Charlie Daniels portrait, wearing a grey stetson cowboy hat and a black pinstriped jacket, looking to the right of the frame.

The Best Charlie Daniels Band Songs

June 18, 2024 9:17 pm GMT

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For more than six decades, right until his death in 2020, Charlie Daniels was an indelible part of country music. He not only made hits, he made waves.

The legendary artist, alongside his self-named band, bent the rules of country, demonstrating with his tough-as-nails sound all that the genre could be.

Part country, part rock, part blues, his style can be heard resounding through the hearts of many and echoing through the music of today.

Revisit Daniels' hit-riddled career with these 20 Holler-certified favorites.

Sony Music Entertainment | 1973

‘Let It Roll’

I never was good for much at all / Except for playin’ kinda loud,” the sage troubadour proudly bellows in his 1983 deep cut, ‘Let It Roll’.

Fierce and fiery from the jump, the rollicking country-rock number perfectly introduces the legend who, for decades, delivered enduring hits with the same vim and vigor.

Sony BMG | 1989

‘Midnight Wind’

The ominous western-textured epic, ‘Midnight Wind’, rumbles to life with drum hits like distant thunder and vocals like a fast-approaching storm.

Another of the artist’s ‘80s rarities, the tune brilliantly showcases Daniels’ songcrafting, one full of unrivaled skill and peppered with enrapturing tales.

Sony Music Entertainment | 1976

‘Billy the Kid’

Much like ‘Midnight Wind’, the bandleader’s 1976 track, ‘Billy the Kid’, further displays his song-telling style – intricate, rich, and understanding.

Daniels weaves an outlaw odyssey out of sizzling strings and a blistering baritone, making a hero and a villain out of the long-fabled gunslinger.

Sony Music Entertainment | 1988

‘Cowboy Hat in Dallas’

When it comes to a Daniels love song, his 1988 tune, ‘Cowboy Hat in Dallas’, is top-notch.

It may be rife with contradictions and country-isms, but the searing rock ballad – battered by hot licks and an even more stinging resolve – crackles with undying devotion.

Sony Music Entertainment | 1979


‘Reflections’ is a departure from Daniels’ trademark raucous country anthems.

Beginning as a tinny slow jam, the song eventually swells into a stunningly emotional eulogy, celebrating the lives of music’s dearly departed: Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ronnie Van Zant.

But it's alright now, keep on singin' loud / It's alright now, heaven should be proud,” he assures grieving listeners or perhaps the late legends themselves.

Sony Music Entertainment | 1979


Again, Daniels shows off his softer side with ‘Mississippi’, in which dreamy vocals and glistening keys marry, creating a contemplative ballad about love, longing, and the lengthy journey home.

Even when placed next to his iconically rowdy numbers, a swoon-worthy hit like ‘Mississippi’ holds its own.

Sony Music Entertainment | 1973

‘In America’

Along with a staunch Southern pride, patriotism became a major hallmark of Daniels’ music, the theme rearing its red-white-and-blue head in several of his hits. His 1980 classic ‘In America’ is one of them.

The galloping country rock tune envisions a strong, united nation able to overcome any obstacle.

Sony BMG | 1989

‘Simple Man’

Not to be confused with the Lynyrd Skynyrd standard, Daniels’ ‘Simple Man’ plays almost like a warning. The solemn 1989 tune finds the artist lamenting, well… the simple man and voicing his frustrations with the world around him.

Against a stark country arrangement, Daniels’ words are earnest and unwavering as he, again, lets loose his steadfast beliefs.

Sony BMG | 1973

‘Sweet Louisiana’

Having helped to pioneer the Southern rock style early on in his career, Daniels has some intricate jams punctuating his repertoire.

His 1976 knockout ‘Sweet Louisiana’, in particular, is a delicious mix of swampy blues flourishes and irresistible boogie rock riffs that became trademarks of the genre.

Sony | 1975


The neon-tinted ‘Texas’ is one honky-tonkin’ good time.

This frenzied country rock hit stands as a shining example of Daniels’ unmatched musical prowess, having turned a dizzying composition into a high-energy delight.

Epic | 1985

‘Boogie Woogie Fiddle Country Blues’

When it comes to the legend’s ‘Boogie Woogie Fiddle Country Blues’, it’s all in the name.

While it’s not his most memorable fiddle tune, the carefree classic is still a fun flex of Daniels’ unrivaled abilities with a blazing bow and four red-hot strings.

Epic | 1982

‘Still in Saigon’

One of music’s most gripping elegies to veterans, Daniels’ thundering ‘Still in Saigon’ offers a stark portrayal of a life before, during and after war.

The song’s battering rock arrangement awakens feelings of turmoil and fear as Daniels details the jarring realities of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

Epic | 1985

‘Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye’

Dancing keys give way to an excitable fiddle’s cry in the uptempo heartbreak hit, ‘Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye’, an essential that finds Daniels in the dumps and on the bottle.

This thrilling jam, reeking of passion, power and a hint of liquid courage, showcases the artist at his very best.

Sony BMG | 1974

‘The South’s Gonna Do It Again’

Overflowing with Daniels’ devotion to the American South, his 1974 ditty, ‘The South’s Gonna Do It Again’, is a riotous love letter to the region and the rockers, like himself, who helped shape its sound.

Throughout the rollicking tune, the artist name-drops acts like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wet Willie and ZZ Top for one raucous medley of Southern rock greatness.

Sony BMG | 1989

‘(What This World Needs Is) A Few More Rednecks’

Again, Daniels puts his regional pride and trusty patriotism on full display with the politically-charged number, ‘(What This World Needs Is) A Few More Rednecks’.

In this thumping ode to “the Lord and the law and the working man,” the legend delivers a tune that while you may disagree with its message, you may just find your foot tapping along anyway.

Epic | 1980

‘The Legend of Wooley Swamp’

The sturdy rock epic, ‘The Legend of Wooley Swamp,’ is darkened a shade sinister with every verse.

Detailing a murder, a robbery and a ghost’s revenge, Daniels delivers the Deep South tall tale with an unyielding intensity that could have even the bravest of listeners checking over their shoulders.

Kama Sutra 576 | 1973

‘Uneasy Rider’

Flecked with humor, a touch of violence and a not-so-PC vocabulary, Daniels’ 1973 tune ‘Uneasy Rider’ definitely speaks to a certain time and place.

A waltz of prancing beat and plucky strings, ‘Uneasy Rider’ is one of the artist’s trademark spoken-word hits, recounting the misadventures of a stranded driver and the ruffians he encounters in a middle-of-Missippippi bar.

Sony BMG | 1974


The jangling neon-tinted tune, ‘Trudy’, first appeared on Daniels’ 1970 self-titled debut and has held up as a spirited tour de force ever since.

While the song is too often unsung among the icon’s essentials, ‘Trudy’ is finally getting her due, having become an on-stage staple for hitmaker Tyler Childers.

Sony BMG | 1974

‘Long Haired Country Boy’

Daniels’ ‘Long Haired Country Boy’ became his theme song of sorts. As Daniels rattles off his idea of the good life alongside a lazily twanging arrangement to match, the song seems to perfectly sum up the artist, detailing the simple man he so often championed and the honest life he so proudly led.

Sony Music Entertainment | 1979

‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’

One of country music’s most memorable tunes, Daniels’ 1979 work, ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’, is by far his magnum opus. No other Daniels ditty holds a candle to this hellfire-scorched story song in which fiddles duel, demons conspire, and the Devil ultimately gets burned.

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Written by Alli Patton
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