Local News

Charlie Daniels Band coming down to annual gala

SEBRING - The Charlie Daniels Band will bring its classic mix of foot-stomping country/rock music featuring Daniels' fired-up fiddling to Florida Hospital's 19th Gala on Nov. 14. The gala is presented by The Foundation of Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center and Florida Hospital Wauchula. Along with the black tie dinner, silent auction and concert at South Florida State College, the gala events include a golf tournament, Nov. 15 at Sun 'n Lake Golf and County Club, and a 5k fun/walk and 10k event, Nov. 17, on the Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center grounds. Foundation Board Member Aaron Jahjah made the announcement Thursday morning that the Charlie Daniels Band will be performing at the gala.
"We are very excited to have this legendary band make their way to the Heartland," he said. "I believe that bringing this band in will definitely make an impact and leave a lasting impression on our community." Daniels, who is a Grand Ole Opry member, phoned in to the Florida Hospital press conference from his Nashville home. In his biography, Daniels said he is partly western and partly Southern. On a couple of Youtube videos from the 1970s, a country music TV host introduced him as the "funky" Charlie Daniels. Where did the"funky" come from? "I have been called a doggone many things over the years," Daniels said with a laugh. "It's hard to put a genre on our music because we play some of all of that. When people ask me what we play I tell them 'American music' because we play some of all of it." At his shows the audience will hear country, bluegrass, gospel, jazz, rock, he said. "I just do it and let people call it what they want to." Daniels said some of his songs are based partly on personal experiences. For example on, "The Legend of Wooley Swamp," the story is set in an actual place in North Carolina where he used to hunt as a boy, but he made up the entire story, Daniels said. "Sometimes songs just come out of the air; sometimes it's something you hear somebody say," he said. "Maybe it's a life experience and you start out in one direction and end up going in a totally different direction and might not resembl what you started with at all." Asked about his first hit, "Uneasy Rider," from 1973, Daniels said as a producer for the Youngbloods ("Get Together") he was at a pop festival in Baton Rouge, La., where a lot of bands from San Francisco were playing. It was soon after the movie "Easy Rider" came out and most of the band members were staying in the same hotel in Baton Rouge, he explained. "I think some of these guys had seen that movie and they were very nervous about being in the South," Daniels said. "They were afraid somebody was going to run out and grab them and cut their hair or something. "I just thought the situation was funny." Daniel's hits include: "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," "Long haired Country Boy," "The South's Gonna Do It," and "Still in Saigon." The gala raised about $250,000 last year. Funds raised from the gala stay in the community to meet the community's healthcare needs. For more information about the gala go online to flheartland.org., then click on "Foundation" on the bottom left and then click on "Gala 2013." mvalero@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5826