Country Throwback: Charlie Daniels Band Releases ‘Nightrider’ Album 45 Years Ago Today

by Jennifer Shea
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It was 45 years ago today that country legends the Charlie Daniels Band released “Nightrider,” his sixth studio album and the third album from the Charlie Daniels Band.

Charlie Daniels’ estate is commemorating the anniversary on Twitter. “ON THIS DAY in 1975, the CDB’s Nightrider album was released,” they posted on the late musician’s Twitter account. “New band members Don Murray, Charlie Hayward and Tommy Crain joined for this follow up to ‘Fire on the Mountain.’”

The album brought together an enduring lineup for the first time and saw Daniels really hitting his stride. “Nightrider” showcases the band, but the band’s jamming never overpowers the songs. 

Charlie Daniels formed the band in 1972 (with a different lineup than it would have in its later years). The band’s “Uneasy Rider” hit the Top 10 in the U.S. in 1973. And “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” reached the top of country charts and rose to No. 3 in pop charts in 1979.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the country musician’s albums and singles became hits on the country charts. He also recorded some gospel and Christian albums.

Country Legend Charlie Daniels Passing

Daniels died in Nashville this July at the age of 83. Upon his death, Country Music Association CEO Sarah Trahern released a statement remembering Daniels.

“There are few artists that touched so many different generations in our business [as] Charlie Daniels did,” Trahern said. “Today, our community has lost an innovator and advocate of country music. Both Charlie and [his wife] Hazel had become dear friends of mine over the last several years and I was privileged to be able to celebrate Charlie’s induction into the Opry as well as tell him that he was going to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. I will always remember the look of sudden shock and delight on his face as he realized he would be in the Hall of Fame rotunda for the ages. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends at this sad time.”

At the 2020 CMA Awards, country music stars like Jason Aldean and Dierks Bentley honored the late musician. Bentley performed “Long Haired Country Boy,” then the Brothers Osborne took the stage with him for “Trudy.” Ashley McBryde performed “Texas” with John Osborne. Then Aldean finished up the tribute with “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”

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