BEAVER DAM, Ky. (WEHT) Country music fans are remembering the life and career of one of the greatest musicians in the genre.
Charlie Daniels died today at 83-years-old. Some local fans look back at their encounters with the Country Music Hall of Famer.
It took several weeks for Mackenzie Bell, 14, of Ohio County to learn “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”.
“It was, I guess you would say, very exciting because I heard him play it and I wanted to get it as best as I could,” Bell recalled.
She’s played the fiddle for nearly six years, and recorded two albums, but it’s a brief moment three years ago in Beaver Dam, where she played in front of him that she’ll remember the most.
“He said, ‘That was very good. Wait over here.’ I thought he was going to get me a CD or something,” Bell recalled. “When he came back, he was holding this bow, which I am holding right now, and gave it to me and said, ‘When you play at the Grand Ole Opry, use this bow.’ I was really excited and really enjoyed that experience.”
Daniels was a hall of famer, a member of the Grand Ole Opry and made several southern rock and gospel albums. He was most known for the song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. He played many times in the Tri-State, including last year during Madisonville’s 4th of July show.
“It was an amazing concert. He put on one heck of a show. He never slowed down,” said Madisonville Mayor Kevin Cotton. “He had a good heart. He loved people. He loved America. It’s going to be a huge loss for America and for country music fans.”
Some will remember him for his music, others for his outspoken love of his country. But Bell will remember him for inspiring her.
“I will remember him as one of my heroes and the best fiddle player that ever was,” said Bell.
(This story was originally published on July 6, 2020)