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CHARLIE DANIELS - America's Fierce Fiddle Playing Legend

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Q. When you were growing up what inspired you to get into music? Like a lot of gospel music? And how did you make it into a career?”

A. Well, I had a lot of gospel and I got involved with music because I loved it so very much. I always wanted to play an instrument and never got a chance to play an instrument till I was 14 -15 yrs old I got around a friend of mine that knew how to a play a little bit so I started to learn to play and after I learned how to do it, I never wanted to stop and I practiced real hard and yes I did have a lot of gospel. I grew up singing in church- that sort of thing.”

Q. “You’ve been performing for over 50 years and always being yourself - was there ever people that told you to change but you knew you had to stay true to yourself”


A. Well, you know,people make suggestions like record companies make suggestions and A&R people - the people that produces your records and people make suggestions and I take suggestions well, and take direction well. People in my band will sit down and make suggestions. My management makes suggestions but no one dominates me - no one tells me what I have to do but they present me with choices like I think it would be good or how to operate this, I think would be good if you do this idea Charlie, or, try this, I think it’s a good idea and if I thinks it’s a good idea. I would try it but no one says you got to do this or no don’t do that. I don’t think any artist should. I know I couldn’t. I handle direction real well and I’m always good to suggestions. I’m the one that has to face the music (no pun intended) you know I have to be the one responsible one and I have to make the decisions.”

Q. “Any obstacles growing up and having to overcome them?”

A. “Obstacles I think are self induced. How much your willing to do something I think you have to, in any career you have to be, regardless to what music or not what ever career you choice if you want to really accomplish something meaningful, I think you have to apply yourself whole heartedly to it and I think you have to eat it, sleep it, breath it. I think you have to wrap yourself up in your chosen profession and look out for opportunities and success that there is a lot of room down here but bring a little room up here, the more you want to go in that direction, the harder you have to work and we say someone should always be themselves not try to be somebody else. Be yourself and just work really hard at it and when I say work hard sometimes you have to make, you know, sacrifices…be places you might not want to be..you have to miss events you don’t want to miss but that’s the price you pay for it.”
Q. “One of my face book friends, Clayton Park, (who’s also a big fan of yours by the way) wants to ask how many bows you go through per year?”
A. [He laughs]. “I have no idea. I don’t really go through as many as it looks like I do. Actually, the bow is made of all kinds of horse hair. And when they start breaking..especially if it’s a night and there is a spot light shining on it. it looks like a lot more then there is so a lot of times I don’t really ruin them that much it looks like it should but it doesn’t. You can just pull the hair off , cut the hairs off and make it even and use it again. I mess a lot of them up-let’s put it like that.”

Q. “You recently received the Lifetime Entertainment Achievement Award in New York City. What was that like?”
A. “It was wonderful! I think you’re referring to the T.J. Martell Leukemia Foundation
Who is a gentleman named Tony Martell , an old and dear friend of mine and an organization I have been aware of for a long long time and been supporting for a long time to be recognized is wonderful. It was great!”

Q. “ You perform a lot for U.S. Troops and your very famous for your patriotism- Has there been anyone that meant a lot to you because of their patriotism?”

A. “Well, anybody that is patriotic means a lot to me. I think we all should be patriotic and sometimes I think that we tend to look at the things that are wrong with our country more than the things that are right with our country. I’ve haven’t traveled all over the world but I have traveled extensively and I’ve never found any place that compares to the USA - with our freedom and opportunities and everything we have. We have everything in this country from the between the Atlantic and the Pacific and Mexico and Canada
somewhere between those borders there are deserts, mountains, rivers, streams and some of the best people in the world and you know if we look, I think our mind goes by what we see on the news. Bad news sells. I sometimes wish they’d have a good news channel and tell us all the good news to counteract all the bad news that we see so much of I think we draw conclusions about our country by what we see on the news and it’s all bad news so we think it’s all bad like what just happened in Japan you notice it’s on constantly. But that’s not the only thing going on and I promise you there are other things going on in Japan ..a lot of good people trying to help out .. to get people where they need to be, get food, water, medicine to them there is a lot of that going on but what we see is the power plant”

Q. “ Your new CD, “Land that I Love”, is a collection of you best and most loved patriotic songs - is there one song that means a lot right now to you and your fans?”

A. They all mean a lot to me. I like them all. I don’t put out records I don’t like and if you look over this list(he shows me his cd) it covers many years of my career and different phases of it. A song I wrote here was about the hostage crises before you were born. There are different songs that I wrote right after 911 and songs that were written for different times and periods of times and history in America. It’s basically about the land that I love thats what it’s about. They are all very special to me.”

Q. “I love your Geiko commercial!, How did that come about?”

A. It came about through my booking agency. My booking agent. I have been with them all a long, long time. They offices all over, they have them in NY and LA and well, around the world they do commercials they handle a lot of actors, producers, movie stars, one of the things they have tv commercials and they came to my agency and then came to me and said they would like to do this and I liked it and thought it was a good thing and we did it.”

Q. In your song, “My beautiful America” you sing about special places and foods across America - do you have a favorite you always come back to?”

A. I go to my favorite places every day it’s here we have been to Silver Springs before and it’s beautiful. Looking down and all the boats going up and down the river. It’s beautiful place to play. It will be my special place today and next week, I’ll be at another special place. I just love this country.”
Q. Plans/events?

A. “Well we play a lot of concerts this year! We be going a lot of places , going to the west coast , Alaska, Canada East and south coast and all over around a 100 concerts. Possibly some more recording- maybe, maybe not I don’t know.”

After our interview, I watched him on stage. He threw out one of his fiddle bows to the audience and a lady made a dive to catch it. Charlie Daniels grabbed another on stage and kept the crowd going as he has most of his life- by being himself. The legendary Charlie Daniels.





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