Remember When Charlie Daniels Joined Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert to Open the ACM Awards?
Charlie Daniels could have dropped the mic after opening 2010 ACM Awards and no one would have challenged him. The then-73-year-old's performance with Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley and John Fogerty was simply electric.
It concluded with a masterful walk-off line that might be easier to appreciate today — July 6, 2020, on the day of his death — than it was in April 2010. The beauty of it was that it was all so unexpected. Find the full video below.
Host Reba McEntire briefly fires the crowd up in the clip, but Lambert and Underwood rip into Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Travelin' Band," then Paisley joins in with a guitar solo, Fogerty enters from stage right ... They're on fire! Lambert is head-banging, Underwood's emotions are nearly out of control. Then, Daniels enters.
Watch the Hall of Fame singer, songwriter, fiddle and guitar player come to the stage around three minutes and simply dominate the youngins. The eventual Male and Female Vocalists of the Year become but backing vocalists. Paisley and Underwood can't remember the words on one microphone. On another mic, Lambert and Fogerty team up, but all four artists are buried by the sawing happening to their left.
Finally, Paisley cues the band with a little riff and the crowd erupts as the camera zooms in on Daniels, who's standing legs spread with a fiddle and a bow at each hip, like a cowboy holstering after dueling an outlaw to his death.
"That's how you start a television show, son!" he drawls.
You're dang right it is. Daniels — who died after suffering a stroke at the age of 83 — did a lot of things better than anyone in country music. Starting a television show was one of them.
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