Friday, July 20, 2007

Charlie Daniels Plans Christmas for Kids

Great American Country: "July 20, 2007 — Charlie Daniels and friends Rodney Atkins and Taylor Swift will perform at the 11th Annual Christmas for Kids Benefit Concert Monday, November 19, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

The event raises money for the Christmas for Kids organization, which gives special children in the community the opportunity to celebrate the holiday season.

Christmas for Kids has been bringing the spirit of Christmas to hundreds of children throughout Middle Tennessee for more than 20 years. In addition to the concert, the Tour Bus Tour, which will take place on December 17, allows folks to visit the home-away-from-homes of more than 50 stars.

The money raised at both events is used to escort children from 25 different schools for a day-long holiday excursion. The day consists of a chauffeured trip from their school aboard a country music star's tour bus to a photo session with Santa and then to a local Wal-Mart for their own Christmas shopping spree.

All proceeds from the Charlie Daniels & Friends Benefit Concert and the Tour Bus Show go toward the children's Christmas shopping. More information is available at "

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Charlie plays with a symphony -- for $10 a ticket.

"I met a man from Tennessee
This is what he said to me
He said music is a rhapsody
He picked up his violin
Stuck it underneath his chin
And started playing me a symphony
I said that ain't the way it's done
Let me see that fiddle son
And I sawed him off a chorus or two
He said you'd better call the doctor
'Cause I think I've got
The Rocking Boogie Woogie Fiddle Country Blues"

Caviar & Country Biscuits
Symphony of the Mountains and Charlie Daniels together for final concert of Kingsport's Fun Fest

Thursday, Jul 19, 2007 - 10:49 AM
BY Tom Netherland (

Symphonies and Charlie Daniels go together like caviar and country biscuits.

Well, hold your assumptions, bud.

Meander over to the J. Fred Johnson Stadium in Kingsport on July 21 and watch as the seemingly divergent paths of the Charlie Daniels Band and Symphony of the Mountains cross and close out this year’s Fun Fest.

Together, they will entertain via such Daniels’ hits as "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." And together, they just might prove that yes, caviar goes mighty fine on hot buttered biscuits.
"I like the whole different thing," Daniels said last week by phone from Atlanta. "It’s really different than what we normally do."

Symphony of the Mountains music director and conductor Cornelia Kodkani-Laemmli has collaborated with Daniels on stage once before, when she served as the associate conductor of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.

"It was great, and I really liked them," Kodkani-Laemmli said.

Swiss-born Kodani-Laemmli performed in an evening gown and cowboy boots that night. She also wore a hat, but it fell short of an actual cowboy hat. Daniels noticed.

"After the show, his road manager measured my head, and he sent me a hat," she said. "It’s a 10-gallon cowboy hat, and I’m going to wear that hat at the show."

Daniels said that the symphony would open the show. Kodani-Laemmli said to expect
performances of such widely accessible songs as "The Theme from Mission Impossible" and "God Bless America."

Then, the Charlie Daniels Band will join in at some point. Fans can look to hear the symphony and Daniels on such Daniels’ classics as "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," "The Legend of Wooley Swamp" and "Long Haired Country Boy."

Daniels will also perform some songs without the symphony. For example?"We’re doing ‘Rocky Top,’ " Daniels said. "You come to the show and you’ll hear ‘Rocky Top.’ "

Daniels, 70, first cracked the music business during the 1960s as a studio guitarist. He played on recording sessions for Bob Dylan and Ringo Starr. He then made his name as a bandleader during the 1970s with such Southern rock hits as "Uneasy Rider."

In other words, his music is a far cry from performing with a symphony. So imagine the thrill of getting to do just that.

"It’s adding 50 pieces to the band. You’ve got to really be on your toes," Daniels said. "We’ve got to play it right."

Daniels also fervently believes in living right.

Talk to him for five minutes and his passions – God, country, family, music – resound as clearly as the truth among a pack of liars. Or check out his new album, "Live in Iraq," which was indeed recorded in Iraq, last year.

"We were in a war zone," Daniels said. "We got shot at on a helicopter going back to Baghdad one night after a show. It’s a humbling feeling."

Meanwhile, Daniels has yet another show among his almost 40 years of shows to perform. Bear this in mind. Of his more than 5,000 concerts in those nearly 40 years, Daniels has performed no more than 20 concerts with a symphony.

"We’ve done over the years not 20 but a few," Daniels said. "The Nashville Symphony, the Knoxville Symphony, symphonies in Toledo, Baton Rouge – not many."

So, classify Daniels’ show with Symphony of the Mountains as incredibly rare. Oh, and just for the record, Kodkani-Laemmli said that folks need not worry about how they come dressed – for this or any other symphony show.

"You don’t have to dress up. I couldn’t care less what people wear," Kodkani-Laemmli said. "Lots of people think the symphony is for the stuffy or snobby people, and it’s not."

