A Country Music Hall of Fame member and Grand Ole Opry alumnus, Charlie Daniels, died at the age of 83 at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tennessee, after a hemorrhagic stroke. He is survived by his wife Hazel and only son Charlie Daniels Jr.
Let’s take a glimpse of how the country and Southern rock star as a husband and a father.
He Considered His Marriage to His Wife As an Achievement
Charlie Daniels achieved some of the greatest things over the course of his decades-long career. But he considered no professional achievement to be any bigger than his marriage to his wife, Hazel. In more than fifty years of marriage together, the two built a connection that lasted a lifetime
“It’s just finding somebody you truly love that you want to spend the rest of your life with…If you can’t find somebody you’d like to spend the rest of your life with, don’t tie the knot, because that’s not gonna make ya happy,” Daniels said. “I’ve been blessed with finding the girl of my dreams, and here I am 50 years after without a regret in the world about marryin’ my darlin’ from Tulsa.”
Charlie Daniels Has Been Married To Wife Hazel For More Than Half A Decade
Daniels married Hazel Juanita Alexander on September 20, 1964. During their 50th anniversary celebration in 2014, Daniels shared the story of how he first met Hazel.
It happened while he was playing at the Fondalite Club in Tulsa with his band called the Jaguars, Daniels said a pretty girl walked into the club, and she instantly caught his eye. “She came with a girlfriend of hers one night. And I said, ‘Hey I like that curvy little blonde over there. Hey how are you doin’?”
The two of them ended up falling in love, and decided to get married. But since Daniels was so busy with his performing schedule, they had to fit their wedding in when he didn’t have a show. “I had one night off. I had Sunday off, so we got married on a Sunday morning. I had to go back to work Monday night, so we didn’t have a honeymoon,” Daniels said.
The Couple Has One Son, Charlie Jr.
Charlie Daniels and Hazel welcomed their only son Charlie Daniels Jr. in 1965, about a year after they got hitched.
The country star admitted that he spent much of Charlie Jr.’s early life on the road. Daniels revealed that he went sixteen weeks without seeing his son when Charlie Jr. was still an infant. “I came home so anxious to see my family and hold my baby son, and when I picked him up, he started crying. He didn’t know who I was,” Daniels recalled. “Even after we moved to Nashville in 1967, the periods of separation would continue as I pursued my dreams, logging millions of miles and untold weeks away from my family in the process.”
When the family moved to Nashville, Daniels only had $20 on him, but he was determined to make sure Charlie Jr. would “never do without anything he needed.” Even after he finally scored his first record contract, he was still spending too much time away from his family. So whenever he was not touring, Daniels made sure to spend time with his son.
“I missed so much of my son growing up, so many birthdays, anniversaries, and even my days at home for Christmas and other holidays were limited,” Daniels said. “But all through the difficult years of my being gone most of the time, and the days of skimpy budgetary, rattletrap cars and secondhand appliances, my wife never lost sight of what I was trying to accomplish and giving me whatever latitudes and parameters it took for me to get there.”
Hazel Was Proud To Have Married Charlie Daniels
Although Charlie and Hazel Daniels didn’t have the typical marriage due to the singer’s hectic touring schedule, the couple doesn’t seem to regret how things played out.
In 2016, when Daniels was being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Oklahoma, Hazel had nothing but gushing things to say about her husband in an interview with Rare Country. She said, “It’s an honor for me just to be married to him. He’s been a great husband, and he’s worked so hard to get here. He’s had a long road.”
Hazel Has Been Daniels’ Reason To Get Up Whenever He Got Knocked Down
They may never have had a honeymoon and spent most of his time away, Daniels was able to make up to Hazel, especially after their son, Charlie Jr., started college in 1983.
“In the last 50 years, we had a whole bunch of honeymoons. We don’t necessarily take them on our anniversary, but we’ve seen a good bit of the world together,” Daniels said. They “began living our dream of being together night and day” and traveling the country. “She has been my rock, my tether to reality, my reason for getting up when I get knocked down,” he added.