On October 29, 2016, the day after Charlie Daniels’s eightieth birthday and two weeks after his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, he sat down for an in-depth interview in front of a full house in the Museum’s CMA Theater. With characteristic candor, the singer, songwriter, guitarist, and fiery fiddler opened up about his groundbreaking career.
Daniels described how his Grammy-winning hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” greased his transition from southern rocker to country music star and the role the song played in the film "Urban Cowboy," starring John Travolta. Daniels discussed his instrumental contributions to albums by Bob Dylan ("Nashville Skyline," "New Morning," "Self Portrait"), by Leonard Cohen ("Songs from a Room," "Songs of Love and Hate"), and by Ringo Starr ("Beaucoups of Blues"). He also recalled a four-person New York studio session in which Daniels and a drummer backed Dylan and George Harrison on impromptu recordings that were not released until the 21st century.
Working with those greats gave Daniels the confidence to pursue his dreams. He began his solo career in 1970 and formed the Charlie Daniels Band in 1971. He speaks of his million-selling albums "Fire on the Mountain" and "Million Mile Reflections" (the latter provided the title for a 2016 exhibition at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum). Daniels and his band opened the program with his hit “Long Haired Country Boy;” to close, the CDB performed “It Hurts Me,” an Elvis Presley hit that Daniels co-wrote, and the gospel standard “How Great Thou Art.”
Find out more about the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's programs: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/plan-your-visit/exhibits-activities/public-programs/
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