TOM NETHERLAND is a freelance writer.
Who: Charlie Daniels Band with the Symphony of the Mountains
When: July 21, 7 p.m.
Where: J. Fred Johnson Stadium, Kingsport
Tickets: $10
Info: (423) 229-4406

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Charlie Daniels Helps a Hero

July 12, 2007 --— Charlie Daniels will join Lonestar, Craig Morgan and other country artists in a benefit concert to fund the design and construction of a custom home for Sgt. Kevin Downs, who was severely wounded in Iraq.
Kevin is the sole survivor of an ambush that killed three American soldiers from the 278th Regimental Combat Team of the Tennessee National Guard unit. He lost both his legs and suffered burns over 60 percent of his body during the attack. After nearly two years of hospitalization, he is about to be discharged and plans to come home to Tennessee. The concert, called Home for a Hero, will help provide a house that will allow Kevin mobility and independence.
GAC's Storme Warren will host the event, which will also feature performances by Bomshel, David Lee Murphy, Collin Raye, Joe Diffie, John Berry, Paulette Carlson and Jamie Lee Thurston. The concert will take place at 7 p.m. on July 17 at Greer Stadium in Nashville. For more information, go to

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Charlie Daniels Commissions USS New York

July 10, 2007 09:33 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Nashville Records™ Announces The Legendary Charlie Daniels For The USS New York Project
NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nashville Records, Inc. announces the legendary Charlie Daniels for the USS New York Project. He will perform the song “The USS New York” for the recordings and performances for the christening and commissioning of the ship.
Daniels is best known for his smash hit, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," which topped both country and pop charts, won a Grammy Award, earned three CMA trophies, became a cornerstone of the Urban Cowboy movie soundtrack and propelled Daniel's Million Mile Reflections album to triple-platinum sales. More hits include, "In America," "Uneasy Rider," "The South's Gonna Do It," "Long Haired Country Boy" and a catalog that represents millions of sales.
The Charlie Daniels Band has twice been voted the Academy of Country Music's touring band of the year and has often exceeded 250 concert dates per year throughout a music career that surpasses an incredible four decades of hit generating legacy. Daniels still maintains an incredibly busy concert schedule.
Several name artists were considered for this song and project but ultimately the Company felt Daniels was the perfect choice. Previous press releases announced the USS New York, which is a Naval ship being commissioned, and was built in part with 24 tons of steel from the World Trade Center. Nashville Records™ holds the exclusive rights of performance and sales distribution. This song will also be included on Nashville Records™ upcoming Patriotic Album in connection to the USS New York, which will feature some of the industry’s biggest stars. The support for theses two projects increases daily with music industry, media, and military support.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Country Stars Supplement Charlie Daniels Album

Country Stars Supplement Charlie Daniels Album:
July 02, 2007, 3:05 PM ET
Gary Graff, Detroit
Brad Paisley, Gretchen Wilson, Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill and Dolly Parton are among the artists joining Charlie Daniels for a duets album he plans to release this fall on his Blue Hat Records label.

Daniels tells that he was in the midst of recording another album with the latest edition of the Charlie Daniels Band, when a friend suggested the duets idea. 'So we put that (group) album on the back burner for the duets album,' Daniels says. 'We're fairly close to having it finished.'

Among the highlights on the as-yet-untitled set are a version of Ray Charles' 'What'd I Say' with Travis Tritt, Johnny Cash's 'Jackson' with Wilson, 'Long Haired Country Boy' with Brooks & Dunn, Stevie Wonder's 'Signed, Sealed Delivered (I'm Yours)' with Bonnie Bramlett and Bob Dylan's 'Maggie's Farm.'

'I wanted to pick stuff that had common ground for everybody,' explains Daniels, who co-wrote one original, 'Evangeline,' with Hal Ketchum. Daniels recorded the song with the Del McCoury Band.

He's also proud of an instrumental track he laid down with Paisley and the late Stevie Ray Vaughn's Double Trouble rhythm section (Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon). 'It's just an instrumental thing we Daniels recalls. "We just got together and sat there and jammed." The bluesy song isn't titled yet, but Daniels says it will likely acknowledge Vaughan in some way.

"Stevie Ray was a very unusual and dedicated talent," Daniels says. "He was just 'it' as far as blues guitar was concerned. As far as carrying on the blues in his generation, he was the man. So it was great to be in there with (Double Trouble), 'cause they play so well together and still have that spirit."

The duets project will follow Daniels' recently released CD/DVD "Live in Iran," recorded during his visits to perform for U.S. troops overseas. He also edited the new book "Growing Up Country," which features essays by Southern musicians, politicians and athletes. He plans to finish the band album as well, probably for release in 2008. "

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Marshall Tucker Band Guitarist George McCorkle dead at 60

United Press International - NewsTrack - Entertainment - Musician George McCorkle dead at 60: "Musician George McCorkle dead at 60
LEBANON, Tenn., June 30 (UPI) -- One of the founding members of the Marshall Tucker Band, George McCorkle has died at age 60 in Lebanon, Tenn., after being diagnosed with cancer.

The man who wrote the Southern rock anthem 'Fire on the Mountain' died Friday at University Medical Center, The (Nashville) Tennessean reported Saturday.

'George was such a big, big part of the sound of that original Marshall Tucker Band,' said Charlie Daniels, a friend of McCorkle. 'If you took him out of it, the Tuckers would not sound like the same band. He played that electric guitar wide open.'

