Posted on 08.14.2020

Ten Years Later - Soapbox, Jr.

"On January 30, 2010, Charlie Daniels suffered a debilitating stroke in Colorado and was forced to end his 50 plus year touring and recording career. The once-great fiddle player’s voice and music were silenced for the rest of his life until another stroke took his life ten years and six months later on July 6, 2020."

That is how the last ten years could have played out.

When I got the call from dad in 2010 that he was having a stroke after snowmobiling and they were heading to the hospital, the above scenario was what I was expecting. I just had a feeling that dad was done touring, he would never take the stage again to perform, and that everything was going to change in our world, and change drastically.

But thank God, I was wrong and the above scenario didn’t happen.

Dad had an amazing last ten years of his life.

At 73 years old, many artists have slowed down considerably, and are enjoying the fruits of their labors - or the consequences of excesses - but not my dad.

Dad loved performing almost as much as he loved my mom and me, and he got to do that and so much more. He always said that what he was the most proud of was that he had managed to keep 25+ people gainfully employed for over 45 years, and some as long as 47.

In his last ten years, he got to see life-long dreams realized, and lived each day to the fullest.

Dad officially became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008 and played that sacred stage up until 2019. Dad grew up listening to the Opry all the way in Wilmington, NC and I know how much it meant to him to be able to perform on the same stage where his musical heroes had performed. And dad was so full of energy, he often closed the Opry shows, even though he was one of the oldest members, but he was a hard act to follow. 

I remember on one rare occasion a few years ago that Dierks Bentley and his band went on after dad, and Dierks even made a comment on stage, facetiously thanking the Opry for putting him on after Charlie Daniels, and having to follow dad’s raucous performance. 

In 2016, the year of dad’s 80th birthday, he lost a friend and mentor in Bob Johnston, who with dad co-wrote a song recorded by Elvis Presley, arranged for dad to do a single Bob Dylan recording session, which later turned into three albums of work for dad, and later when Johnston’s plate got too full with projects, he handed some projects off to dad, like the ‘Elephant Mountain,’ album for The Youngbloods, of “Get Together” fame.

Mom, dad and I – along with a lot of the CDB staff - went to a memorial service for Bob at BMI in Nashville, and later David Corlew, Dad’s manager, said that we were going over to the Country Music Association office to take a picture, so we walked down the street and over to CMA, to find out that wasn’t entirely correct. What we were actually there for was for CMA’s CEO, Sarah Trahern, to tell dad that he was going to be announced as one of the Class of 2016 for the Country Music Hall of Fame. Dad was overcome with emotion, as we all were. He was flabbergasted.

But dad said that everything else in his career was the cake and the icing, but that this was the cherry on the top.

This was the one honor you couldn’t work towards, this was the one that was completely out of your hands. The voting was secret, and the voting system was not well known outside of the CMA board, so everything was very confidential.

But he had finally made it into something he could not have dreamed of as a child listening to Roy Acuff on the Grand Ole Opry 70 plus years before.

Dad had also been working on his autobiography, but could never find a stopping point, until the Hall of Fame. The night of his medallion ceremony in October where he along with fellow Tarheels Randy Travis and producer Fred Foster were officially inducted as Hall of Fame members, dad came back and started writing the last of his autobiography, which was later published as “Never Look at the Empty Seats.”

So, dad finally got to have his life story published, and he even recorded the audiobook, and there is nothing better than listening to dad read you the story of his life. Then a year later, another book based on his daily tweets was released. I am at least partially responsible for that one, by being at least partially responsible for introducing him to Twitter.

A cousin of ours in North Carolina had the foresight to park @CharlieDaniels as a Twitter handle for dad, and in 2011, I set up the account for him to use. I told him that this was something he really needed to do, and he needed to familiarize himself with it, and familiarize himself, he most certainly did. I always said if he'd stop holding back and learn to say how he really feels, he'd go far. Some of his favorite things to tweet were political, along with photos from the road, my mom’s flowers, or some amazing sunrise he captured on camera. One of the things he started tweeting were daily words of wisdom which is what evolved into “Let’s All Make the Day Count: The Everyday Wisdom of Charlie Daniels.” 

We’re currently looking at compiling more of these words of wisdom tweets and some other writings of his into a second volume, if the interest from the publisher seems to be there.

In addition to reminding us daily that “Benghazi ain’t going away!,” “22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE EVERY DAY!!!” and other daily tweets, dad tweeted a scripture every morning as well.

Dad loved the Lord, and made no bones about it. He was unapologetically Christian, and he was also compassionate.

I’ve gotten to know a rock star through social media who was friends with dad who basically told me that dad saved his life. He told me he was ready to end it, and that he and dad did a lot of messaging for a long time that night, and dad convinced him to get some help and that conversation got him into rehab and he’s still rockin’ today. Thank God.

Dad said that from an early age he realized that two things protected America, “The grace of Almighty God and the United States Military” and for years he honored our brave men and women serving, and he wanted to keep helping our heroes once they came home.

