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Daniels still loves what he does
by Steve Beavers
Aug 16, 2013 | 256 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Charlie Daniels still enjoys what he does after 50-plus years in the music industry.
Charlie Daniels still enjoys what he does after 50-plus years in the music industry.
Charlie Daniels loves to entertain.

The 76-year-old country music legend couldn't imagine doing anything else.

Daniels is bringing his enthusiasm and high-level show to the Crossroads Arena for the first time on Saturday. Country music artist and songwriter David Lee Murphy and Corinth's own Maty Noyes are set to open for the music icon.

"I love what I do … it keeps me going," said Daniels via telephone after a concert in Canada. "I enjoy getting on stage and my aim when I started was to do this for a long time."

The singer, guitarist and fiddler began writing and performing in the 1950s. A native of Gulf, N.C., he recorded his first solo album, Charlie Daniels, in 1971. His first hit, the novelty song "Uneasy Rider", was from his 1973 second album, Honey in the Rock, and reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100.

Daniels is best known for his number one country hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" in 1979. The hit will be part of the show lineup come Saturday, according to the Grand Ole Opry member.

"We always do the songs fans expect to hear," he said. "We will also have some surprises … our whole aim is to entertain and help people have a good time."

"The Devil Went Down to Georgia" was featured in the 1980 movie "Urban Cowboy" and is about the devil's attempt to steal a young man's soul through a fiddle contest.

"It's never a problem deciding what to play," said the Grand Ole Opry member. "The problem is what to leave out, but we will have a good balance."

Inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2009, Daniels has cut back on the amount of time he spends on the road. In the past, he has done 200 shows a year. Now, he does 90-100 concerts and another 10 performances at the Opry.

"I am very adaptable," he said following his show in Canada. "I have learned to adjust my schedule through the years … if I had to plow a mule at my age, I couldn't do it, but I still enjoy what I do."

Daniels, awarded a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1979, is a strong supporter of veterans and other military personnel. Plans are for a tribute to the military during the concert.

"Any time we get a chance to doing something for veterans, we do it," he said. "We owe a debt of gratitude to veterans and should be the first to take care of them."

His respect for those who serve goes back to his time growing up in Gulf.

"I learned very early in life the two things that keep us from those trying to kill us are God's grace and the military," he commented. "Not enough is being done to help those who have served … we owe our veterans and God for the freedoms we have today."

Daniels and the Arena will honor all military veterans and those actively serving with a free ticket to the concert. All military personnel who show military identification or an equivalent proof of service at the box office in advance of the concert will receive free admission to the show.

"I have to hand it to the promoter," said Daniels of the free admission. "A lot of places wouldn't do that … today, we are spending billions and billions of dollars on things that do not matter."
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