Charlie Daniels, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame who sang “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” recorded with Bob Dylan and was a vocal supporter of U.S. veterans, died Monday morning after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 83.
Daniels’ death was confirmed by his publicist, Don Murry Grubbs. He is survived by his wife, Hazel, and son, Charlie Daniels Jr.
By the time the Charlie Daniels Band topped the charts with “Devil” in 1979, the instrumentalist, singer and songwriter had long established a remarkable, multifaceted career in Nashville. As a session musician, he played on three of Bob Dylan’s albums — including the revolutionary “Nashville Skyline” — as well as recordings for Ringo Starr and Leonard Cohen.
He was a fixture of the touring circuit for the next 40 years, became a tireless advocate for servicemen and women, and entered the information age as one of country music’s most outspoken conservative voices.
Born Oct. 28, 1936, in Wilmington, North Carolina, Charles Edward Daniels grew up inspired by church music and local bluegrass bands. He listened to Nashville’s WSM and WLAC, which streamed country and R&B music from Music City all the way through Daniels’ radio speaker in North Carolina.
Daniels merged those sounds in the mid-1950s to create rock band The Jaguars, which most notably recorded instrumental single “Jaguar,” in Fort Worth, Texas, for national distribution via Epic Records. In Texas, he’d connect with producer Bob Johnston, who — years later — Daniels would credit with helping him find his way as a songwriter and sought-after session player in Nashville.
In 1964, Daniels and Johnston co-wrote “It Hurts Me,” a single cut by Elvis Presley that proved the first victory in decades of songwriting success to come.
No memorial details were given.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
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