Charlie Daniels, the country icon best known for his hit single “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” has passed away at age 83 from a hemorrhagic stroke. He died at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee on Monday morning, July 6th.
The Grammy, CMA and Dove award winner, who was on the forefront of the Southern rock movement, went on to record several hits that were mainstays in country music, including “The South’s Gonna Do It” and “Long Haired Country Boy.” But “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” was his only number-one. In fact, he once speculated that he had sung the song at least 5000 times.
Best known for his fiery fiddle licks, Charlie actually preferred playing guitar. In fact, during concerts he only occasionally played his fiddle. Of course, he was featured on fiddle when he appeared in the 1980 film Urban Cowboy, and although he had his own band, he would play fiddle on recordings for The Marshall Tucker Band.
A true road warrior, Charlie had only slowed down his touring, but continued to cross the country playing concerts and music festivals. He also annually headlined his own Volunteer Jam that began in 1974 in Nashville, taking a break from 1996 to 2014 when it returned due to popular demand.
In 2008, Charlie was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry by Marty Stuart and Connie Smith. In 2016, he became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Charlie was a loyal patriot and supporter of U.S. military efforts. He was outspoken about his political views, which were often reflected in songs like “In America,” as well as on his social media platforms.
He is survived by his wife Hazel and son Charlie Daniels Junior. Funeral arrangements are forthcoming.
“When I get to where I can’t do it or don’t want to do it, I would not do people who bought tickets the injustice of appearing before them. We’ve been blessed with having a long career and I see no end in sight right now.”
“You know we were trying to figure that out while ago, the other day and what was it? Five thousand, we figure about five-thousand times. Well, it came out in 19, I started to say 29, no it didn’t, it came out in 1979 and we do a hundred and something shows every year, sometimes, back in the day we did more than that. We’ve done it in every shows basically, so we figure somewhere around five-thousand times. That would be bottom line, we may have done it more than that.”