Dad and David Corlew, started The Journey Home Project in 2014 to help veterans adjust to civilian life, and that spilled over into The Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at Middle Tennessee State University in 2015 which helps student veterans and their families with their academic needs.

He used to say, “We have an unpayable debt of gratitude for those who have served,” and in his last ten years, he did his best to make some small contributions to that debt.

These are only parts of an outstanding final decade of the man’s life, he also helped UT Athletic Director, Phil Fulmer, with golf tournaments supporting The Jason Foundation, which tries to bring an end to teenage suicide, he also saw the rebirth of his homecoming concerts, the Volunteer Jam in 2015, 2016 and 2018, I could go on and on about his final decade, but more than anything he loved his friends, he loved his employees, and he loved my mom and I, and our loss leaves a huge void in our lives, but we also know that he’s seeing some unimaginable sights right now.

Dad was a man of tremendous faith, and I have no doubt where he is hanging out these days, and I want to see him again, so I’m trying to follow in his footsteps which, of course, were following the footsteps of our Lord and Savior.

After his stroke, dad had no idea he would live another ten years, five years, or just a few weeks, and frankly, none of us do. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. We get one day at a time, and we have to do our best with that day, and then move on to the next one, if the Good Lord is willing.

That’s why every day he tweeted “Let’s all make the day count.” Dad lived by that philosophy, I’m trying to do the same. 

Who’s with me?

What do you think?

Pray for our troops, our police, our country and the peace of Jerusalem.

God Bless America.

— Charlie Daniels, Jr.


Feel free to comment on soapboxes, but please refrain from profanity and anonymous posts are not allowed, we need a name and you MUST provide a valid email address. If you provide an email address, but leave the name as "Anonymous" we will pick a name for you based on your email address. No one other than website administrators will see your email address, not other posters. If you post without a valid email address, your comment (whether positive or negative) will be deleted. — TeamCDB/BW


Check out "Geechi Geechi Ya Ya Blues" from Beau Weevils - 'Songs in the Key of E'




