Commentary

Charlie Daniels’s Autobiography: The Good, the Bad and the Unmentionable

Charlie Daniels
By Charlie Daniels | July 26, 2016 | 9:55 AM EDT

Charlie Daniels (AP Photo)

For close to twenty years now I have been involved in writing an autobiography, an account of my life beginning with my earliest remembrances and coming up to the present time.

I wanted to have it finished long ago but could not find a stopping, or more properly defined, a pausing place, as my career is still ongoing, and new and exciting things are still taking place that I would like to be a part of my book.

Well, a few weeks ago when I was told I was to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, I felt that would be a good place to – not end – pause the story. Since it is the fruition of so many dreams and aspirations, sort of summing up the sixty-year career I have been writing about for the last couple of decades.

So, after an encouraging meeting with some publisher representatives recently, I'm back at it with a passion and a purpose, at last having a target to work toward.

I've tried to be honest, fair and as precise as my memory of long ago events will allow. I've made an effort not to be self-indulgent, petulant nor unforgiving in my dealings with the people I've had disagreements with over the years and have not been reluctant to admit my faults and shortcomings.

I am asked questions about the business by young and aspiring artists, and I have tried to make my experiences available for all who would be interested in profiting by them.

Mainly, I deal with what, at least to me, is an amazing story of a farsighted, chubby kid from North Carolina who felt that he had something the world should share and refused to give up until he was able to put it before them.

It's a story of acceptance and rejection, of refusing to stop knocking on doors until one of them opened, of dealing with the rancid odor of failure and the sweet smell of success.

It's about love, family, my faith, my patriotism, my deep love for America, about where I know we've come from and where I feel we are headed.

But most of all, it's about the music, my love and respect for it, and my gratitude to my Maker for granting me the privilege of making a living in a profession I consider an honor to be in.

It’s about the creation, the performance – what goes on behind the scenes – the lonely days and nights traveling musicians spend away from their families and the late night hours spent over a couple of beers with the boys in the band and crew when deep and lasting friendships are formed and nourished.

I've wrote about road life, traveling with the band and crew when I wore all red socks so they wouldn't get mixed up with anybody else's laundry, the frustration of a bunch of road weary super hungry pickers and roadies getting in a buffet line behind a couple of little blue haired ladies intent on critiquing each dish and slowing the flow down to a trickle.

I've written about finding out about losing good friends in a plane crash just before you walk on stage in front of a sold out house and conversely finding out about your first platinum record right before a performance.

I've written about playing for the troops in combat zones in Afghanistan and having the helicopter we were flying on shot at in Iraq. I’ve even written about riding in an Eskimo dog sled across the frozen ocean in Greenland.

I've covered a lot of territory and still have some left to cover, but I'm on the job and hope to have a complete manuscript in a few months.

I just hope you folks will enjoy reading it as much as I did living it.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.

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