1936: Charles E. Daniels born October 28th in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Circa 1953: Charlie has a bluegrass band and writes his first song. “The first thingI wrote that was recorded was in the late 50’s but it was nothing really big.”
1959: Charlie has by now been in several rock and roll and R & B groups. Thelongest stretch is with the Jaguars (1959-1967). They record an instrumental singlein Ft. Worth, Texas. It’s called “Jaguar.”
Early 60’s: Charlie, raised on country, a fan of bluegrass, and an adept rock androll singer and guitarist, discovers jazz on a visit to Washington, D.C. The Jaguarsbegin to play Louis Prima shuffles, “Mack the Knife,”and “some really jazzy stuff.”
1964: Back to country and rock. Daniels co-writes “It Hurts Me,” and it’srecorded by Elvis Presley and put on the flip side of “Kissin Cousins.”
1967: Daniels is invited by producer Bob Johnston, who’s joined CBS Records inNashville, to try Music City. He agrees. “I was playing a lot of clubs, and I wanted to get off the road.”
He begins work as a session player. After being told by producers that he plays tooloud, he joins Johnston on Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline. “It was the first time I felt at home in Nashville. You experienced a lot of freedom from Dylan. He liked what I did, and I was very much into what he was doing.”
Charlie and his fiddle go on to other sessions and other stars, among them RingoStarr and Marty Robbins.
1969: Charlie tries his hand as a producer, and when Johnston gets overloads withwork, he suggests Daniels to the Youngbloods. He produces Elephant Mountainand Ride the Wind, the latter recorded live at a rock festival in Louisiana and at theFillmores East and West.
1970: Daniels cuts his first solo album, Charlie Daniels (Capitol Records). He forms the Charlie Daniels Band and joins the first wave of Southern rock bands.
The CDB joins Kama Sutra Records and records Te John, Grease and Wolfman,named after the band members’ nicknames. “Grease” was keyboard player Joel DiGregorio, still with the CDB. Daniels was just “Charlie” on occasion, “the Fat Boy.”
1972: Their next album, Honey in the Rock, includes “Uneasy Rider,” a talkingbluegrass number which becomes a hit the following year, reaching #9 in Billboardin August 1973.
1974: The CDB issues Way Down Yonder, which will be reissued in 1977 by Epicas Whiskey.
Recording Fire on the Mountain, including “The South’s Gonna Do It Again,”which hits the Top 30, and “Long Haired Country Boy,” which peaks at #56.Daniels decides to record several songs live in concert and chooses an auditorium inNashville. In a nod to the Volunteer State, the CDB calls the concert the VolunteerJam and invites friends from the Allman Brothers Band, the Marshall Tucker Band,and others to join them. “We had such a good time, we decided we should do thisonce in a while.”
“Once in a while” becomes almost every year. Before its first run ends in 1986, thejams are broadcast nationally and internationally (by the Voice of America); guestsrange the world of music and include Willie Nelson, Ted Nugent, Ray Price, RoyAcuff, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Crystal Gayle, James Brown, Emmylou Harris, AmyGrant, George Thorogood, Kris Kristofferson, Little Richard, Tammy Wynette, andBoxcar Willie, along with Alabama, Black Oak Arkansas, the Dirt Band, the OakRidge Boys, and in 1986, a reunion of the Allmans.
1975: CDB issues the Night Rider album.
A second Volunteer Jam in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, will result in an album,Volunteer Jam.
1976: With the album, Saddle Tramp, the CDB joins Epic Records.
Daniels aligns himself with presidential candidate Jimmy Carter. “ I didn’t think he had a chance. When I was asked about doing something for him, he was ‘Jimmy Who?’ But he called me one night. I read some clips about him, and I felt goodabout him. We’d come out of a catastrophic political time...Carter personifiedhonesty and goodness.” When “Jimmy Who?” becomes President Carter, the CDBare among performers at his inaugural.
1977: The CDB issues two albums, High Lonesome and Midnight Wind.
1978: More Volunteer Jams result in a two-record set, Volunteer Jam III and IV.
1979: Million Mile Reflections yields “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” whichreaches #1 and for which Daniels wins the Grammy for Best Country Vocal.
1980: The CDB appears in the film, Urban Cowboy; another Jam brings anotherVJ (VI) album. CDB’s Full Moon includes “In America,” Daniels’ response to theIran hostage crisis and the renewed patriotism it ignites. The record reached #11 in Billboard. “We’d just come through the sixties and the backlash of Watergate andVietnam,” says Charlie. “I got the feeling that patriotism was almost dead. But then they took the hostages. I travel a lot, and everywhere I went, people weresaying, ‘How dare that S.O.B. take our people! We oughta go over there.... Howdare they do that!”
