Posted on 07.05.2021

One Year Later - Soapbox Jr.

In some ways, it seems like just a few weeks ago, at least the memories of that week seem like they just happened, everything that has happened since feels like it’s been decades.

Either way, it doesn’t seem like dad “changed addresses” a year ago. The memories of that terrible day, the hospital, the procession to the funeral home which I had no business driving to. I wasn’t expecting the streets of Mt. Juliet lined with fans holding American flags and signs that said, “We Love You Charlie!” and while I was driving myself, I realized what a mistake that was as tears rolled down my face through a sea of hundreds of people.

It all still seems surreal.

Fourth of July 2020 was a great day. It was hot, we had hot dogs on the back porch, Dean, mom and dad’s bus driver joined us and we were socially distanced, just to be safe, because that’s what you did way back then. I swam laps, mom and dad watched me and I let them interrupt my laps frequently just to talk.

July 5th was similar, I swam and mom and dad stayed on the porch for a while and I stopped to talk to them from time to time. I can tell because it took me an extra 25 minutes longer than it should have, but I didn’t mind.

In some ways, those were the last two really REALLY good days I’ve had in a year. Yes, I know that every day is a good day because of the precious gift of God’s grace, but the hole that dad left is staggeringly enormous. Not just in our hearts, but in the hearts of his fans, and in as much as trying to carry on a business and his legacy.

July 6th, and the days that followed still seem surreal. The next day we were making arrangements, two days later was the visitation and Mt. Juliet memorial service, on mom’s birthday, no less with the funeral capping off the week on Friday.

As bad as all of that was, some good things came out of it.

World Outreach Church had been doing services exclusively outside, and the first indoor event since the pandemic began was dad’s funeral. Shortly thereafter, they started moving back inside, at least having that option for those who wanted to, even though the outdoor stage just went away a couple of weeks ago and all services are indoors, but the large screen is still outside for those who feel more comfortable.

I know WOC would have moved back indoors eventually, but it felt like the funeral was a bit of a trial run which proved they were ready to reopen.

The other was the people that have been drawn closer to the Lord through WOC and the live stream of dad’s funeral. A couple of months ago, I met a couple who drove down from New York to be baptized because they kept watching Pastor Allen’s messages on livestream after dad’s funeral.

I’m sure there are many more stories like that which show how God can take the worst events in our lives and use them to touch and bless the lives of others.

That gives me a bit of peace, as does knowing that dad is seeing glorious things we can’t even comprehend.

But if I had to sum up the last year in one word, it would be “challenging.”

There have been things that have seemingly attempted to diminish dad’s legacy, a lot of setbacks, conflict and mistakes on my part.

I’ve felt a bit lost for the first 8 months or so (feels like 8 years) since July 6, but I think I’m finally getting focused with some things that will properly keep dad’s legacy going, and will be a lot of fun for the fans. I’ve got some particulars to work out, but I think we’ll be able to make an announcement soon.

One of dad’s daily words of wisdom tweets from March of 2020 could not be more fitting for my life:

“It’s never too late and you’re never too old to learn and apply something new. Let’s all make the day count.”

Very often, you have to step out of your comfort zone in order to take that first step forward into a new chapter. It can be overwhelming doing things I have zero experience with, but I’ve had some really good friends who are knowledgeable and have helped me with this new endeavor. 

Some final words of advice from someone nowhere near as wise as my father was, but hold onto the ones you love. Things can change dramatically in the blink of an eye.

I speak from experience.

Let’s all make the day count!

What do you think?

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

God Bless America!

#BenghaziAintGoingAway #End22

—  Charlie Daniels, Jr.