All The Way
Amen, Amen & Amen Charlie Jr, I'm with you all the way. Appreciate all that you put into these soapboxes, each one is special, just like your Dad. Joshua 24:15 KJV And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord......nuff said God Bless Plowboy
Posted by Plowboy
Crosses in the Sky
Any more God winks? I loved that!!! It brought be great comfort! My husband , Ronnie, died 17 months ago and I get crosses in the sky! Ronnie saw a cross in the sky 2 days before he went to Heaven. He loved music and would sing Elvis' songs and play them on Alexa. I was awaken a few weeks ago with Elvis singing. It was coming from my closed tablet. I grabbed my phone a recorded my closed tablet playing Elvis' I can't help falling in love with you! My children, grandson and I have dozens of beautiful pictures of crosses in the sky! Thank God for the comfort God gives us on unbearable days.
Posted by Linda
Your Dad’s Tweets
Your Dad’s tweets everyday was a big part of my life. Every morning and night. I would wake up to his morning prayers. Then go to bed with his “ Good night planet earth” He was an angel from heaven living on earth. You are just like him Charlie Jr. He is so proud of you. You are doing a fantastic job keeping the legacy alive. God Bless you and your family. 🙏❤️
Posted by Rosalita
CDB, Jr..., Thank you. Thanks for keeping your Dad's spirit alive. You are a fantastic legacy to a man that was a giant and did not know it or accept it :) I appreciate the passion of your words and I thank you for your vulnerability to express your feelings and thoughts. Keep on ...
Posted by David
10-years later
It is so refreshing to see and hear about how much the CDB family loves and loved each other. This is one "celebrity" that I will miss greatly. Because of Charlie, we found The Angelus and the group of wonderful individuals that live and work there. He was a remarkable man, and CD Jr. You are following in his footsteps. Peace be with you and your mother.
Posted by Tiffany
Old Friends
It was a thing of joy for us locals when your dad would show up to sing with the Bar D Wranglers here in southwest Colorado. You're dad's stroke was in the news here and we were thankful that Sy Scarbrough had been with him when he had it. It makes me wonder why the Lord took them both in a relatively short period of time. I don't question the Almighty but it has been a blessing to see their prodigy rise up to the needs of the day... thanks for that!
Posted by Allen
10 years later
I remember when Charlie had his 1st stroke and we prayed for a successful recovery. I remember when he broke his arm digging a fence post hole way back when. Charlie was a big part of my life growing up as I've been a huge fan for almost 50 years. When I was in the Air Force traveling to different bases here in the U.S. from coast to coast, Charlie's music was with me. Sometimes in 8track. Sometimes in cassette ... Saddle Tramp, Night Rider, High Lonesome, and others kept me entertained with my foot on the gas pedal. But coming home to Tennessee when I could, made me sing along with Right Now Tennessee Blues, I Got Dixie On My Mind, and Tommy Craine's Lonesome Boy from Dixie, Franklin Limestone, and We Got Tennessee. Great memories!! Saw Charlie and the band in concert in Seattle back around 1981 or '82 and got me homesick. Charlie Jr, keep on putting your memories to pen and paper and I'll do the same. The legacy lives on! Mark Welsh ~ Shelbyville
Posted by Mark
Thank God for Charlie Daniels
Thank You CDJ for these posts....I was lucky I got to meet Charlie a few years ago and got a nice picture with Him. I followed His Tweets from the first one to the last one. He was a Great American...I miss him...I drove by His house yesterday. I felt better after...May God Comfort You and Your Mother...
Posted by Walt
Great Man
Charlie was a National Treasure, I know he has been honored in Wilmington, NC but it is my hope the State Of North Carolina honors him in a way he deserves!
Posted by Tim
Charlie Jr
Bless you for sharing weekly stories of your dad, you are a heck of a man to be able to put many of those comments, Im sure you choke up many times sharing those stories, telling them as only you could. I have some flowers started that came off his grave, they listen to Charlie quite often, very small now, but i can picture them in a year. Thank you again take care of your mom.
Posted by Barry
Charlie Daniels - An Inspiration to All
Thank you for sharing all that your Dad accomplished, shared, as well as has done to enrich and inspire so many over the past 10 years, as well as throughout his entire life. When most would have been unable to maintain the energy and quality of life after experiencing a serious health issue as your Dad experienced in 2010, your Dad's resilience while overcoming his stroke increased his energy, as well as provided him with an energized focus to help others and strengthen his devotion to give and share and enrich the lives of others. Prior to 2010, I, as well as millions of other fans around the world, were drawn to and appreciated the amazing music which he and the CDB band has given us. Throughout his 60 plus years of performing, Mr. Charlie Daniels has been a positive influence to all whom he has come in contact with as he has shared his values and love for our great country, the military and veterans (and their families), his faith and love of God, victims of many tragedies which effected our and individuals personally (tornadoes in and around Nashville, victims of 9/11, cancer victims, children, suicide awareness and prevention, helping families in his community and church during Christmas and times of need, etc.), etc. His music and lyrics are inspirational and enjoyable. The themes behind his music resonated his feelings of patriotism, faith, family, and undying love for our great nation. My wife and I have had the privilege to attend many CDB concerts, as well as meet Charlie personally backstage during several meet and greets. Although we had intended, we regret that we were unable to attend the Family Reunions over the last couple of years due to family and job responsibilities. Reading your Dad's books (Never Look at the Empty Seats and Let's All Make The Day Count), as well as reading so many Soap Box posts, allowed me to gain a perspective related to your Dad's heartfelt thoughts and feelings that he had for his family, friends, the military, our country and his fans. Attending your Dad's Wake and Memorial Service not only reinforced my thoughts and feelings related to the amazing impression that your Dad and his music made upon my wife and I, but I gained a deeper perspective and understanding related to how great an influence he was to so many. I also gained a greater understanding in regard to how his devotion to helping others via The Journey Home Project, The Jason Foundation, Middle Tennessee Strong, as well as so many other projects which he was involved in in order to help others. Although CDB's album, 'Million Mile Reflections' gave us all 'The Devil Went Down To Georgia', the album's title song allowed your Dad to share his feelings for those who made a positive impact upon him. Talking to many of his friends and fans at the Wake, as well as listening to the speakers and performers at your Dad's Memorial Service, allowed me to hear how amazing an influence and impact your Dad had made upon so many personally and professionally through his positive influence and guidance. I believe it was David Corlew said at the Service that "Charlie Daniels is America!". How profound and true. Pastor Jackson, Mr. Corlew, Storme Warren, as well as all of the speakers and performers, reinforced how amazing a human being that your Dad was. A final message at the conclusion of the Service asked us all to carry on the legacy of Charlie Daniels, as well as do what we can to be better people and help others. I will try my best. In closing, thank you for continuing your Dad's legacy by entering your 'Best There's Ever Been' posts, and sharing your thoughts and feelings. Keep it going. I also want to identify that your Dad, above and beyond his great music, was an amazing man and human being who did so much for so many. He is a person who can't be replaced. His positive impact and influence which he has had is a true testament to the person he was. Let us all carry on Charlie Daniel's legacy, by 'making every day count'. ThankMr. Charlie Daniels for being such a positive influence to all.
Posted by michael
Thank you!
Thank you so much for posting about your father. My husband and I have danced many times to his great music! His words are so very true! Please keep the Soapbox going!
Posted by Kathy
a man saved
To Charlie daniels jr I was a fan a friend and I for one think you are making you dad mom happy the only thing I had wish is that you had talk with us all as fans are friends but it ok I forgive you keep your eyes on god keep your heart on god and dont give up because god love you and I remember the night I to your dad I got saved he was so happy and as a fan and friend I wont to see him again I wont to see god and walk with out a crutches for first time in my life with you and your mom and dad please I no it hard but god will help you please dont give up thanks kenny price spartanburg sc smoking my baby goodbye barbq that how much I love you and your mom and you dad Charlie daniels a true red white blue America and a man of god rest Charlie daniels in god's arms
Posted by Ken