Charlie Daniels to appear in city

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 30, 2004

Legendary performer Charlie Daniels, an awarding -winning musician whose special blend of country, rock, blues, gospel and bluegrass cannot be pigeon holed into one musical genre, is soon coming to Greenville.

That’s right, folks. Charlie Daniels himself, white beard, signature &uot;bullrider&uot; hat and all, will be appearing in the Camellia City on Friday, November 5, at 6 p.m. at the Wal-Mart Super Center.

While he will not be performing a concert for local fans, Daniels will be on hand to meet and greet folks and sign copies of his latest CD, &uot;CDB Essential Super Hits&uot;.

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The new CD features 16 cuts, including new recordings of several of Daniels’ earlier hits.

A special patriotic version of the Pledge of Allegiance the late comedian Red Skelton once shared on his comedy show is included on the new CD, which also features a bonus DVD with four performance videos.

Daniels, a conservative and a Christian who considers himself a champion of American’s military men and women, everyday working folks and the flag, is unabashed about his lack of political correctness. In fact, he’s proud of it. Daniels discussed his beliefs in a recent telephone interview with The Greenville Advocate.

‘A gilded cocoon’

&uot;Those Hollywood folks are living in a gilded cocoon out there. You know, if I only talked to musicians everyday, day in and day out, and never met carpenters or soldiers or office workers or other regular people, I’d have a very narrow view what life is all about – and that’s what has happened to a lot of [Hollywood performers].

&uot;They do not recognize the real threat – that there are people who would love to destroy America by tearing it apart piece by piece. And these terrorists are not honorable people you can reason with, either,&uot; said Daniels, adding, &uot;If you saw a terrorist attack occur on Hollywood and Vine, it would be a different story, I promise you. I certainly hope to God that never happens, but they do need some sort of wake-up call out there.&uot;

On the road again

Daniels himself has many opportunities to talk with &uot;regular&uot; people. He said he plays some 100-plus dates a year, &uot;which translates into 175-200 days on the road.&uot;

&uot;Doing these signings, or ‘in stores’ as we call them, is nothing new for us. We’ve been doing them for years in different towns across the country, signing CDs, records – or whatever else folks bring in for me to sign,&uot; said Daniels, his conversation peppered with polite &uot;ma’ams.&uot;

The still very active performer, who turned 68 this October 28, said he had no plans to retire anytime soon.

&uot; I figure if I’m gonna sit around and play a guitar, I might as well get paid for it,&uot; he quipped.

A born storyteller

Daniels, who calls the unique style of music performed by his band &uot;CDB music&uot;, says his most requested song by far is &uot;Devil Went Down to Georgia&uot;.

When asked who most influenced and inspired his music, Daniels, a North Carolina native, replied, &uot;That would be one long list. There were so many…in the beginning, it was the bluegrass performers like Bill Monroe and Flatt and Scruggs. Later, Elvis, or course, but also Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and many others.&uot;

Known for his storytelling songs, Daniels, who has also penned a book, published last year, entitled &uot;Ain’t No Rag: Defending Faith, Family and the Flag&uot;, said he has always enjoyed storytelling. The avid reader visits bookstores regularly (&uot;Barnes and Nobles just love me – I buy books by the armload there&uot;).

A fan since his youth of stock car racing (&uot;you grow up around it, it becomes special to you&uot;) Daniel was happy to pay tribute to the late race car driver known as &uot;The Intimidator&uot;, with a new song of the same name featured on the latest CD.

&uot;I met Dale Earnhardt the last time he was in Talladega and he was really nice fellow- I liked him a lot. I know there are many, many folks who were fans of his who miss him, &uot; Daniels said.

New sounds

The performer explained the reasons why he and his band decided to make his second &uot;Greatest Hits&uot; album (a compilation album, &uot;A Decade of Hits&uot; had been released in 1983).

&uot;Since some of these songs were first released twenty-five or thirty years ago, the technology has so greatly improved. Also, some of our old recordings of better-known tunes were with different record labels, so you had to go through a battery of lawyers every time a movie or TV production, or what have you, wanted to use one of our songs on their soundtrack. This way, we are avoiding all that,&uot; Daniels said.

Daniels said he looks forward to meeting local fans during his CD signing, slated for the Greenville Wal-Mart at 6 p.m. Friday Nov. 5. Dr. Pepper is the corporate sponsor for the event.