It was an honor to sit down with country music legend Charlie Daniels this past Friday. Charlie Daniels is one of the most iconic entertainers and has truly done it all in music. Having released 69 albums, had numerous number one hits, been at the top of the charts in country, southern rock, and gospel music. A inducted Country Music Hall Of Fame member, Grammy award winner, and CMA award winner along with being decorated with many other awards Charlie Daniels has achieved a career no short of a legend.
Interview with Charlie Daniels Friday August 11th, 2017
Ryan: What can we expect in your soon to be released book “Never Look At The Empty Seats”?
Charlie: “It’s a story of my life, a story of my life from my earliest memories. I’ve wrote on this thing for 20 years and couldn’t find a place to pause it because things kept happening. I wasn’t inducted into the grand old opry till I was in my 70’s. so these things kept happening and I kept writing and I couldn’t find a place to pause it until I found out I was going to inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame and I thought what a great place to pause it. So that’s what it is, a story of my life from my earliest memoires to the night I was inducted in to Country Music Hall Of Fame.”
Ryan: And the release date is October 24th 2017 correct?
Charlie: “Yeah that’s it”
Ryan: Where did the title come from? Was it advice given to you or a mindset?
Charlie: “It’s a nod to accentuate the positive when your starting out, if your serious about it your going to play about anywhere you can or whatever you can get for however many people that’s going to be there. So you’re going to play to a lot of empty seats. There’s going to be nights you’re going to play and people don’t know who you are. A few people come see you so you play for them your not concerned about the seats with no one in them, don’t look at those don’t. Just look at the full seats. Then when people like you they’ll come see you again and they’ll bring somebody with them and that’s how you build a following. So its kind of like look at the full glass not the empty one”
Ryan: that’s a great way to look at it. I wasn’t sure if it was a mind set or advice.
Charlie: “Definitely advice”
Ryan: You’ve had many artists grace your albums over the years, is there an artist you would still like to collaborate with in the future that you haven’t before?
Charlie: “The person I would have really liked to have done something with is no longer around I would have liked to done something with B.B. King. I’m a big B.B. King fan. I always wanted to do something with him but never really took the time to pursue it which is a lesson in and of itself. But I would have loved to have done something with B.B.”
Ryan: Sadly, country music legend Glen Campbell passed away this week due to complications of Alztimers that was a fight that Glen fought for years. What are some of your thoughts on how he impacted country music?
Charlie: “Glen Campbell basically started a new genre of music, he put pop and country together like no body ever had. He made a record that could be played on a country station and could be played on a pop station and were played on both. He just popularized a kind of music of his own, he was an innovator.”
Ryan: You’ve done it all, you’ve been in music for over 6 decades, and put out 69 albums. You’ve been on stage with the best of them such as Johnny Cash, George Jones, Dolly Pardon. You are a true living legend….what is still on your bucket list to achieve?
Charlie: “Well I just want to keep doing what I’m doing I thank God to be making a living doing something I love to do. That’s all I want, I don’t want to be anything other than a professional musician. I love being an entertainer; I want to entertain a crowd of people every night when I go on stage that’s my thing, that’s what I’m all about.
Ryan: America is the greatest country in the world and the older I get the more I connect with much wiser minds on the topic. As Americans it’s our duty to be proud and stand for our country, I’ve been to many concerts and never heard of a more patriotic artist and American than you, where did you start your patriotic journey?
Charlie: “I am a diehard American and I love this country. It’s the greatest country the world has ever known, and I’m very interested in keeping it that way. I’ve been that way all my life. I remember the day Pearl Harbor was bombed I was born in a time of war, when America was at war and I learned very early in life that only two things that protect America is the grace of God and the United States military. It was that way then it is that way now it will remain to be that way. I’m thankful for our brave men and women in uniform fighting for our country. I’ve always been a patriot I’ve been to quite a few other countries but never came across a country like this one and I don’t think we ever will.”
Ryan: Let’s go back a few years to a song you released titled “Intimidator”; obviously it was in honor of Dale Earnhardt.
Charlie: “It was a tribute song in fact I’ve written a couple songs in tribute to Dale. In my time I don’t know of another more popular driver than Dale. I think he some how or another personified Nascar for so many people. He was just a total complete legend. I think sometimes when we say legend we use that term loosely but when you’re talking about Earnhardt your not using it loosely at all he truly was a legend. So I wrote that song in honor of him.”
Ryan: It’s easy to tell you’re a Volunteers football fan, are they looking good for this season?
Charlie: “I think so I hope so. You hear things and they write things but until the Vols hit the field ill let you know.”
Ryan: What is your NFL team?
Charlie: “Tennessee Titians, I’m a foot ball fan I just love football. I watch it every Sunday I’ve got my two favorite team’s college and pro team and their both from Tennessee. They’ve (Titans) got all the pieces to get it done let’s just see if they can get it together.”
Ryan: “Let’s get in some quick questions that our readers may not know about you.”
Ryan: Favorite color?
Ryan: Favorite animal?
Charlie: “Horse, dog”
Ryan: Favorite kind of pie?”
Charlie: “Oh that’s a hard one Id say…Chocolate. I’m a chocolate guy I love chocolate.”
Ryan: Chevy or Ford?
Charlie: “Chevy and ram I’ve got both.”
Ryan: What is your favorite movie?
Charlie: “Ah that’s a hard one. Gone with the wind”
Ryan: What is your favorite bible verse?
Charlie: “91st Psalms, I can repeat it I can say it by heart. I can say it in times I need protection, and of course John 3:16.”
Charlie Daniels is how you can picture he would be: humble and full of American pride and southern hospitality. It was a honor for Charlie to sit down with us and we wish him all the best with his new book “Never Look At The Empty Seats” you can also catch Mr. Daniels on tour at his website http://www.charliedaniels.com/
photos by Erick Anderson