The Charlie Daniels Podcast - Soapbox Jr.
For the past two and a half months, I was basically able to put my brain on autopilot for the soapbox series I wrote to promote what is most likely the final Volunteer Jam concert by recapping all the Jams that preceded it.
Now I’m in the strangely unfamiliar - at least as of recently - territory of trying to write something without a basic framework to follow.
I may do something similar to the Jams covering all of the CDB albums in chronological order before too long, and the recent collapse in Afghanistan is also something that I would like to cover because I know my dad would have no shortage of things to say about it, but then that becomes time-consuming because of the inevitable troll surge that brings, so while I may do that next week, I’ve also got a new primary focus that I’d rather concentrate on instead of squashing trolls all day long, and that focus is “The Charlie Daniels Podcast: From Long Haired Country Boy to Simple Man, The Best There’s Ever Been!”
As most everyone knows, 2020 and 2021 have been challenging years for mom and I, and for what’s left of the CDB operation.
But through it all, what I want more than anything is to keep dad’s legacy alive, but finding the right platform to make that happen took me months to finally find the right focus, I was in the uncomfortable position of trying to figure out a path forward while I was trying to grieve, although – as I’ve mentioned before – grieving had to take a back seat and my writing about dad became my grief therapy.
I first started thinking about the idea of a podcast probably back in April after doing the audiobook recording for dad’s “Let’s All Make the Day Count” book. It was Chris Wormer, dad’s former guitar player’s idea. Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson Publishing couldn’t find anyone to do the recording, and Chris suggested I do it, and he even recorded some examples to send to them.
The powers that be seemed to like the pitch, so they sent me to work with an engineer and studio in Nashville. I have always hated the sound of my voice, but during two long days of recording, I got used to it.
Then I started thinking about the possibility of doing a podcast.
My initial concept was for Chris and I to do the podcast together. I would have the personal, family, and historical perspective, Chris, who played from 1995-2020 (with a brief five-year hiatus) would have the road perspective. It would have been us talking about dad, probably some interviews, telling his story. Chris also did the recording of dad’s audiobook of “Never Look at the Empty Seats” and a few other projects, so I knew he had the technical know-how, and we have a great rapport.
I approached Chris with the idea, and he liked it, there was just one problem…
Chris was going to school to get certified in cybersecurity, and then would be looking for – as he called it – a “big boy job.”
He was still open to it, but his schedule was a factor.
As talented as Chris is, he – like most musicians – was hit hard through the pandemic and he felt he needed to make a career change. I have no doubt Chris could get another gig right away now that bands are finally touring again, but he also has a lovely wife at home, and unlike dad who got to take my mom with him, Chris didn’t have that luxury, so I understand and respect his decision.
But we agreed to talk about it in a few weeks, so I waited.
We had a couple of more conversations, and then it was June.
I then came to an inescapable conclusion, if I waited on Chris - as much as I love the guy and thought he would be a great partner for the podcast - if I waited on him to have the time, I didn’t know if we would ever get it done.
So that gave me two options, find someone else, or put myself in the uncomfortable position of trying to do it myself.
I decided that despite having zero broadcasting experience or engineering/recording, I would have to do it myself, I didn’t think there was anyone else who would give me what Chris would have, so I was going to have to fly solo.
I had a USB microphone, and I started writing a script, I also had some friends in broadcasting and podcasting who helped me out.
Kelly Corday, program director at KCBI in Dallas and host of “That Singles Show” podcast gave me a ton of great insights, or I would most likely be fumbling through a “Podcasting for Dummies” book, and she along with my friend, Josh Connor, both gave me good advice about the vocal performance, along with WTN voice of the news, Pamela Furr.
I put together a pilot, and sent it to my friend Lynda McLaughlin, Sean Hannity’s producer. She had a lot of feedback, some of it I took, and some of it I didn’t. Coming from a world of news and current events broadcasts and podcasts, she didn’t think I should be so forthcoming with my lack of experience, which was on display in the podcast, on that aspect, I doubled down instead.
Don’t get me wrong, I changed several things that I did in the pilot from her critiques, and she was dead-on with a lot of it, but I wanted this to be very real and very personal. This was not an established TV and radio personality doing a podcast, this was a son seeking to honor his father’s legacy, and doing that by stepping WAY out of his comfort zone.
And the thing that I doubled down on was that if I could do a podcast, put together something I had never done before, never interviewed anyone, learn how to drink plenty of water to avoid mouth clicks, and then learn how to edit them out when they do appear, how to deal with publishing companies and record labels so I could feature some of dad’s music, if I could do all those things with no experience whatsoever at the age of 56, then I could encourage others that it’s not too late to step out of their own comfort zones and shoot for the stars if that’s what they want to do.
Go for it!
And be sure to listen to The Charlie Daniels Podcast wherever you get your podcasts, or if you're new to the whole podcast thing, you can find them HERE.
And as dad observed, “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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