This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," December 21, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARK STEYN, "HANNITY & COLMES" GUEST CO-HOST: Country music star Charlie Daniels will be one of the stars to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry this January. His latest CD, entitled "Deuces," features other country stars, such as Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Brooks & Dunn, and Gretchen Wilson. Not Sean, oddly enough.
But Sean and Alan sat down with Charlie to talk about that album. Let's take a look.
SEAN HANNITY, "HANNITY & COLMES" CO-HOST: One of the greatest country music stars of all time, Charlie Daniels.
CHARLIE DANIELS, COUNTRY MUSIC STAR: Good to see you.
HANNITY: Good to see you, my friend.
DANIELS: Thank you. Good to see you.
HANNITY: You know, everywhere I go — now we — I've had the great distinct honor and pleasure of getting on stage with you and singing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."
ALAN COLMES, "HANNITY & COLMES" CO-HOST: I told him not to bring that up.
HANNITY: You know how many people ask me about this? Roll tape for a second.
COLMES: No, no. Please, I beg of you.
HANNITY: I don't hear the audio.
COLMES: That's a good thing.
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HANNITY: Come on. It's not that bad, right?
DANIELS: He's the one talking. Not me.
COLMES: Can I just — you're a friend of both of us, right?
COLMES: I'm a friend of Sean's, despite our differences. People don't believe this. We're friends. Why do you allow him to humiliate himself?
DANIELS: Did you hear the crowd? They loved it. They loved it.
COLMES: Yeah. All right.
HANNITY: But in fairness to the crowd, we did — we did the bad version with me, and then I let you do your version.
DANIELS: Well, we figured out — the first — the first time we did it — of course, I was telling you off camera, the tempo tends to creep up through the years. It gets real fast. So we're doing it real fast, and we're playing it just as fast when you started to sing it. So that's what I figured out. It's too fast to try to get all the words in there, unless you're me and you've done it a thousand times.
DANIELS: So we slowed it down a little bit. We did two versions. We did you and Neal Boortz, and somebody else was with you. And we slowed it down a little bit for you all, and then we came back and did the up-tempo version. So we did it twice.
HANNITY: I'm going to tell you something, because I've had a chance - - I've been such a big country music fan, and I've gotten to know Brooks & Dunn and Darryl Worley and Sarah Evans, and Martina — all of them, without fail, talk about Charlie Daniels and how you've influenced them.
DANIELS: Well, that's — it's an honor to be thought about in that way. You know, I don't look at myself in that light. Of course, I had people that influenced me, but I am — I am deeply honored, you know, that anybody would figure I had some kind of positive influence on them.
HANNITY: Look at — look at the people. Because this is a series of duets that you do. You've got Gretchen Wilson. You've got Brad Paisley, Montgomery Gentry, Brooks & Dunn. Dolly Parton is in this. I mean, I can't even list — Marty Stuart. You have everybody, and it doesn't surprise me because they all talk about Charlie Daniels.
And look how you've sustained this career. You've going to do 150 dates again this year.
DANIELS: A few less than that, but we do 100 and some. But you know, it's what I love. People say when are you going to retire? What am I going to do? You retire to do something you like to do, and I'm doing what I like to do.
COLMES: Well, you know, since you had Hannity on stage doing your job, you should do his job one night.
DANIELS: He plays accordion, I happened to find out.
COLMES: When I was a kid. You know, growing up in the '70s, it was not the hippest instrument in the world. To play the accordian, you know?
HANNITY: Yes. Yes.
COLMES: You play like fiddle and you play like five instruments, right? You took piano lessons as a kid?
DANIELS: I did, but I never learned to read music. I just gave it up.
COLMES: You can't — you don't read music?
DANIELS: I don't read music.
COLMES: You do this all without...
DANIELS: I can — I can't — I can look at a note and identify what it is, but as far as sitting down and reading it and playing, I can't do it.
COLMES: You know, you have, like — Brenda Lee you also have on this CD, "Deuces." And you have Dolly Parton. Did you see Dolly Parton without the hair and makeup?
DANIELS: No. Dolly Parton showed up in the morning looking like an angel.
DANIELS: And she was all made up. She had — her hair was all combed, and she was all dressed. She looked like she just stepped off the pages of a fashion magazine.
And she is — I've got to tell you something. She is an absolutely — one of the most delightful people you ever want to be around.
DANIELS: She's nice from the inside out. I mean, she's — it's not a put-on.
COLMES: Sean put — brought up an interesting point, that so many of these artists look up to you as someone who influenced them. Do you see your influence in other people's work sometimes?
DANIELS: I can hear like stuff that came out of the era of music when we were — you know, we were doing — we did some pretty crazy stuff. And I can hear some stuff maybe that people are doing nowadays that came out of that era.
COLMES: Now what are some of the things you hear that you say, you know, "I think that's me"?
DANIELS: When we first started, we were a little loud for country music, because we mixed the drums way up and the bass and screaming guitars and stuff.
DANIELS: And you hear all that stuff now. Of course, we were doing it, and a lot of other people were doing it. The Allman Brothers were doing it. And Skynyrd was doing it. And Tucker was doing it. And a lot of these kids were in the formative ages at the time, and everybody admired Duane Allman's slide playing. Everybody admired, you know, Toy Caldwell's guitar playing. And it kind of sticks in your mind when you're a young musician.
So during that era, a lot of things that are here now, some of the licks, someo of the sounds, you know, are sounds that are kind of reminiscent of that particular...
HANNITY: Well, and the other thing that I love about you, Charlie, is you're on the right side of the issues. You are a huge supporter — huge supporter of our troops and our military...
COLMES: As are most Americans.
HANNITY: ... and — actually, except for the United States Senate.
COLMES: No, that's not true. See, look what you've done. You've started us arguing with each other, Charlie.
DANIELS: You don't need me to start you guys arguing with each other.
HANNITY: Charlie Daniels, new CD called "Deuces."
HANNITY: And you're a great American and a great friend.
DANIELS: Thank you. God bless. Thanks for having me.
COLMES: Thank you, Charlie.
COLMES: By the way, Mark Steyn in for Sean tonight. Part of the deal is the conservative on the show has to sing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." So if you'd like to...
STEYN: I'll do, "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" on your duet album, Alan.
COLMES: Is that right?
STEYN: We'll leave it like that.
COLMES: We've got a deal then. OK.
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