Coun­try mu­sic le­gend Char­lie Daniels lives up to his rep­u­ta­tion

Leg­ends like Char­lie have a way of mak­ing an im­pres­sion long af­ter the last note of mu­sic has been played

The Boyertown Area Times - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Rodeo Marie Han­son Kid Re­viewer Kid re­viewer Rodeo Marie Han­son 12, Fleet­wood, con­trib­utes columns to Berks-Mont News­pa­pers.

Char­lie Daniels is one of coun­try mu­sic’s big­gest stars. “The Devil Went Down To Ge­or­gia” is the song that first got me in­ter­ested, and it’s prob­a­bly Char­lie’s best-known hit.

With his unique style of fid­dle playing and song writ­ing, Char­lie has be­come a fa­vorite with both fans and crit­ics alike earn­ing a Grammy Award and in­duc­tions into both the Coun­try Mu­sic Hall Of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry. He has been in the mu­sic busi­ness for more than 60 years, and has worked with artists from Bob Dy­lan to Brad Pais­ley, and even Elvis Pres­ley recorded one of Char­lie’s songs. At 82, Char­lie has been many things: a session mu­si­cian, pro­ducer, ac­tor, au­thor and uses his celebrity for causes in which he believes like Vol­un­teer Jam.

Char­lie re­cently per­formed at the Amer­i­can Mu­sic The­atre in Lan­caster. He agreed to an in­ter­view be­fore the show.

Rodeo: What is one life les­son ev­ery­one can learn from your book “Never Look At The Empty Seats”?

Char­lie: The ti­tle is a re­take on is the glass half full or half empty;. ac­cen­tu­ate the positive type of thing. When you’re a young mu­si­cian, you’re go­ing to have empty seats be­cause no­body knows who you are so you play to who­ever is there. If you en­ter­tain the peo­ple who are there, you’re not look­ing at the empty seats, you’re look­ing at the full seats and act like the house is full ev­ery night, next time you go back to town; they’ll prob­a­bly come see you again and bring some­body else with them that’s how you build a fol­low­ing. Work at it, stay with it be­lieve in what you’re do­ing.

Rodeo: How does it feel to be a mem­ber of both the Grand Ole Opry and The Coun­try Mu­sic Hall Of Fame?

Char­lie: It’s like a dream come true. The night I was in­ducted into the Opry I was 71 years old. I didn’t know if it was ever go­ing to hap­pen or not. It was a very deep de­sire of my heart to be a mem­ber of the Grand Ole Opry. I had played it many times as a guest but I had never been a mem­ber so it meant an aw­ful lot to me. The Coun­try Mu­sic Hall Of Fame just came out of the mid­dle of nowhere. They only put three peo­ple a year in. I was lit­er­ally flab­ber­gasted by it. It was in­cred­i­ble.

Rodeo: You have in­spired peo­ple to pick up a fid­dle and play. What do you think of the im­por­tance of mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion in our pub­lic schools?

Char­lie: Mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion ap­pre­ci­a­tion is great. It takes a dif­fer­ent sort of mind­set to be a pro­fes­sional mu­si­cian. If you’re re­ally se­ri­ous about mak­ing it in the mu­sic busi­ness you’ve got to give up ev­ery­thing. You have to go where the busi­ness is. It can get aw­fully dis­gust­ing. Peo­ple shut doors in your face and call you names and you have to be able to take all that. I think mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion in school is very good.

Rodeo: Your legacy in coun­try mu­sic is se­cure. When peo­ple think of Char­lie Daniels, what would you like them to re­mem­ber?

Char­lie: I don’t think that any­body de­serves to be re­mem­bered for any more or any less than they are. We tend to mag­nify peo­ple in death a lot of times and make them a bet­ter per­son than they were and some­times we go the other way with it. I guess I’ll be per­ceived as what­ever peo­ple per­ceive me be­ing. I’m one thing to one per­son and an­other thing to an­other. Some peo­ple look at me as a fid­dle player. Some peo­ple look at me as an en­ter­tainer. Some peo­ple look at me as an au­thor. I’ve hosted tele­vi­sion. I’ve done all kinds of things so it de­pends on what view you’re look­ing at me from. If some­body could re­mem­ber me as all those things I would love that it would be great.

Af­ter the in­ter­view, I went to the front of the house to get pic­tures of The Char­lie Daniels Band in ac­tion dur­ing the con­cert. As the lights come down, ev­ery mem­ber of the band takes the stage and starts playing his in­stru­ment build­ing up the an­tic­i­pa­tion of the au­di­ence. Then it hap­pens. Char­lie emerges in a cow­boy hat hold­ing his fid­dle and the crowd goes crazy with ap­plause. He seems to be taller than ev­ery­one else on the stage. Char­lie moves a bow across his fid­dle’s strings. I’m amazed by his tal­ent and the mu­sic I’m hear­ing.

The Char­lie Daniels Band seems more like a fam­ily than a group of mu­si­cians. I know they are all very talented and it’s dif­fi­cult to play the way they do but they some­how make it look so easy. He gives the crowd hits they came out to see like “Sim­ple Man” and in­cludes gems from his early days for the fans who have been with him since the be­gin­ning.

For Char­lie Daniels, it seems the show is about con­nect­ing with and entertaining the au­di­ence. He de­liv­ers from the first song to the last. As I walk out of the venue I re­al­ize that leg­ends like Char­lie have a way of mak­ing an im­pres­sion long af­ter the last note of mu­sic has been played!

To see Rodeo’s com­plete in­ter­view with Char­lie Daniels, visit

Rodeo would like to thank Paula Szeigis and Chris Klumpp for be­ing su­per, awe­some, and cool!


Kid Re­viewer Rodeo Marie Han­son, 12, Fleet­wood, in­ter­views Coun­try mu­sic le­gend Char­lie Daniels prior to show in Lan­caster.


The Char­lie Daniels Band re­cently per­formed at the Amer­i­can Mu­sic The­atre in Lan­caster.

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