Good-Bye to Charlie Daniels

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Radio veteran Jay Hamilton spent many years as a country music deejay, a program director, and a radio station promotions director (KMPS) in the Pacific Northwest. He first started playing country in the early ’70s at KBFW in Bellingham, and as a major market country DJ, he worked at KPOK in Portland and KMPS-AM&FM in Seattle. When Puget Sound Media learned today (July 6, 2020) that Country Legend and master fiddler Charlie Daniels passed away from a stroke at his ranch in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, we asked Jay for his thoughts on Charlie’s passing.

Charlie and Jay Hamilton (at KMPS), circa mid-’80s

“Like all fans of Country Music I’m saddened to hear of the passing of Charlie Daniels. In my capacity as a Country deejay, I crossed paths with him a couple of times. He was always an engaging and friendly guy. I know most folks first thoughts, when his name is mentioned, think of his gigantic hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”  Personally, my first thoughts always go to the first time I became aware of this super talented songwriter/singer/musician. That was his appearance on Bob Dylan’s ‘Nashville Skyline‘ album.

“Then, about a year later, Charlie showed up again with his album ‘Honey in The Rock,’ with the talking blues number, ‘Uneasy Rider‘, which was the tale of a confrontation between a long-haired, peace-loving hippie and a bar full of antagonistic honky-tonkers. That song became a Top 10 Pop Hit and it was the beginning of Charlie’s tradition of recording hit songs… usually with some kind of novelty twist, including his redneck anthem “Long Haired Country Boy.” Charlie Daniels was a ‘good ol’ boy’ who contributed not only to Country, but to all kinds of music, and he will be sadly missed.“……Jay Hamilton

Since Jay brought up the song, here’s Charlie performing everybody’s favorite redneck anthem — “Long Haired Country Boy” on Ralph Emery’s “Nashville Now” TV show.

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Author: Steven Smith

Presently editor and historical writer with Puget Sound Media in Seattle. Former radio broadcaster and radio station owner, 1970-1999. Journalism and speech communications degrees. I enjoy researching articles and online reporting that allows me to meld together words, audio and video. P.S. I appreciate and encourage reader comments and opinions.

5 thoughts on “Good-Bye to Charlie Daniels

  1. Charlie hosted the Volunteer Jam for many years in Nashville. The event hosted by the Charlie Daniels Band held it’s first in 1974.

  2. Like Jay I first became aware of Charlie Daniels amazing fiddle playing on Bob Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline” & then on Ringo Starr’s country album “Beaucoups Of Blues”. I saw & heard his amazing talent a few times on PBS’ ‘Austin City Limits’ & also the movie of one of the Volunteer Jams that had Charlie, the Allman Bros., Marshall Tucker Band, Area Code 615, the Outlaws – all the cream of southern “country-rock”

  3. When Charlie Daniels was a session musician on the Bob Dylan albums (surprisingly) he played guitar and electric bass … not the fiddle. If you’ve seen Charlie in concert, you’re aware of his guitar picking prowess.
    I had mentioned Charlie’s hit “Uneasy Rider”. Although it appeared 4 years after the 1969 Peter Fonda – Dennis Hopper movie classic “Easy Rider” about 2 Harley riding hippies … the obvious connection was still fresh with Charlie’s 1973 (#9 Billboard Hit) “Uneasy Rider”. If you’re unfamiliar with this classic little ditty … or if you’d like to refresh your memory, here’s a link to Charlie’s 1st charted hit:
    https://youtu.be/952h-AJ3Bcg

    When your musical career takes you well into your 80s there will be lots of twists and turns. I’d suggested that Charlie contributed to a number of music genres over his career and 21 years after “Uneasy Rider”, the same Charlie Daniels was honored with the “Dove Award” for the best gospel album for is LP “The Door”.

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