September 23, 2016 - September 04, 2017
This exhibit examines the life and career of 2016 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Charlie Daniels. Featuring musical instruments, stage wear, manuscripts, awards, childhood mementos and previously unpublished photographs from Daniels’ personal collection, the exhibit describes his significant impact on American entertainment and explores the new musical style and image he brought to country music.
Daniels began writing and playing music professionally in the 1950s. His first significant musical success, as co-writer of Elvis Presley’s hit “It Hurts Me,” came in 1964. Daniels moved to Nashville in 1967 at the urging of Columbia Records producer Bob Johnston, who hired him to play on albums by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Marty Robbins. Daniels also worked as a studio musician on Ringo Starr’s Nashville-recorded Beaucoups of Blues in 1970.
That same year, Daniels released his first solo album, on Capitol Records. In 1972, fronting the newly formed Charlie Daniels Band (CDB), he signed to Kama Sutra Records and released the album Te John, Grease, & Wolfman. Daniels began the Volunteer Jam in 1974 as a Southern rock festival. Over the years—he hosted sixteen through 1996—the Volunteer Jam became known for its large, diverse musical lineup. The Volunteer Jam brand later was revived as short U.S. tours (1999–2004) and as a one-time concert (2015), both headlined by the CDB. The Volunteer Jam returned on Nov. 30, 2016, to celebrate Daniels 80th birthday.
Charlie Daniels Interview and Performance at the Museum