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While growing up in North Carolina, Charlie Daniels often tuned into the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday nights to hear his fiddle playing hero Roy Acuff. The two would eventually become friends with Acuff even showing up to surprise Daniels at one of his Volunteer Jam concerts.
Charlie Daniels became a member of the Grand Old Opry cast on January 19, 2008.
The Charlie Daniels Band’s Volunteer Jam concerts were a legendary gathering of artists from all genres. This poster is from the first Volunteer Jam held on October 4, 1974.
Charlie Daniels’ second single was released in 1966 on the Paula label, listed as Charlie Daniels & the Jaguars.
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"The Devil Went Down To Georgia” was written by Charlie Daniels and members of The Charlie Daniels Band. The song became the band’s biggest hit, landing at #1 on the Billboard country chart and #3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The song was also featured in the movie Urban Cowboy.
See more of Charlie Daniels's story in the Million Mile Reflections exhibit, currently at the Museum.
Jean Shepard’s second release, "A Dear John Letter" shot to #1 on Billboard's country chart and held that position for six weeks during the hit's twenty-three-week chart run in 1953. With Ferlin Husky contributing the recitations of a Korean War soldier reading his former sweetheart's goodbye letter, the record became a #4 pop hit as well.
On November 21, 2015, Jean Shepard celebrated sixty years as a Grand Ole Opry cast member.
Jean Shepard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011, along with Bobby Braddock and Reba McEntire.
Jean Shepard’s 1964 single “Second Fiddle (To an Old Guitar)" reached #5 on the Billboard country singles chart.
Jean Shepard scored a Top Ten hit in 1973, with the song “Slippin’ Away,” written by Country Music Hall of Fame member Bill Anderson.
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Kitty Wells first recorded “How Far Is Heaven” for RCA Victor in 1950 with no success. This version from 1955 made it to number eleven on the Billboard country chart and featured daughter Carol Sue. This sentimental song became a fan favorite and remained a part of Wells’s live appearances for until her death.
During the 1960s, Kitty Wells toured with her husband Johnnie Wright, son Bobby, singer Bill Phillips, and their band the Tennessee Mountain Boys.
Kitty Wells was nominated for a 1989 Grammy Award for the "Honky-Tonk Angels Medley" along with k.d. lang, Loretta Lynn, and Brenda Lee. The recording was produced by Country Music Hall of Fame member Owen Bradley.
The exhibit Kitty Wells: Queen of Country Music opened in August 2008.
Kitty Wells’s signature song “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” topped the Billboard country charts in 1952 remaining there for six weeks.