I saw the movie Urban Cowboy with my mom. In one's twenties, in an earlier era, it was embarrassing to go to movies with one's mom, because inevitably there would be scenes that moms and daughters didn't care to talk about. "How did you like the movie?" "Um, fine. The music was good." Urban Cowboy was nothing compared to seeing Saturday Night Fever with Mom. Apparently we both liked John Travolta, because those are the only two movies I remember going to with my mom. My dad, on the other hand, practically wept during "Ordinary People" when I saw it with him, and we both knew exactly why, but that's a whole other story that has nothing to do with Charlie Daniels.
My point, which I've apparently lost while I was busy reminiscing, is that the first time I became aware of Charlie Daniels was when I saw Urban Cowboy. My older sister, shortly thereafter, came from Texas for a visit and was agog over the Charlie Daniels song featured in the movie. I could get my sister's point -- the song had an aura of danger and a Catholic girl's sensation of dread...ending in an upbeat hoedown -- which, I'm sure, is how God intended the world to work. I, however, could not deny the sublime fiddling.
It's only fitting that in honor of Mom, I feature this clip from Urban Cowboy:
I subsequently purchased the Charlie Daniels Band's album, which I don't remember the name, but I found that Charlie was more than devils. I understand there's a whole mystique centered around southern rock. It wasn't something that was on my radar -- the Allman Brothers and other brothers and who knows who -- Marshall Tucker who heard it in a love song (which I'd heard as "pretty little love song"). Maybe one had to be from the south to appreciate southern rock's allure, but I sure as hell love this song:
That's about all I know about Charlie Daniels, other than that he is a patriot. But I like him; he's real. And he's real talented.
I'm good with whoever the Hall of Fame wants to induct. It's time we settle some scores -- remember artists who deserve to be remembered.
And my sister, no doubt, is thinking she was right all along.
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