Country Music Hall of Fame member Charlie Daniels has one hell of a story to tell, but he’s been too busy living it to ever stop and capture it all in writing.
Now that he’s 80, Charlie is finally taking some time to finish his memoir, but it wasn’t that milestone birthday that encouraged him to finally buckle down and put pen to paper. In fact, Charlie tells Rare Country he’s been working on this book for about 20 years now.
He says, “My career’s still going. So, that made it difficult to try to find a place to stop. I could never even find a pausing place. When I found out I was going to be in the Country Music Hall of Fame, I said, ‘This is where the story ends. This is a great pausing place.'”
Charlie was formally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in October and performed “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” on the opening of The 50th Annual CMA Awards in early November, so those moments will be included in the book.
Charlie will also tell the story of his extremely loyal group of friends in The Charlie Daniels Band, who he considers family.
“This band’s been around now over 40 years,” he says. “I’ve got people that have been with me — 40 years is a long time for anybody to stay at any job. You can retire from General Motors in less time than that. But the guys, they’re like my family. I’ve gone through births, deaths, grandchildren, children, divorces — all kinds of things with my guys, and they’re my family. That’s a big part of my story is about my band, my road crew. The ups and downs. The things that we’ve done.”
There’s also some words of wisdom in there, too.
Says Charlie, “I try to give advice. Younger guys will ask, ‘How about this, how about that?’ I’ve tried to put a little bit of hard-earned advice in there — certain things that I think apply in a general way to everybody, like, ‘Do this or don’t do that, ’cause I’ve been there, done that, and I know.’ I try to do it that way.”
Besides finishing his book, Charlie is looking forward to his big 80th birthday celebration with his annual Volunteer Jam in Nashville on Nov. 30. Kid Rock, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton and Travis Tritt are among the stars joining Charlie for that show.