Thursday, December 01, 2005

Charlie Daniels gets guitars to troops

Charlie Daniels gets guitars to troops: "Charlie Daniels gets guitars to troops

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A project sparked by North Carolina-bred singer Charlie Daniels has collected thousands of dollars in donated musical instruments for troops in Iraq.

Daniels donated one of his own instruments to 'Operation Heartstrings' earlier this year when he learned that soldiers didn't have guitars for church services. He asked guitar manufacturers to do the same.

'We never envisioned this much stuff. I'm overwhelmed by the support out there for the troops,' said Daniels. He said 'only one company that will remain nameless turned us down.'

Gibson Guitar, one of the nation's top instrument makers, surprised the Wilmington native by offering 100 guitars worth $35,000 US and thousands of dollars worth of accessories.

'We're talking about guys over there who are representing us and putting life on the line,' co-owner Henry Juszkiewicz said.

Daniels, 69, and his band learned of the need while touring the Middle East doing shows for soldiers.

'We found that many of them played musical instruments of one kind or another and they wanted to sit in with the band. But they didn't have enough instruments to go around," he said.

Daniels' platinum single The Devil Went Down to Georgia topped both country and pop charts and won a Grammy.

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