Charlie Daniels 80th Birthday Volunteer Jam: Happy 80th Birthday! - Soapbox Jr.
November 30, 2016
Dad turned 80 on October 28th 2016, and to celebrate the event, for the second time in Jam history, was turned into a birthday party.
The official name of Volunteer Jam XVIII was Charlie Daniels 80th Birthday Volunteer Jam, and it was one heck of a celebration.
There was a smaller roster, but the talent was big time. Chris Stapleton, Travis Tritt, Luke Bryan, Kid Rock, rockers 3 Doors Down and Larry The Cable Guy, with Travis being the only repeat performer.
Here's a hilarious backstage story about Larry. I introduced myself to him and we talked for a bit, and then a few minutes later, someone asked Larry if he had met me, and in typical Larry fashion, he said, “Know him? Hell, I raised his kids!” I said, “Larry, I don’t have any kids.” He said, “Then who’s kids did I raise!?”
At the press conference, Gibson presented dad with an amazing guitar from their custom shop, a one-of-a-kind Les Paul painted with pictures of dad throughout his career, and with mom and I. On the back was a painting of dad and they added his Country Music Hall of Fame medallion around his neck. It’s a beautiful piece.
Chris Stapleton was one of the hottest things going at the time, and he didn’t disappoint. His reworking of the George Jones song, “Tennessee Whiskey” is as different from the original as possible. Stapleton took the song and made it his own.
One disappointing aspect of the show that I had hoped would come off better than it did was both Dad and Chris cut a song called “Was it 26” and I had thought it would be an amazing moment if they performed it together as a duet. Well, I don’t think they had time to rehearse, and it didn’t come off like I thought it would, but having two music mavericks who did things a little different than the normal Nashville machine both on stage at the same time was a great moment.
Luke Bryan made headlines, literally, but not for the reasons he would have liked to. It turns out he bopped a guy on the head with his microphone who kept heckling him and giving Luke the finger. The guy had been sitting on the front row and went right up to the stage to do the same thing even closer and Luke had finally had enough and popped him on the head - lightly. Of all the funds raised for The Journey Home Project, and all the great music, the Jam’s moment that got the most attention was Luke’s microphone.
Kid Rock’s performance was a bit on the tumultuous side. Everyone else had brought their full band, but not Kid. The CDB ended up backing him up, but it was not without some bumps along the way, but the show went on. We’ll just leave it at that.
3 Doors Down has rocked for the past 20 years, and their performance was spectacular as ever. Lead singer, Brad Arnold, got to be friends with dad, and he has a pretty special story. I’ve stayed in touch with Brad a bit since dad went home, and he has agreed to let me interview him for my podcast, and if he is willing, I’m hoping that he will tell his powerful story about the impact dad had on his life.
Travis Tritt put on his usual fantastic show, and Larry got-r-done for the Jam faithful.
Dad was surprised with the Rare Country Humanitarian of the Year award for his work with The Journey Home Project and other charities.
The Jam all-stars pounded out “Can’t You See” and “Amazing Grace.”
This was the biggest of all the Bridgestone Arena era Volunteer Jams with 15,784 in attendance.
This one was so successful, the decision was made to record the next one for TV and CD releases.
Next time I’ll be talking about the nineteenth Volunteer Jam, Volunteer Jam XX: A Tribute to Charlie Daniels.
Yep, you read that correctly.
Don’t miss out what is likely to be the FINAL Jam, Volunteer Jam: A Musical Salute to Charlie Daniels on August 18, 2021 at Bridgestone Arena. We hope you will come out for it. 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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