In 1975, Charlie Daniels blew up tv screens everywhere when he delivered an impressive performance of “Long Haired Boy” on Pop Goes the Country.
The footage shows a much younger Daniels doing what he did best: belting his heart out to country music.
Charlie Daniels released “Long Haired Country Boy” as a single in April 1975 off the album Fire on the Mountain. The song made its way to the 56th spot on the “Billboard Hot 100,” making it one of Daniels’ most well-known hits of his career.
With his guitar in hand, Daniels took center stage during the taping.
While sitting on a lone stool, a younger Daniels looks nearly unrecognizable compared to his older self. Even though his appearance is different, one thing has remained constant: his signature cowboy hat and unmatched energy and voice.
The re-release was a massive hit on the country chart, where it peaked at the 27th spot.
In the original version of the song, Daniels refers to getting “stoned in the morning” and “drunk in the afternoon.”
With a Christian background, Daniels later admitted he felt the song didn’t suit his values.
Charlie Daniels Reflects On Lyrics Of ‘Long Haired Country Boy’
“I did that very tongue-in-cheek,” he told Songfacts in 2007 of the original lyrics, “but things got so serious.”
In 1974, drug use infiltrated much of music’s culture and that of country music. “And things have gotten so serious, and it’s such a big problem with drugs and alcohol with kids. It just went against my Christian feelings to actually do anything that somebody could construe with being promoting that lifestyle, or those things, the alcohol and drugs,” he explained.
“Yet the song was such a big part of our repertoire and was always just a popular song for us to do.”
Like other Charlie Daniels’ hits, the song’s themes include self-assurance and ignoring opinions.
“If you don’t like me, we don’t need to have any trouble. We don’t need to be going upside each other’s heads or anything. Just leave me alone, just walk around me. Maybe you don’t like the way my hair looks,” he observed of the message. “Maybe you don’t like the way I eat my soup, or whatever it is that you don’t like about me, it doesn’t make any difference to me. I don’t care. If you don’t like me it’s okay.”
Later, Daniels proved his rebellious ideas were having an impact on listeners. Throughout his career, he remained a country icon. Before his death on July 6, 2020, he became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Looking back on this performance of “Long Haired Country Boy,” it’s no mystery as to why he was an inductee.