Volunteer Jam XII: Destination Starwood - Soapbox Jr.
July 12, 1986.
For the first time in nine years, the Volunteer Jam had a new home. No threat of snow this time as the Jam moved outside to the brand-new Starwood Amphitheatre in the middle of July.
The Starwood Jams definitely had a different feel to them than the Municipal Auditorium Jams, the beautiful new facility had about 4,000 covered seats and a large general admission lawn where the majority of the crowd was and a reported capacity of over 17,000.
I found out the hard way that not all of those “covered” seats were covered. For Hootie and the Blowfish in the late 90s, I got tickets and there were about three rows in the back that were inexplicably not covered and it was pouring.
But no inclement weather for this new era of the Volunteer Jam.
Despite the new venue, there were still a lot of familiar faces, Dobie Gray, Carl Perkins, Donnie Winters from The Winters Brothers Band, Grinderswitch, Bobby Jones & New Life, Dickey Betts brought his band Great Southern, but also played with The Allman Brothers Band that night, and not to be outdone, The Gregg Allman Band also took the stage. Henry Paul had reunited with The Outlaws, and Toy Caldwell and Paul Riddle from The Marshall Tucker Band made an appearance.
But there was a slew of first-timers at the relocated VolJam, including Restless Heart, Marty Stuart, Charlie McCoy, Orleans, Dwight Yoakam, The Judds, J.D. Souther and Don Henley, Pat Boone, John Conlee and his "Rose Colored Glasses," Billy Joe Shaver, R&B/Soul legend Solomon Burke - who contrary to the critics from the James Brown booing controversy in the Jam X soapbox – did NOT get booed, and the legendary Bill Monroe among others were all welcomed into Jam history.
Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander was on hand to proclaim July 12, “Charlie Daniels Day” in the State of Tennessee.
Things started much earlier at the new venue. The show kicked off around noon. Among the earlier performances was the reunion of Henry Paul with The Outlaws who rocked the stage and banged out a scorching version of the cowboy song, “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend."
Another early performance was Dwight Yoakam – who was one of the hottest things going in country music at the time - played his Bakersfield-inspired hit “Guitars, Cadillacs” to the crowd who were enjoying sunshine at a Volunteer Jam for the first time.
The Judds were also hot at the time, and Wynonna and Naomi serenaded the Jam faithful with their hits like “Mama, He’s Crazy.”
The CDB started off with their most recent hit, “Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye,” the rowdiest breakup song of all time, in my opinion, and of course, no CDB set would be complete without “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”
The Allman Brothers Band reunited at Volunteer Jam XII and did not disappoint. They played for a solid hour, kicking things off with “Statesboro Blues,” and hot performances of “Blue Sky,” “One Way Out,” “Ramblin’ Man,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” “Whipping Post” and other ABB classics.
If I remember correctly, the Jam portion of the show might have been a little more rushed than previous ones because Starwood required the shows to be over by 11, so no more all-night parties, and the Jam might have been reduced to just a couple of songs, but I remember for sure that most everyone came back out for “Amazing Grace,” and that put the first Starwood Jam in the books.
It was a different feeling, but the Jam spirit was still alive, and will continue when some of music’s finest pay tribute to dad at Volunteer Jam: A Musical Salute to Charlie Daniels on August 18, 2021 at Bridgestone Arena. Get tickets HERE
“Ain’t it good to be alive and be in Tennessee!”
Let’s all make the day count!
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police, the Peace of Jerusalem and our nation.
God Bless America!
— Charlie Daniels, Jr.
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