The Marshall Tucker Band was a bridge between musical styles in the 1970s, helping bring rock fans to country and to bring country fans to rock and blues.

'Kids aren't ashamed of country anymore, and they're not ashamed of blues,' McCorkle told writer Frye Gaillard in an interview that was included in Gaillard's 'Watermelon Wine: The Spirit of Country Music' in 1978. 'And when you mix it all together and the music gets to cooking, it's a pretty ... exciting thing to be around.'

McCorkle is survived by his wife Vivienne and son Justin McCorkle."

See also:

McCorkle services set for Tuesday

Visitation for George McCorkle, one of the founding members of the Marshall Tucker Band, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Floyd's Greenlawn Chapel, 2075 E. Main St.

Graveside serivces will be held at 11 a.m. at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.

McCorkle died Friday morning in Nashville, Tenn., at the age of 60. He had recently been diagnosed with cancer.

Article published Jun 27, 2007

Marshall Tucker guitarist George McCorkle is battling cancer, son says


George McCorkle, a founding member of the Spartanburg-based Marshall Tucker Band, has been diagnosed with cancer and is spending what are likely his final days in a Nashville-area hospital.

"They're not really looking for a full recovery. They believe it to be terminal. But they haven't said, 'He's got this many days to live' or anything," said McCorkle's 31-year-old son, Justin, of his 60-year-old father.

"He is resting comfortable now. There's so many types of cancer that do so many different things so many different ways. We have a really good oncology group that's working with him."

The family is hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

The disease has spread through his body and doctors don't feel he has much longer to suffer, according to McCorkle's Web site.

It's a quiet ending for a man who once tore up the stage in front of thousands of people.

"He was like the rock," said Paul Riddle, 53, the drummer in the original Marshall Tucker lineup.

"He was a rhythm guitar player primarily. I've never heard anyone to this day play rhythm guitar the way George played it. I had the luxury of playing the drums, of playing with him. It was a drummer's dream. The way he accompanied Toy (Caldwell) ... They really fed off each other. It was just amazing."

Riddle was only 15 years old, a sophomore at Spartanburg High School, when he met McCorkle - seven years his elder - and, later, Tommy Caldwell. When the three got together, that's when the Marshall Tucker Band was born, he said. They would soon add three more members: Caldwell's brother, Toy; singer Doug Gray and flutist Jerry Eubanks.

On their way

They began playing small venues, eventually landing a gig at Grant's Lounge in Macon, Ga. The Allman Brothers band was there that night. So were representatives from Capricorn Records.

Soon, the boys who had been practicing on Spring Street in Spartanburg were on their way.

They had long hair, and they were loud. They became forever linked with Southern Rock, creating a country-rock-blues sound that hadn't been heard before.

"We would really improvise a lot on stage," Riddle said. "It was a matter of trust, really. You have to trust the people you're playing with when you play in front of 30,000 people. And George did that better than anyone I've ever known."

McCorkle grew up in a rough-and-tumble mill village just outside Spartanburg, and he learned to fight at an early age. His parents divorced when he was young, and his mother worked at a cotton mill, according to the book "Hub City Music Makers."

He spent some time in the Navy, but stayed true to his modest roots: McCorkle didn't own a suit until 1980. He bought one when fellow band member Tommy Caldwell died.

The Marshall Tucker Band broke up in the early 1980s, though several reincarnations of it have followed. McCorkle and Riddle stayed out of that, and McCorkle has released one solo album, "American Street," in 1999.

New style of music

"The founding members, they basically brought a mixture of music together in such a way that it had never been presented before," Justin McCorkle said.

"They didn't do so on purpose. They did so because that's what they liked. It just so happened that it was a new style between country, rock and blues. (George McCorkle) was probably more of your blues influence. He's just an unbelievable rhythm and blues guitar player."

Since his father was diagnosed earlier this month, Justin has been back and forth between Nashville and his home in Pauline.

Charlie Daniels and some of the other Marshall Tucker Band members have been to visit, he said.

"He's just a real sweetheart of a guy. He's so appreciative, and just loves everybody so much, it's just hard to watch this happen to him," Justin McCorkle said.

"It's tough, but I have to stay strong ... The world doesn't stop, just because we're sick. I'm just trying to help my dad and do what he would want me to do."

Of the founding members, Tommy Caldwell died in a car crash in 1980 and Toy suffered a heart attack and died in 1993.


Riddle, after leaving the hospital Tuesday, said "We only expect him to live a few more days. Certainly he could live longer, but he hasn't eaten anything in 12 days. We were lucky today. He was awake. As hard as it was, we're thankful we went."

The two got to talk, briefly.

The last time they played together was a little over seven years ago, at an outside jam in Spartanburg. Riddle remembers they played "This Old Cowboy."

"It's just hard to believe," said Riddle, who lives at Lake Bowen. "He was a big brother figure to me. He was the oldest in the band. Everyone is in shock. I talked to him an hour-and-a-half on Thanksgiving. I'm just really going to miss him, I know that.

"I love him."