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The Charlie Daniels Band to play at Merced County Fair

The Charlie Daniels Band will deliver its foot-stomping mix of rock, country, bluegrass, blues and Gospel music to the 2011 Merced County Fair.

The Charlie Daniels Band, known for mega-hit songs including the Grammy-winning "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," will perform Thursday, June 16, EECU Kids' Day, in the fairgrounds’ Outdoor Theatre. The band last played at the fair in 2004.

The fair is Wednesday, June 15 through Sunday, June 19. Each night a headline entertainment act will appear at 8:30 p.m. in the Outdoor Theatre, where all concerts are free with admission. The Outdoor Theatre Concert Series is presented by Table Mountain Casino.

Charlie Daniels, known for his signature "bull rider" hat and belt buckle and most of all, his fiddle playing, is a music icon who has been performing for more than 50 years. His rebel anthems, "Long Haired Country Boy" and "The South's Gonna Do It" propelled his 1975 collection "Fire On the Mountain" to double platinum status. He won a Grammy Award in 1979 for "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," and the next year the song became a major crossover success on rock radio stations when it was included on the soundtrack for the hit movie, "Urban Cowboy." The band appeared in the film and the song still gets regular airplay on classic rock and country radio stations.

As a proud member of the Grand Ole Opry, Daniels regularly performs on the Opry stage. The Charlie Daniels Band has earned awards from the Gospel Music Association, the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music. The band's current CD "Land That I Love," is a collection of patriotic songs including two new cuts, "What This World Needs is a Few More Rednecks" and "Iraq Blues"

The Charlie Daniels Band has entertained U.S. troops at bases including South Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and Guantanamo Bay. Daniels started "Operation Heartstrings," a program that has donated thousands of instruments and music equipment to deployed service members. More than 13,000 items from guitars and drums to microphones were distributed to deployed troops in 2005 alone. Daniels' support of our men and women in uniform was honored by the Pentagon with the "Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service" award.

His work with many charitable causes includes hosting "The Charlie Daniels Celebrity Golf Classic & Angelus Concert," in Florida for The Angelus, a full-time residential facility and day school program for the severely handicapped. He co-hosts the "Jason Foundation Golf Classic," a national organization that targets teen suicide prevention and he's a member of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Professional Advisory Board.

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