'Devil' of a good time with Charlie Daniels

Country musician to perform at Pickin' in the Panhandle

Country musician to perform at Pickin' in the Panhandle

September 10, 2009|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - Country legend Charlie Daniels is pretty open about his career, his life and his nonstop schedule.

But everything comes to a screeching halt when he's posed the question of what's his favorite barbecue.

"Now that's a very individual thing, that's a very personal question," he says, before giving a good-natured laugh.

Daniels and his band will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday as part of the two-day Pickin' in the Panhandle, a West Virginia state barbecue and bluegrass festival.

By his North Carolina birthright, his favorite barbecue should be the vinegary Carolina barbecue.

"To be perfectly honest about it, I love it all," he says during a telephone interview before a show in Coralville, Iowa.

And after being in the music business for more than 50 years, Daniels has every right to eat whatever kind of barbecue he wants.


Known for a slew of hits including the crowd-pleasing "Devil Went Down to Georgia," Daniels has carved a name for himself with his distinctive style of rock 'n' roll-influenced, fiddle-based country music.

But it took nearly half a century before Daniels was invited into the Grand Ole Opry. And even he doesn't know why it took so long, especially because the Charlie Daniels Band was a frequent performer on the Opry stage.

"I was doing fine without (being an Opry member). It was something that wouldn't have ruined my career. But it was kind of the icing on the cake for a country boy to be in the Grand Ole Opry," he says. "It meant an awful lot to me."

Next month, Daniels will be inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tenn.

"I am deeply honored the membership and the rest of the musicians want me to have it," he says. "It means a great deal to me."

His favorite award?

"My favorites are platinum albums," he says with a chuckle. "They each mean a lot."

Daniels says although each award has meant something, he doesn't keep them around his home. Instead, they're on display at the Charlie Daniels Museum in Nashville.

"I'm proud and very happy about them, but your career cannot be measured by awards," he says. "Because there are a lot of people out there who are incredible, and for some reason no one's ever heard of (them)."

Awards or not, Daniels says, he's happy to be doing what he's doing.

"Just being on stage and being in front of people is just a rush for me," he says. "... It's something I thoroughly enjoy."

If you go ...

What: Pickin' in the Panhandle

When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13

Where: Lazy A Campgrounds, Back Creek Valley, W.Va.

Cost: $20 adult for two-day pass; free for children 12 and younger

More: To purchase tickets or for a complete schedule, visit

More: Charlie Daniels Band will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday.

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