As country artists past and present shared memories of Charlie Daniels following "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" singer's July 6, 2020 passing, Randy Travis stepped up with perhaps the sweetest story and video combo of them all.
"Charlie Daniels was one of the finest gentlemen I have ever known," Travis wrote on social media. "He, and Hazel, have been two of my and Mary's dearest friends over the past years. We laughed, cried and prayed together. Not only was he a gift to us, but to the entire world. A few years ago, Charlie had a colt born on my birthday and named him after me. The memories go on and on, so I'll leave it at this -- Charlie, thank you for everything you've done for me, your endless support of us, your unconditional love and the sweet memories. It is my greatest honor to be your Country Music Hall of Fame classmate--you will live on forever as my hero... my friend. I love you."
The old friends' bond goes beyond being Country Music Hall of Fame inductees alongside the third member of the class of 2016, Fred Foster. That same year, Travis got a standing ovation in Nashville's Nissan Stadium after being introduced by Daniels at a 2016 CMA Music Festival event. In addition, Travis made another public appearance at Daniels' 2016 Volunteer Jam when he and retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Keith Huber presented Daniels with the Rare Country Humanitarian of the Year Award.
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An even greater indicator of how both country legends' love for music and walks of faith bonded them together comes in the video paired with Travis' tribute text. It shows the gentle soul behind "Forever and Ever, Amen" praying with his fellow Grand Ole Opry member and the leader of the Charlie Daniels Band.
Daniels passed away at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee following a hemorrhagic stroke. He was 83.
This article was originally published on July 7, 2020.