On This Day: Charlie Daniels Appears in Star-Studded TV Movie ‘Murder in Music City’

by Matthew Wilson
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Charlie Daniels once helped solve a murder in Music City. Well, the country singer appeared in a TV movie about one at least. That’s almost the same thing, right? Daniels lent his signature beard, cowboy hat, and voice to 1977’s “Murder in Music City.”

It’s been 44 years since Daniels made an appearance in the Nashville-based film. He joined other guest stars like Ray Stevens, Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap, Boots Randolph, and Mel Tillis. The star-studded film lent some credence and prestige to the television film that was less about the Grand Ole Opry and more about murder.

The film starred singer Sonny Bono as a fictional version of himself. Bono buys a detective agency for a tax credit. But it’s not long before he’s putting that agency to good use. Bono and his new bride discover a dead body in their hotel suite. This leads to trouble, and Bono has to solve the crime before being the next to turn up dead.

In real life, Bono was also known more for his singing talents than his acting. He appeared as one half of the popular duo Sonny and Cher, with his ex-wife. But in the 1970s, he began making sporadic appearances in film, appearing on shows like “Fantasy Island” and “Charlie Angels.” It wasn’t long before he got his own films.

Charlie Daniels Appears on ‘The Fall Guy’

Meanwhile, Daniels became TV’s go-to man when they wanted to give their fictional Nashville a little authority. Over his career, Daniels appeared on various TV shows such as “Hee-Haw” and “King of the Hill.”

But he also played a guest appearance in another Nashville mystery. Daniels guest-starred on the popular action/adventure series “The Fall Guy” in the 1980s. The show starred Lee Majors as a stunt man turned bounty hunter, using his Hollywood skills to capture criminals and fugitives of the law. The show aired on ABC for 113 episodes from 1981 to 1986.

Daniels entered the picture in Season three, episode nine, “Pirates of Nashville.” The singer was joined once again by Ray Stevens and also Dottie West. Daniels appeared as himself in the episode, which explored a counterfeiting operation in Nashville. Probably a step down from murder, but Daniels certainly seemed to enjoy acting.

The late singer passed away last year from a stroke. But his band continues to keep his legacy alive.

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