Ricky Skaggs is opening up about the impact Charlie Daniels had on his own life and career. In an interview with John Rich, on The Pursuit! with John Rich, Skaggs said Daniels lived life to the fullest, up until the very end.
“Joy,” Skaggs recalled, when asked what word comes to mind when he thinks of Daniels. “That man played with joy. Every time I ever saw him — didn’t matter if I was with Emmylou [Harris], wherever I was at, long before I ever came to Nashville and got a record deal, he just had joy. He played with joy and he loved music. He loved playing for people, entertaining. He loved his band. They all had joy, ’cause he had joy. And you could feel it.”
Daniels was 83 years old when passed away on July 6, 2020, after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. Skaggs is far from the only one who was greatly affected by Daniels. Ahead of the 2021 Volunteer Jam: A Musical Salute to Charlie Daniels, held in August, Randy Travis recalled how kind Daniels was to him, after Travis suffered a stroke in 2013.
“He knelt down and told me he knew I wanted to sing again,” Travis told People. “He took off his big hat and asked me if he could pray. There we were with our heads bowed, Charlie eloquently praying, and I wept. I wish the thousands out in the crowd that day could have known the man that I knew. They heard a great musician playing, and I knew a great man praying for my life and health and for the safety and welfare of each fan in the crowd.”
Darryl Worley also recounted an important conversation with Daniels, which forever altered the course of his life.
“He said, ‘Son, what are you doing for the Lord?” Worley shared. “It caught me totally off guard, and my brain was spinning out of control for the right answer. He patted me on the back and told me that I had a gift that was more than just music. He told me that he could see it in me, and that God had big plans for me.”
Worley will receive the Charlie Daniels Patriot Award on Wednesday, October 27, during the third annual Charlie Daniels Patriot Award dinner, held at City Winery in Nashville. Proceeds benefit the Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project.
Skaggs is spending much of the remainder of 2021 on the road, including three shows in Pennsylvania this weekend. Find tour dates at RickySkaggs.com.