85 Years Ago: Charlie Daniels Is Born in Wilmington, N.C.
Charlie Daniels would have turned 85 today. The singer was born on this day, Oct. 28, in 1936.
Daniels was born to William Carlton and LaRue Hammonds Daniels in Wilmington, N.C. He grew up in Gulf, N.C., and graduated from high school in 1955. After high school, Daniels formed a rock 'n' roll band called the Jaguars; although they didn't achieve much commercial success, one of their songs, "It Hurts Me" -- which Daniels wrote -- was recorded by Elvis Presley.
Daniels wed his wife Hazel in 1964, before relocating to Nashville to become a studio musician. Quickly gaining recognition for his proficiency on both the fiddle and the guitar, Daniels earned a stellar reputation and played on several of Bob Dylan's albums, including Nashville Skyline. He also played on Ringo Starr's 1970 album, Beaucoups of Blues.
In 1971, Daniels' self-titled debut album was released on Capitol Records. However, it wasn't until his sixth record, Nightrider, was released that the singer-songwriter achieved commercial success. That record landed in the Top 30 and spawned the hit "Texas Rider."
Daniels has gone on to sell millions of albums and score more than a dozen Top 40 singles, including his No. 1 hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" in 1979. It was in 2008 that Daniels finally received what he considered one of his highest career achievements, when he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry at the age of 71.
"It’s the cream of the crop of country music," Daniels said of the honor. "It always has been, and I pray to God it always will be ... To be able to be a member and to have my name linked with my heroes is some pretty heady stuff for a guy that loves music and loves the Grand Ole Opry as much as I do."
In 2016, Daniels was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He died on July 6, 2020.
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