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




One year later
I had just got off work that morning, laid down, and had just started to sleep when my phone rang. It was my sister that lives in Murfreesboro. Rarely ever does she call early so my first thought was of Mom. She told me the devastating news that Charlie had passed. The artist that was always at the top of my lists of favorites was gone. I was in a fog all day as I recounted the many times that I had talked with Charlie at the Fan Club parties. My next thoughts were for you and Miss Hazel. The close bond of your family had always been evident to me and I can only imagine the pain y'all were going through. I thought of the band and employees, as many I had met and knew of their love for Charlie. I used to ride with the Patriot Guard Riders often in remembrance of our fallen military but had been so busy caring for my wife's health issues and working full time that I had not had a chance to ride in about 5 years. It would have been an honor to ride for Charlie along with Annette R and the rest of the PGR of Middle Tennessee. I watched the service on tv as Pastor Allen gave his thoughts and memories of Charlie to all. A very moving and fitting tribute! I thank you, Junior for doing your part of keeping his legacy alive and look forward to upcoming projects that you're working on and I know the state of Tennessee, Charlie's friends, and fans appreciate it also. Its still good to be alive and be in Tennessee but the light dimmed a little with Charlie's passing, we need to keep the light shining bright.
Posted by Mark
One Year Ago.
On this day of reflection Charlie Daniels, Jr. Maybe , Pull out "By the Light of the Moon" CD . And re-read the dedication your father made to you. (AKA Little Charlie). Keep charging.
Posted by RaccoonMan
One year later
I'm sitting here at the Mount Juliet Memorial Gardens on a beautiful Granite bench next to Charlie's final resting place. This is a beautiful, quiet and serene area. The huge flag pole is impressive and fit for such a patriot like your dad. I'm glad your doing better and keeping yourself busy with your dad's legacy and working on future projects in his memory. It's wonderful and it will help ease the pain from loosing your dad. I wanted to say when driving to Nashville this weekend it was good to see people outside having fun again. So many private coaches, busses everywhere. There's no other artist in any genre of music who played in the state of Missouri more than your dad!. We loved him in St. Louis and it will never be the same. His memory will always live on and the fans will never forget. I'm sorry to everyone who misses him and feels the loss.
Posted by Sharon
I feel so blessed that I got to do meet and greet twice with Charlie. the first time he signed my grandmother's violin. the second time was a couple days before my brothers birthday. I asked if he would sign a picture for him. that he did not need to sign one for me. He gave me 2 signed pics anyway. of course the one said Happy birthday to my brother. He was a wise and gracious man. I miss him very much.
Posted by Lisa
Charlie Daniels
The talent and goodness of Charlie Daniels will survive not only in Mt Juliet, but throughout the world. He was a wonderful model to look up to. I feel it an honor to have met you, CBjr , during Bill's meetings on Tuesday.
Posted by Judy
Your Daddy
JR, they will be hundreds of people in heaven, because of your daddy. I live in Knoxville tn, your dad use to come to put on a show at the Tenn, fair. John Anderson is coming this year and it made me think of Charlie. Man what a show. I got saved in 1995 by the grace of God. Loved your dads gospel Cd’s. Some of those songs made me want to dance at red lights, and shout Jesus’s name. Me and my wife came down to your place to leave painted rocks at y’all gate after your dad passed. Wasn’t much but we want to show our respects to your great dad. You pulled up and my wife, told you what me was doing. You seem so humble and touched. Yes Your daddy, did a good job with you. God bless you and your mom
Posted by les
Wonderful memory.
Charlie had a meet and greet at our Walmart one year. My husband, nephew and I wore the first in line. Your Dad is a kind man. So anyway the year before we saw a concert at a river fest and my husband wore the T shirt we had to buy to stand under their tent while it poured down rain. It wasn’t a Charlie Daniels t shirt but one advertising the river fest. That night Charlie and his band did an awesome show of course. My husband said “ Charlie looks and acts like he don’t feel good.” I just couldn’t see it. Ok so now back to Walmart. The wait for us to get to talk to Charlie was exciting. I can’t even explain it. So out comes Charlie with his big presence and big voice. He shook my husbands hand and signed an autograph for my nephew. Then Charlie saw Dans T Shirt and he said “ I played there last year. I was sick as a dog.” My husband turned to me and said “See I told you he was sick.” I bet you won’t have another fan with a meet and greet like ours. Your Dad was a very kind man. Put 100 top musicians together and you still don’t Charlie Daniels. His gospel music moves me to tears. God bless you and Hazel. So happy for you to have known and loved Charlie Daniels.
Posted by Ivy
Surreal Day
As Charlie Jr. described, July 5th, 2020 was a surreal day for me as well. My family has been fans of Charlie for many years and I have gone to so many of his concerts I lost track of them all- the last was the "Outlaws and Renegades" tour about a year earlier (May 2019) with Travis Tritt in Independence, MO. Anyhow on July 5th I had just mourned the 8th anniversary of my grandfather's death (a WWII veteran) on June 29th and the 5th was particularly hard because my pet had terminal cancer and that was the date we had selected the day before to euthanize her. I was especially sad because like everyone else I was shocked in hearing that Charlie had passed and had second thoughts about having the euthanasia that day, but our pet was bleeding profusely and in so much pain from the tumor it would have been cruel to postpone it. I remember as I was driving to the vet how it was one of those really warm and sunny summer days with a thick haze. She knew that day was different and was really curious about the trip and when I got to the vet how she was brave and didn't cower form the vet as she usually did, like she knew of the next trip she was about to take. I since found solace that she didn't take that trip to heaven alone and that Charlie likely led her the way upstairs that day to our Father. At least two good souls departed this earth that day- God bless Charlie and his family.
Posted by Gary