The CDB hit the charts with The Legend of Wooley Swamp.
1981: Yet another Volunteer Jam and album (VII)
1982: In the Windows album, the CDB’s version of Dan Daley’s “Still in Saigon”reaches #22.
1983: The CDB issues a compilation, The Charlie Daniels Band-A Decade of Hits.
1985: Me and the Boys album is released.
1987: The Volunteer Jams have continued non-stop since 1977, but a combinationof business and financial difficulties--along with the time and energy required of theCDB staff--take their toll, and the 13th will be the last for a few years.
The CDB releases its Powder Keg album.
1988: Homesick Heroes is issued out of CBS/Nashville and results in a Top 10record on the country charts: “Boogie Woogie Fiddle Country Blues.”
1990: Simple Man is issued and rises to #2 on the country charts. The album is ignited by the title single, in which a simple man (“with simple attitudes,” Danielsexplains) calls for the lynching of drug-dealers and slow deaths by the way of gatorsand snakes for murders, child abusers and rapists. The song gets Daniels ontonumerous talk shows, where he’s asked to explain himself. He wrote the song, hesays, “out of frustration.” He’s read about a scandalous case in which a child was killed by her stepfather. “I know how I feel about it; I know what I’d like to do.Some of it’s kind of tongue-in-cheek; it’s a knee-jerk reaction. I don’t really wantto take people out and leave them in the swamps....But violent crimes--that’s whatthat song’s about.”Daniels is also the subject of a long-form music video, Charlie Daniels: Homefolksand Highways. The CDB released its first holiday album, Christmas Time Down South.
1991: Renegade is released, and Daniels announces the return of the Volunteer Jam,in May in Nashville. “We took a three and a half year look at it and feel that we’reready to do it again,” says Daniels. As always, the VJ will provide a stage for awide mix of music, including B.B. King, Steppenwolf, Tanya Tucker, and, of course,The Charlie Daniels Band.
1992: Charlie Daniels signs a new record deal with Liberty Records. Daniels says,“I have been a long time admirer of Jimmy Bowen. I like his style; we both kind ofcame to Nashville as renegades...Jimmy runs a different kind of record company an energetic record company... Jimmy wants the Charlie Daniels Band to sound likeus and be what we are. That means an awful lot to us.” Bowen says, “Charlie Daniels is a trend setter and an innovator. We at Liberty are proud to have himrecording for us and look forward to a long association.”
1993: Liberty Records releases the first Charlie Daniels album in April, titled,America, I Believe In You, and commences on a tour. Dickies workwear, out of Ft.Worth, Texas signs Daniels as a celebrity spokesman for the second year andannounces their involvement as a sponsor of the 1993 tour.
1994: Charlie Daniels releases his first Christian album on Sparrow Records, titled,The Door. Produced by Ron Griffin, the project centers around material written byCharlie and the band, and includes a co-written song with Grammy Award winnerSteven Curtis Chapman. “Sunday Morning,” the first single release to ChristianCountry radio takes the #1 slot on the Positive Country chart. A video is released for the single “Two Out Of Three”, and is voted Video of the Year for the ChristianCountry Music Association. Charlie and Chris LeDoux celebrate Christmas,cowboy-style, through song and story at Charlie’s home, Twin Pines Ranch where“A Wrangler Cowboy Christmas” television special is taped for TNN with Charlie,Chris, Baxter Black, Diamond Rio and Linda Davis.
1995: Charlie Daniels is named Cashbox Magazine’s Best Positive ChristianCountry Performance by a Secular Artist for 1994. He receives a Dove Award and a Grammy nomination for his Christian album, The Door, and inks another contractto host the nationwide talent search television show, Charlie Daniels’ Talent Roundup, on TNN: The Nashville Network. A tour is set with Charlie, LynyrdSkynyrd and Travis Tritt.
1996: Charlie’s second gospel album Steel Witness is released.
The Charlie Daniels Band is a featured performer in the very successful “SouthernThunder Tour” with Hank Williams Jr. and The Marshall Tucker Band.
