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Charlie Daniels Celebrating 80th Birthday, Says Music is Labor of Love

Charlie Daniels Celebrating 80th Birthday, Says Music is Labor of Love

Country music fans will get a rare opportunity to see two Country Music Hall of Famers in concert at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum date for the Alabama Southern Drawl Tour. The show features Charlie Daniels, who is best known for such hits as “The Devil went down to Georgia” and “The South’s Gonna Do It Again.” He will be appearing along with Alabama, the band that changed country music.

In a career that has spanned more than five decades, Daniels racked up several multi-platinum albums, received the Pioneer Award by the Academy of Country Music and been inducted into both the Grand Ol’ Opry Hall of Fame and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.

Throughout the 1980s and 90s, Alabama reeled off 21 consecutive #1 singles including “Feels So Right” and “Mountain Music.” The band was named Artist of the Decade for the 1980s by the Academy of Country Music and is regarded as the band that changed country music by bringing a youthful energy and sex appeal to the genre. Alabama has sold 73 million records and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

After a long hiatus, Alabama decided to go on tour once again. The band and Daniels are both on separate tours but will be joining for the Knoxville show.

The Knoxville stop of the Alabama Southern Drawl Tour with Charlie Daniels is October 21, 2016 at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum.

2016 is a big year for Daniels. He will soon be celebrating his 80th birthday, but the country music icon keeps busy in the industry.

“I feel great,” Daniels said. “Age, of course, takes its toll but music keeps me active and it is a labor of love. I usually perform more than 200 shows a year but I am slowing down a little this year. I am only doing 105. I have performed in Knoxville before and I like it there.”

Daniels still maintains a hectic work schedule recording new music and organizing the Volunteer Jam. When Daniels planned the first Volunteer Jam it was intended as a one-time event. Never did he realize it would morph into a phenomenon that would endure four decades and fill arenas with capacity crowds.

“We first organized the show in 1974,” said Daniels. “The Marshall Tucker Band took part in the show. We rented out a hall in Nashville that seated 200 people and we had a good line of acts and it just grew from there. This year we are celebrating our 42nd Volunteer Jam. Larry the Cable Guy, Luke Bryan, Kid Rock, Travis Tritt, Chris Stapleton and several others are on the line-up. Now we are playing to audiences of upwards of 13,000. We’ve been blessed.”

The Volunteer Jam takes place Nov. 30, 2016 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

Daniels has just completed the tracks his latest album entitled “Night Hawk” that pays tribute to the working cowboy.

“It takes a special breed to be a cowboy,” said Daniels. “The cowboy way of life is one that still exists. These are the men that bring in the big herds on the big ranches. I have a lot of admiration for those folks. I have been blessed with my music career and I am proud to have put together this CD.”

About Michael Williams

Michael Williams has written for more than 60 newspapers, magazines and web sites including the Knoxville News Sentinel and the Citizen Tribune. He is a resident of Gatlinburg Tennessee and has written five books including "Great Kids In History", "The Legend of the Red Ghost", "The History of Eastern Sevier County", "Stranger Than Fiction: the Lincoln Curse" and "Famous Kids in History." Visit and