Showing posts with label charlie daniels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label charlie daniels. Show all posts

Monday, July 6, 2020

Charlie Daniels

I confess, in 1980 I had no idea who the Charlie Daniels Band was. I visited the movie theater with my mom to see "Urban Cowboy" because we both liked country music and John Travolta. I also didn't know who Joe Walsh was and barely knew Jimmy Buffet. I unfortunately was familiar with Kenny Rogers and fortunately with Boz Scaggs. The movie itself was kind of a dud -- I mostly remember that Scott Glenn was good as a bad guy. And that the new song featured in the flick, "Lookin' For Love", pretty much reeked.

The high point, musically, was this:

My older sister was enamored with this song. I essentially appreciated the nimble fiddling. I've never been a fan of southern country rock, but once Charlie Daniels was on my radar, I began to pay attention. For a time, this song was a favorite:

I liked this one, too:

For a long while I had a wrong perception of Charlie Daniels. I wasn't sure what to make of him -- his music was kind of ragged; his band certainly was. I preferred my country acts to dress in Nudie suits. I thought he was one of those radicals with kooky views. Charlie began as a session player, featured on recordings by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, even Ringo. For sure, Charlie held divergent views in his eighty-three years on earth, but I really got to know him through his tweets. Politically, he and I, it turned out, were simpatico.

I didn't know much about Charlie, but what I knew, I liked. Charlie Daniels was a decent, country (as in USA) loving man. I'm gonna miss his voice.

Good job, Charlie Daniels. For a southern rock (country) dude, you did yourself proud.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

2016 Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees - CHARLIE DANIELS

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.

2016 Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees - RANDY TRAVIS

When I rediscovered country music in the late nineteen eighties, after a long, tough drought, I found that I'd missed a few things. Wasn't it just like country music to become good again after I went away? I've written before about the wonders I discovered when I came back -- George Strait, Dwight Yoakam, The Judds; actual country music. It seemed it took some new blood to look around and say, Hey, does anybody remember country? What's with all these remakes of pop hits? Who's this "Sylvia"? What the hell happened to Charley Pride's musical taste? Likely there were some new producers hitting Nashville who actually liked country music and set out to find artists to match their longing for an authentic sound. Lucky for us; me. These producers understood that times had changed -- Chet Atkins wasn't in control anymore, and bless him, Chet was a treasure, but he'd held the reins tight on whatever sound came out of Nashville, and it was watered-down broth; nothing to upset the taste buds of listeners who liked their country with an airy chime of the Anita Kerr Singers and the steel guitar and drums mixed down so quietly they were essentially nonexistent.

The nineteen eighties, however, were a time for boldness. We were feeling pretty damn good about ourselves -- we had a president who'd restored our self-worth; things were looking up, and it was time to stop settling for crap. We wanted to go out and two-step; we wanted to shove the volume on our car radios to nine, roll down the windows and sing along. We just needed a reason to do that.

This song was a reason. This song killed me and it still does -- one of the best country songs of all time (I included it in my all-time top twenty). Its awesomeness takes my breath away:

As if that song alone wasn't enough, there was this one, also from 1985:

That voice

I looked up country music in my handy thesaurus app and one of the suggestions was Randy Travis. Okay, not really, but it should be.

There are certain things, outside our family, that we cherish; things that bring us comfort. Things that make us feel warm, cozy, secure. For me obviously it's music. I like a lot of music, but I treasure only a few specific voices -- John Lennon's, Roy Orbison's, Randy Travis's.

Here is more:

I have a couple of lesser-known favorites by Randy, and since this is my blog, I get to share them (sorry; all the official videos of this song are unembeddable, so this is the best I could find):

This one doesn't even have a live performance that I could find, but it's so good:

Everybody knows what's happened to Randy in the last few years -- his troubles, his stroke. Life is a series of troubles with some good times in between. When I watched him in the Hall of Fame video, my heart ached.

My parents dragged me to a Randy Travis concert when I was still clinging to the vestiges of Phil Collins and Prince and Robert Palmer; before I'd allowed myself to believe that country music would ever, ever come back. I didn't know who this guy was. I sort of knew, but I wasn't succumbing to that trickery; no. Country music had sucked me in once before and then it had tossed me aside like garbage. So as I sat in the upper reaches of the auditorium, I crossed my arms and tossed my head and tsk-tsked over the display on stage below me. But after a while I started to squirm with embarrassment in my seat, because this guy was good.

And boy, was he good. 


Thursday, November 6, 2008

CMA Awards - 1979

We've done it! We've gotten to the last of the seventies! I've never spent so much time reliving the seventies since.....since, well, when I was actually living the seventies.

