I am still in shock after receiving a message Monday from country legend Charlie Daniels’ representative, letting me know that he had died of a stroke at 83. He was so big, so strong, so omnipresent in music for 70 years, and so bold and outspoken in defense of America and its veterans, police, and first responders that it seems almost impossible that he could have left us so suddenly. I’m proud to say that he was a friend of mine and a friend of our TBN show, where he appeared just recently to promote one of his many initiatives to help our veterans.
Fox News immediately contacted me to write a tribute. I hope you will read it at this link.
This obituary from the Nashville Tennessean includes some highlights from Charlie Daniels’ amazing career and the many fellow icons who worked with him, from Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen to Ringo Starr and Elvis Presley. He was truly a “musician’s musician,” the "best there's ever been" on both fiddle and guitar, and the man the greats called when they wanted to make music history.
Here are some of the many tributes to him that are pouring in from fellow music stars.
To show the deep love and respect that Americans felt for Charlie Daniels, here are some photos of his body being driven to the funeral home, accompanied by a police escort, followed by a group of fans on motorcycles, and saluted by fans lining the sidewalks to pay their respects as they held up the American flag he revered.
Finally, it’s especially unfortunate that he leaves us at a time when so many people are turning on the patriotic American values he fought so hard to protect and defend. I wish he could have lived to see what I hope and pray will be the crushing repudiation by voters of the current wave of violent, ignorant, intolerant and divisive anti-Americanism. But he left us a great legacy of writings and recordings to help inspire patriots to fight back.
One of the greatest was a song that came out during a similarly depressing, if less violent, time in America’s history: 1980, the end of the Carter years when we were told that malaise was our “new normal,” that America was in decline, that we could be pushed around by countries like Iran, and we’d better just get used to it. He released a battle cry of a song that reminded us not to believe the demoralizing lies and anti-American propaganda. Some say he helped save the nation, as that song fired up patriotic Americans to go to the polls, elect Ronald Reagan, and reclaim America’s greatness. He revived it again after 9/11, as you can see in this live video. I think it’s high time we start playing it again, right up to and beyond Election Day 2020. It’s called “In America.”