Vince Gill paid tribute to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” singer, Charlie Daniels. He graced the latter’s funeral service at World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with two songs.
He performed an acoustic guitar version of his classic song, “Go Rest High on That Mountain,” his hit from 1995. He has performed the song at several country funerals, most notably George Jones’ memorial in 2013.
Gill started writing “Go Rest High on That Mountain” after country legend Keith Whitley passed away in 1989. It took him some years to finish the song when his brother Bob passed away from a heart attack. When he finally released it in 1995, it won him two Grammy Awards, a BMI Award for Most Performed Song, and the CMA for Song of the Year.
In addition to that, Gill also belted out “America the Beautiful.” It’s his way of recognizing the country singers’ patriotism and undying support for the American military. But before his short performance, Gill shared a story about meeting Daniels during his early days as a musician. He said his relationship with the older singer made him confident to strike out a solo career.
“When you’re a kid, and somebody’s kind to you, somebody reaches out, you never forget it. That was Charlie,” Vince shared. “Over the years, we would always run into each other. He was one of those guys you were always grateful to see.”
Other artists were also there to honor Charlie Daniels’ rich musical legacy. Gretchen Wilson, Trace Adkins, and Travis Tritt all performed. They also delivered personal tributes like Adkin’s original, “Arlington,” and Travis’ rendition of the traditional spiritual “Amazing Grace.”
America was definitely the morning service theme. It opened with a gospel song and the Pledge of Allegiance, something you won’t usually see in most funeral services. It was hosted by radio DJ Storme Warren who commented, “I’m staring at this casket wondering how a man bigger than life can fit in there. I don’t see how.”
Charlie Daniels’ casket rested in front of the stage. It was adorned with a flag and a pair of cowboy boots. The country icon died July 6 at the age of 83 due to hemorrhagic stroke. In lieu of flowers, Daniels’ family requested fans to donate to The Journey Home Project, a non-profit co-founded by Charlie Daniels in 2014 that benefits war veterans.
Charlie Daniels, Vince Gill