Luckily (or unluckily, as the case may be), we've got a movie to reference as we stumble through the year that was 1979.

What movie, you ask? Oh, how easily we forget!

Yes, kids, 1979 was the year of Urban Cowboy! Yee-haw! And the CMA awards certainly bear that out!

(I'm using exclamation points because Urban Cowboy music was lame!)

But, to be fair, the Urban Cowboy Soundtrack had a lot of good music on it. After all, there were the Eagles, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Walsh (as a solo), Bob Seger, Boz Scaggs; a lot of good stuff. The problem was, all we ever got to hear on the radio was that damn "Looking For Love"! And it wasn't even a good song to begin with!

When I say that Urban Cowboy music was lame, I'm referring more to the whole mindset, rather than to the soundtrack itself.

But this guy coming up and his band are good; real good, so here we go..............

Let's start with the INSTRUMENTALIST and INSTRUMENTAL GROUP OF THE YEAR. Yes, this guy was on the Urban Cowboy Soundtrack!

He also had the SINGLE OF THE YEAR, and this was actually good!

So, three awards in 1979 for the Charlie Daniels Band!

Oh, before I forget to mention it, the single of the year was "The Devil Went Down To Georgia"!

Oh, and this guy was on the soundtrack, although not with his duet partner:


Kenny Rogers & Dottie West

Not to mention that he also won MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR, ALBUM OF THE YEAR, and he recorded the SONG OF THE YEAR (written by Don Schlitz). I think some of that old Urban Cowboy magic must have rubbed off on him!

The Gambler

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, man, Kenny must be sick of singing that song! I agree! I think he got so sick of singing that song, that his eyes dropped out of his head, so therefore he had to have that weird cosmetic eye surgery, and now he looks like a space alien! All thanks to "The Gambler!"

Guess who won VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR! Not the Oak Ridge Boys! (Wow, their reign was rather short-lived!)

No, wrestling the statuette away from the ORB (they're wiry, but they're strong!) were the Statler Brothers!

Yes, they're back! Here's a cute song they released around this time, and, boy, is it a time capsule of the seventies or what! All the names they reference in this song were straight out of the 1970 - 1979 CMA's! Here's, "How To Be A Country Star":


Barbara Mandrell

Well, this is the first of (sigh) many, many awards for Barbara (just wait for the eighties!) I like Barbara! It's just that, well, she started winning over and over and over again, and she started getting really fakey and patronizing in her acceptance speeches.

Sort of like, "If it wasn't for you, the dear, sweet fans out there, I couldn't have accomplished this remarkable feat. I'm very humbled....and proud.......yes, that's it. Humbled and proud. I promise to work very diligently this coming year, so that, the lord willing, I will have this wonderful, and may I say, surprising honor bestowed upon me once again. Let us pray."

I think the association members finally stopped voting for her because they just couldn't stand the sight of her anymore.

Be that as it may, I still like Barbara. And here's a cute performance from earlier in her career. (notice how the word "cute" pops up every time we talk about Barbara Mandrell?) Well, she was cute. Like a Barbie Doll.

Here's "Show Me":

That brings us to ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR.

Well, here's a guy that just keeps goin' and goin'. He's still out there doing his one-night stands. Still recording songs with every person, male or female, who ever, even one time in their lives, released a record. He's an interesting guy and a great songwriter and a perserverer. Who is it? Who else?

Willie Nelson


Hubert Long

Sure, you don't know who he is, do you? Well, I didn't either, although I'd heard his name before. Turns out Hubert Long was a talent promoter and a music publisher. He at one time worked for Decca Records, and later for RCA Victor. He promoted Eddy Arnold. He signed both Webb Pierce and Faron Young to management contracts. And he was a founding member of the Country Music Association, so you'd think it wouldn't have taken them so long to recognize him. But I guess they weren't playing favorites.

Hank Snow

Well, you do know who Hank Snow is, right? Man, this guy started recording in 1949 and continued through to 1980! That's a long career! Hank was from Canada, which may explain his unusual voice. And they say that Webb Pierce sang "nasally"! Admittedly, Hank's voice is an acquired taste, but he had some big hit records, and here's one of them (and take notes, Lynn Anderson!)

Here's the one he's most famous for (and in this video, he introduces it as a new song!)

So, there you have it! Not only 1979, but we've gotten through the seventies!

And I've used more exclamation points in this post than I've ever used in my life! I hate exclamation points!

I wonder what the eighties will bring. I never cheat and look ahead, but I'm optimistic!