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Charlie Daniels called in to the show on his way to the Grand Ole Opry a few years back when I was on Q105’s sister station WQYK. When I mentioned visiting the Opry is still on my bucket list, Charlie offered to give me a backstage tour if I can make it when he’s in town. That’s the kind of guy he is. Hear Charlie talk about his early Opry memories, how he found out he was going into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and how he kept going strong.

My heart just sank today when I heard the news Charlie is gone. I can’t even tell you how kind he was to me. The first time we talked on the phone, when he heard I’ve never been to The Opry, he offered to give me a personal tour if I visit. I remember when this photo was taken, FOX 13’s Charley Belcher was backstage and remarked how much he liked Charlie’s hat so Charlie got his address to send him one.

It’s just the kind of guy he was. He was actively involved in raising money for the Angelus House in Hudson. And yes, he was brash with his politics. I don’t care if you’re left or right – we live in America and whether you agree or not, we all are allowed to express our feelings. When I hear people complain about how actor at an awards show or how a musician wrote a song that had a political message… it’s ridiculous to tell them to be silent because you disagree. Art has been political and the voice of the people for all of time. Take a tour of a museum. Many of those paintings were making a statement – they’re not just pretty colors on a canvas.

Anyway… I didn’t agree with some of the things Charlie said, but I will tell you that I got to see how big his heart is. I would love to see his message and the title of his book “Never look at the empty seats” be his legacy. Such great words on how to live life as an entertainer or a human being.

Rest in peace Charlie.

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