8
I had the Pleasure to Meet him and here him Play standing 15 feet away in the early 80's at a Local Theme Park in Franklinton, NC called Ark-Land. It will never leave me how awesome this Man is..
wrwbamolly
None Better !
i listen to him while i do my homework
tahopper8
Sounds good in Iraq to night
Great song for all times.
Great Great group !!!
Getting better with age, luv ya!!
old schools is better,one to the Brothers
luv a brother tar hill
beautiful!! real music!!!!
ahhhhh nothikg like hank jr
jwynne42
I saw him in 1980 it was a great show
countryst
Check out a review from CountryStand a r d T i m e . c o m of "A Bluegrass Christmas" from the Charlie Daniels Band.
My hubby and I saw Charlie Danials and his band in Laughlin,Nv. 2009-it was awesome-in the middle of the concert-he stopped and anouncced he was a Jesus Christ Lord and saviour Christian and sang "How great thy ar by himself-it was very moving!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! : )
easygreen522
The song is The Devil Went Down to Georgia. A couple of other favorites are In America and Simple Man. Strong and poetic.
mwong139
their is a song that I like but cant remmber the song name, it somethink like a contest playing the fidel and who plays it much better jack or devil
sheetmane
http://www.p a n d o r a . c o m / m u s i c / a r t i s t / c h a r l i e + d a n i e l s + b a n d #
http://www.p a n d o r a . c o m / m u s i c / a r t i s t / c h a r l i e + d a n i e l s + b a n d #

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