Charlie celebrates his 60th birthday with Volunteer Jam XVI -the first-ever AcousticJam - at The Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville, TN. Guest performersinclude John Berry, David Ball, Tracy Byrd, Billy Ray Cyrus, Cledus T. Judd, TracyLawrence, David Lee Murphy, BlackHawk, Lorrie Morgan, Jimmy Hall andVictoria Shaw. Proceeds from the Jam Benefit TPAC’s Humanities Outreach Program (H.O.T.) and the T.J. Martell Foundation for cancer research.
Charlie Daniels: The Roots Remain box set is released. The three-CD set features some of Daniel’s classics hits including “The Devil Went Down To Georgia,”“Long Haired Country Boy” and “Uneasy Rider.”
With a poet’s sense of rhythm and a musician’s sense of timing, Charlie Danielsdelivers the University of North Carolina at Wilmington commencement address.Daniels challenged the UNC Class of 1996 to ask two all-important questions: Whatdo I want out of life? and How badly do I want it?
Following the speech, Charlie Daniels was presented the honorary degree of doctorof letters.
1997: Charlie Daniels and manager, David Corlew start independent record label,Blue Hat Records and releases Blues Hat, the bands first album on the new label.The first single features a remake of The CDB smash, “Long Haired Country Boy”with special guests John Berry and Hal Ketchum and is nominated for the CountryMusic Association’s Vocal Event of the Year.
Sony Wonder releases Charlie’s first children’s album, By The Light Of The Moon:Campfire Songs and Cowboy Tunes.
1998: Charlie was presented The Pioneer Award by the Academy of CountryMusic. It is presented annually to an outstanding individual who has enhancedcountry music and contributed to its growth. Garth Brooks along withcongratulatory messages from two American Presidents, Jimmy Carter and GeraldFord and music by Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart made it a big surprise for Daniels.
1998: The Charlie Daniels Band releases Fiddle Fire / 25 Years of The CharlieDaniels Band on Blue Hat Records. The first single “Texas” includes guestappearances by Lee Roy Parnell and Ray Benson on both the recording and video.
1999: The Charlie Daniels Band releases Tailgate Party, released on Blue HatRecords is a collection of songs that have inspired the band over the years.
Charlie takes his historical Volunteer Jam on the road for the first time for Volunteer Jam Tour ‘99 with friends Molly Hatchet, The Marshall Tucker Band and forseveral dates, Hank Williams Jr. A charity partnership was developed betweenCharlie and Habitat for Humanity and several houses were built while on tour.
Charlie receives the Living Legend Award from The Music City News/TNNAwards show.
2000: The Charlie Daniels Band releases Road Dogs on Blue Hat Records, acollection of all new material.
The Volunteer Jam Tour goes on the road again for the 2nd year, with HankWilliams Jr., Little Feat & Edgar Winter.
2001: The Charlie Daniels Band rocks amphitheatres on the Volunteer Jam Tour2001 with 38 Special, The Dickey Betts Band and newcomer Trent Summar andthe New Row Mob. Sponsored by Diamond Cut Jeans, the CDB tour kicked off inCharlotte, North Carolina and wrapped up in Hartford, Connecticut.
Charlie Daniels opens museum in downtown Nashville. The museum is filled with memorabilia and photo’s chronicling Charlie’s career including photos withpresidents, celebrities from the sports, music, film, television and famous cowboyworlds. These items grace the walls of the museum that is situated on the hotteststreet in Nashville overlooking the Cumberland River. Charlie’s prestigiousGrammy, CMA, ACM, Playboy and other awards fill the gallery that exemplifiesCharlie’s personality. Famed guitarists and Daniels’ friends the late Ronnie VanZant & Toy Caldwell, have their guitars displayed in the museum.
Blue Hat / Audium releases the Charlie Daniels Band’s first live album, LIVE, in theband’s 30+ year history. The 17 cut disc features classics “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”, “Elizabeth Reed”, The South’s Gonna Do It Again”, and “LongHaired Country Boy”, to name a few.
Charlie Daniels is inducted into his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina’sprestigious Walk of Fame.
October 28, 2001, Charlie turns 65 and celebrates with the success of his single,“This Ain’t No Rag, It’s A Flag”. The song was recorded in Mt. Juliet, Tennesseeafter the September 11th tragedy . The demand for the single virtually shut downDaniels’ website.
2002: The CDB releases How Sweet The Sound-25 Favorite Hymns and GospelGreats, marking Daniels’ third release on Sparrow Records and his first since hissuccessful prostate cancer surgery in November (2001). The double disc contains 25 favorite hymns and offers a special bonus of the single “This Ain’t No Rag, It’sA Flag.”
