Charlie Daniels BandPosted: Updated:
The Charlie Daniels Band will perform Tuesday night August 21st at 7:30pm on the Main Stage.
Like so many great American success stories, the Charlie Daniels saga begins in rural obscurity. Born in 1936 in Wilmington, North Carolina, he was raised on a musical diet that included Pentecostal gospel, local bluegrass bands, and the rhythm & blues and country music emanating respectively from Nashville's 50,000-watt megabroadcasters WLAC and WSM.
He graduated from high school in 1955 and soon enlisted in the rock 'n' roll revolution ignited by Mississippian Elvis Aron Presley. Already skilled on guitar, fiddle and mandolin, Daniels formed a rock 'n' roll band and hit the road.
Daniels broke through as a record maker, himself, with 1973's Honey In the Rock and its hit hippie song, "Uneasy Rider." His rebel anthems "Long Haired Country Boy" and "The South's Gonna Do It" propelled his 1975 collection Fire On the Mountain to Double Platinum status.
Following stints with Capitol and Kama Sutra, Epic Records signed him to its rock roster in New York in 1976. The contract, reportedly worth $3 million, was the largest ever given to a Nashville act up to that time. In the summer of 1979 Daniels rewarded the company's faith by delivering "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," which became a Platinum single, topped both country and pop charts, won a Grammy Award, became an international phenomenon, earned three Country Music Association trophies, became a cornerstone of the Urban Cowboy movie soundtrack and propelled Daniel's Million Mile Reflections album to Triple Platinum sales levels.
The album's title was a reference to a milestone in the Charlie Daniels Band's legendary coast to coast tours. Including two drummers, twin guitars, and a flamenco dancer, the CDB often toured more than 250 days a year and by this time had logged more than a million miles on the road. On the Million Mile Reflections Tour, transported by a convoy of busses and gleaming black tractor-trailer rigs - a show that stopped traffic all over the country - the band now included a full horn section, back-up singers, a troupe of clog dancers and sometimes a gospel choir. By 1981, the Charlie Daniels Band had twice been voted the Academy of Country Music's Touring Band of the Year.
In April 1998, top stars and two former Presidents paid tribute to Daniels when he was named the recipient of the Pioneer Award at the Academy of Country Music's annual nationally televised ceremonies.