Famed Musician Charlie Daniels

An image of the Charlie Daniels Band from BillboardOn October 28, 1936, musician Charlie Daniels was born in Wilmington. Daniels developed an interest in music early in life and was strongly influenced by a number of styles. He honed his skills on guitar, mandolin and fiddle in North Carolina, learning to play his first chords from his friend Russell Palmer. After graduating from Goldston High School in 1955, he formed a rock and roll band with Palmer, playing a Saturday show on a Sanford radio station.

Moving back to Wilmington, Daniels began playing with an R&B group, The Rockets. Their recording of “Jaguar” was picked up for national distribution by Epic in 1957. Throughout the 1960s he gained more national attention, co-writing a song performed by Elvis Presley and playing with Bob Dylan.

In 1970, he formed the Charlie Daniels Band, which gained fame for playing its acclaimed melding of rock, country, blues, bluegrass and gospel.  The band’s hits include “Uneasy Rider,” “Long Haired Country Boy,” “The South’s Gonna Do it Again” and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

Daniels’s many musical accolades include membership in the Grand Ole Opry; induction into the N.C. Music Hall of Fame; and several Grammy, CMA and Gospel Music Association awards.

Daniels passed away on July 6, 2020.

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