The CDB releases Redneck Fiddlin’ Man on Blue Hat / Audium Records. Charlie Daniels raises his patriotic voice once again with 12 songs including “The LastFallen Hero” and special appearances by Garth Brooks on “Waco” and Travis Tritton “Southern Boy”. Not only was Travis Tritt a co-writer with Daniels on“Southern Boy”, he also appeared in the video.
The CDB releases A Merry Christmas To All on Blue Hat / Audium Records. The album includes Christmas classics and originals that Daniels wrote. The CDB promoted the new Christmas album with a Christmas tour in December.
2003: Freedom and Justice for All is the new release on Blue Hat / AudiumRecords. Regnery Publishers releases Charlie Daniels’ hardback book, Ain’t NoRag (Freedom, Family and the Flag).
2004: With the help of the Tennessee National Guard, The CDB performs forsoldiers in Germany and Kosovo, and is heard in 56 countries including Iraq andAfghanistan on a live broadcast provided by the Armed Forces Network.
2005: The Charlie Daniels Band, Gretchen Wilson, Black Eyed Peas, Earth,Wind and Fire perform for the Super Bowl XXXIX “Bridging Generations” pregame show where the NFL paired young icons and timeless legends from a varietyof music genres, Super Bowl XXXIX aired on Fox Sunday, February 6, 2005 fromJacksonville, FL.
Charlie Daniels appeared as a special guest on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Super BowlSaturday Night Special live on CMT from Jacksonville Veteran’s Memorial Arenathe night before the AFC and NFC championsbattled it out on the field for the coveted Super Bowl XXXIXchampionship.
Blue Hat/Koch Records released Songs From The Longleaf Pines,Charlie Daniels first bluegrass album, featuring bluegrass legends Earl Scruggs andMac Wiseman, as well as Mike Bub, Jason Carter, Andy Hall, Tim May, RobMcCoury, Ronnie McCoury, Scott Rouse, Ricky Scaggs, Chris Thile, Cyndi Wheelerand the Whites.
Great reviews were received from USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Barnes &Noble, All Music Guide, CCM, Christianitytoday.com and the Nashville City Paper.
Through the combined efforts of the Tennessee National Guard, United StatesArmy-Europe, Central Command in Southwest Asia, and the nonprofit organization“Stars for Stripes”, The Charlie Daniels Band took their spirit to Kyrgystan,Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq and Germany, where they performed 9shows for more than 15,000 soldiers. The band traveled more than 16,000 milesand performed up to 3 shows per day for American troops deployed in the war onterrorism.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. releases an exclusive Charlie Daniels BandCD, Country Stars N’ Stripes, a collection of the band’s patriotic favorites including“In America” and “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”
Charlie Daniels performs Preachin’, Praying & Singing from his gospel bluegrasscd, Songs of the Longleaf Pines on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
The Charlie Daniels Band was featured in a series of television spots promoting theTennessee Titans NFL team for the 2005/2006 season. Daniels wrote the new‘Titans On 2’ campaign jingle, which advertised Titans games aired on the NashvilleABC-TV affiliate, WKRN. The spots aired on the network, as well as on theJumbotron at every Titans home game at the Coliseum.
2005 continued: Blue Hat/ Koch Records releases the first ever Live concert DVDby The Charlie Daniels Band and was shot July 4, 2005 on the Riverfront inNashville, TN before a crowd of 100,000 + American music fans. The DVD features bonus features such as behind the scenes, photos from Charlie’s personalcollection, historical footage from Volunteer Jam II in Murfreesboro, TN 1975,music videos and a very special tribute to America’s military.
Charlie Daniels partners with Prilosec OTC and the Country Music Association(CMA) for the “Burning to Sing Your Heart Out” contest, which awarded prizes toAmericans who wrote and sang the best song about how they overcame their most“heartburning” experience.
Charlie Daniels was featured on Circle of Honor which aired on The Outdoor Channel and includes interviews with Charlie, Jr. from the Charlie Daniels Museumin downtown Nashville, and Thurman Mullins, Twin Pines Ranch Foreman. Alsoincluded is a photo biography tribute of Daniels’ journey throughout his career.
Charlie Daniels was honored as a BMI Icon during ceremonies at the 53rd Annual BMI Country Awards. Del Bryant, President & CEO of the performing rightsorganization, presented Daniels with an engraved silver champagne vessel with theinscription: “In recognition of your unique and indelible influence on generations ofmusic makers.”
