On October 28, 1936, musician Charlie Daniels was born in Wilmington, N.C. Daniels developed an interest in music early in life and was strongly influenced by a number of styles. He honed his skills on guitar, mandolin and fiddle in North Carolina, learning to play his first chords from his friend Russell Palmer. After graduating from Goldston High School in 1955, he formed a rock and roll band with Palmer, that regularly played a Saturday show on Sanford N.C.’s WWGB radio station.
Daniels later began playing with an R&B group, The Rockets. Their recording of “Jaguar” was picked up for national distribution by Epic in 1957. Throughout the 1960s he gained more national attention, co-writing “It Hurts Me,” a song performed by Elvis Presley and playing with Bob Dylan.
In 1970, he formed the Charlie Daniels Band, who gained fame for their melding of rock, country, blues, bluegrass and gospel. The band’s hits include “Uneasy Rider,” “Long Haired Country Boy,” “The Legend of Wooley Swamp” and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”
Daniels’ many musical accolades include: membership in the Grand Ole Opry; induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the N.C. Music Hall of Fame; and several Grammy, CMA and Gospel Music Association awards.