Fifty Years (Now Sixty) and Counting
*NOTE* Charlie will be back with a brand new soapbox on Monday, in the meantime, here's a rewind from 2008 when Charlie was celebrating 50 Years of Making Music, ten years later, he's still going strong!. - TeamCDB
Sometime during the first part of this summer, I will complete 50 years in the music business. It really doesn’t feel like fifty years in a way but when I start trying to gather all the memories of the places I’ve been and the things I’ve done it could well be a hundred years.
I’ve logged a lot of miles in my career; I’ve played in every state and almost every town of any size at all over the last half-century, and more foreign countries than I can call to mind right at the moment.
I’ve done things and been places that I didn’t even have the imagination to think of when I first started out. I’ve ridden on the Concorde, an Eskimo dog sled in Greenland, an elephant, Air Force One, some good horses and I’ve logged quite a few miles in a snowmobile in the Colorado Rockies.
I’ve been to the Polar Ice Cap, the 38th Parallel, on top of the Eiffel Tower and the hole in the ground in New York left by the 9/11 attacks. I’ve gone out with the chuck wagon in the Big Bend in Texas and pulled king salmon out of the icy streams of Alaska. I’ve seen the Northern lights, the Southern Cross, the Eastern Shore and the West Coast.
I’ve had my name in lights on the strip in Las Vegas and on a police blotter in Louisiana. I’ve stood on stage in front of American heroes in uniform in the hell holes they were serving in around the world and felt a stir in my heart because of the patriotism of young men and women who are willing to give up prime years of their lives to keep freedom’s light burning bright.
I’ve been married to the same woman for over four decades and watched a son grow up honest and respectful. I’ve made a lot of friends and I’ve lost some, Tommy, Toy, Ronnie, Leon, Hughie, Allen and Stevie Ray.
I’ve seen America at its patriotic finest during the days of the Second World War and at its lowest ebb in the seventies when heroes came back from Vietnam and were spit on by stoned out hippies with an aversion to soap and water and a twisted idea about how America works.
I have seen proud and arrogant men fall and nobody cares enough to pick them up and I’ve seen humble men taken into the hearts of their fellow man when trouble finds them.
I’ve kept twenty or more people steadily and gainfully employed for over thirty years. I’ve watched their children grow up and have children of their own.
I’ve touched the heart of America and in turn been touched by the heart of America and I have been blessed much, much more than I could ever deserve by Almighty God.
I have had so many of the desires of my heart answered that I truly can’t even remember them all.
I’ve seen my hair turn gray, my step become a little slower and it seems I celebrate a birthday about every six months.
I’m 71 now but the fire in my belly burns just as hot and my love for making people happy is just as fervent, my creativity is flowing and getting on stage with my band is still a thrill.
I’ve got a lot of shows booked for this year and I hope to see some of you all at one or more of them.
Come help me celebrate the beginning of my second fifty years.
Pray for our troops.
What do you think?
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
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