The Charlie Daniels Band launched Operation Heartstrings, a plea to corporateAmerica to help the dedicated men and women serving in the Armed Forcesoverseas combat the loneliness and isolation of service in the War on Terror byproviding instruments, albums, DVDs, CD and DVD players.
Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar led the way in donationswith a gift of 100 Gibson Guitars and 100 Operation Heartstrings t-shirts, whileGravely/Ariens contributed the financial resources to purchase DVD players.Additional donations included Gorilla and Pignose Amps and Guitars, BlackDiamond Strings, Peavey Amps, Forks Drum Closet, Gretsch Electric Guitars,keyboards from Soundcheck/Nashville, Rapco International Cords, ShureMicrophones, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Ernie Ball Guitar Picks, laptop computers fromBridgestone/Firestone, CD’s from Sony Nashville, DVDs/compact discs fromAnderson Merchandisers, and keyboards from SIR Nashville.
Charlie Daniels sits in with the band on the set of Emeril Live in a special episode,“Gotta Have Garlic” on The Food Network. He also makes return appearances on Fox TV on Fox & Friends, Hannity & Colmes, and Dayside, then performs with The CDB on the CBS Early Show to kick off the CDB DVD Live.
Charlie Daniels receives a GRAMMY nomination for Best Country InstrumentalPerformance; I’ll Fly Away – a track from Songs From The Longleaf Pines [BlueHat Records / Koch Records Nashville].
Charlie Daniels played fiddle on the new version of Hank, Jr.’s Are You Ready ForSome Football and was featured in the weekly ESPN openings. Charlie and Hank were joined onstage by Little Richard and Joe Perry of Aerosmith plus othermusical greats.
Country music icon and military supporter Charlie Daniels recently traveled abroadto perform for US Troops as part of the Stars for Stripes tour. This was the 2nd visit for The Charlie Daniels Band to Iraq and Kuwait. The shows were recorded for Live From Iraq (a 2007 Blue Hat Records release).
SIRIUS Satellite Radio named Charlie Daniels as the voice of Road Dog Truckingchannel 147, a 24 hour channel geared toward professional drivers and is devotedentirely to trucking culture. “Road Dogs”, Charlie Daniels song is the official themesong of the channel.
Gravely named Charlie Daniels as the spokesperson for their 90th Anniversary (2006), and is The CDB’s tour sponsor for 2007.
Charlie celebrated his 70th birthday (Oct. 28th) in China with family & friends. Forthe first time he visited the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City andmet with the Ambassador to China at the Embassy. His trip started in Japan at theCountry Gold Festival and continued to Korea where his performed at 5 UnitedStates Army bases.
Charlie Daniels performed the National Anthem at the Outback Bowl in Tampa, FLon New Year’s Day. The college football bowl game matched the University ofTennessee Volunteers against Penn State University Nittany Lions in front of asellout crowd in Raymond James Stadium. The game was televised internationallyon ESPN TV in HD.
Charlie Daniels rounds up an all-star cast for DoubleDay-Flying Dolphin Press,Growing Up Country: What Makes Country Life Country, a 2007 hardcover release. Essays from a roster of country greats includes Dolly Parton, formerPresident Jimmy Carter, Kix Brooks, Barbara Mandrell, Clint Black, Brenda Lee,Troy Gentry, Eddie Montgomery, Gary Rossington (of Lynryd Skynyrd), SaraEvans, Lee Greenwood, Toby Keith, Ty Murray (7 time rodeo champ), CarrieUnderwood and more to hear deeply personal stories about what growing upcountry means to them.
Charlie Daniels was honored with the 2007 AMVETS Silver Helmet Award in Washington, DC in March and returned to Washington, DC to accept the Office ofthe Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service in June.
The CDB releases their first duet album, Deuces, on
Charlie was surprised with an invitation to become the newest
Daniels backed away,
overcome with emotion while the crowd exploded with
“I can not even
begin to tell you folks…this is very emotional for me,”
celebrates 50 years of music and is officially inducted into the Grand
VOLUNTEER JAM TOUR 2008
On April 11th, The Volunteer Jam 2008 tour kicked off in Harris, MI at the IslandResort & Casino. . The lineup includes The Charlie Daniels Band, 38 Special andShooter Jennings.. The tour consists of 30 dates and runs through August.The Volunteer Jam started in 1974 when Daniels decided to record two songs live inconcert and chosean auditorium in Nashville. In a nod to the Volunteer State, theCDB calls the concert the Volunteer Jamand invited a few friends to join them. "Wehad such a good time, we decided we should do this once inwhile," says Daniels.The Volunteer Jam continues.
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