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Chuck Lipps remembers friendship with Charlie Daniels

Chuck Lipps, right, with Charlie Daniels shows off the new watch he received for 20 years of service with RMA Presents. Daniels, a legend in country and western music, died on Monday and Lipps plans to be at the funeral today. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — A local country music aficionado who has known Charlie Daniels for nearly 40 years today will attend the funeral for the legendary musician.

“The country has lost a true American patriot and a great man,” Chuck Lipps said. “God bless Charlie Daniels.”

Daniels, best known for playing the fiddle in “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” died on Monday from a stroke. Daniels, who has performed at the Parkersburg Homecoming and whose most recent local performance was in 2016 at the Peoples Bank Theater in Marietta, was 83.

Lipps is well-known in the community music scene, most notably with The Breeze. He is the vice president of RMA Presents, a Parkersburg-based entertainment company.

“I was fortunate to know him (Daniels) for 37 years and he was my biggest influence on being a musician,” Lipps said.

Charlie Daniels, seated, from left poses on July 27, 2019 with Chuck Lipps, Rick Modesitt and Scott Cunningham on the occasion of Lipps receiving a watch for 20 years of service with RMA Presents. (Photo Provided)

“When I first heard his music in the early 1970s, I knew I wanted to be in a band. I attended many of his shows and finally got to meet him in 1983 as a member of The Breeze,” he said. “Through the years we would occasionally open shows for him.”

The Breeze performed in 1994 on “The Charlie Daniels Talent Roundup” on the Nashville Network. Lipps interviewed Daniels in 1998 when he returned to the area for Results Radio.

“In 1999, I went to work for Rick Modesitt which allowed us to continue a working relationship and build an everlasting friendship with him,” Lipps said. “Charlie performed at Parkersburg Homecoming in 1989 and 2012 and was loved by everyone.”

Lipps said his proudest moments were attending Daniels’ induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Oct 16, 2016, his attendance at a presentation of a watch to Lipps on July 27, 2019, for 20 years of service to RMA Presents and wearing the watch for the first time on Sept 19, 2019.

“That was also the last time we spent together,” Lipps said.

From left, Chuck Lipps poses with Charlie Daniels at Daniels’ induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame on Oct 16, 2016. (Photo Provided)

The funeral is 11 a.m. today at the World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Among performers at the service will be Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Gretchen Wilson and Trace Adkins.

“He was a friend and hero and I’m so blessed to have known a legend,” Lipps said.

Jess Mancini can be reached at jmancini@newsandsentinel.com.

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