A New Year, New Goals, Same Legacy – Soapbox Jr.
Once again, let me apologize for the lack of soapboxes as of late.
I was doing as many as three a week leading up to Volunteer Jam: A Musical Salute to Charlie Daniels in August, and committing to a new episode of The Charlie Daniels Podcast every 2 weeks, along with the Christmas rush has made it difficult to find time for soapboxing. Doing a podcast every two weeks has been akin to voluntarily committing to a school project every two weeks in perpetuity.
I may see if I can work in a soapbox at least every two weeks which allows me to concentrate on the podcast every two weeks, but we’ll see. I touched base on an idea to go over albums/projects in chronological order, and that will probably be my soapbox focus for the foreseeable future.
I hope everyone had a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve and that 2022 is much better than the past two calendar years.
I wanted to talk a little bit about our Christmas this past year. Last year I wrote about my lack of Christmas spirit which was brought back to life by a chubby red cardinal outside the kitchen window at mom and dad’s house and a beautiful dusting of snow.
This year felt much more normal, aside from the fact it was much warmer, and – of course – the obvious absence in the house. But last year – because of Covid concerns – mom decided to not have more than just a handful of people for Christmas and Christmas Eve, so our traditions basically went out the window in 2020.
We ended up with most of our usual Christmas Eve crowd, and after a lot of delicious finger foods – we over-ordered big time – we gathered in the den, like we had done so many times before.
Dad would read the Christmas Story from the Book of Luke, and then he would read his original Christmas story, “A Carolina Christmas Carol” which he wrote back in 1984, and had read pretty much every Christmas Eve for about 35 years.
I had thought about it for a while, that now the readings were up to me, but it still didn’t feel right. So, I decided to let dad tell the stories after all.
Dad had read both the Christmas story from Luke 2 and “A Carolina Christmas Carol.” for a project called ‘Joy to the World: A Bluegrass Christmas” and I played both recordings over speakers we had in the den.
Needless to say, there were tears. Especially from mom, during the reading from Luke. Since the Carolina Christmas story is light and heartwarming, I think it was less emotional for her and everyone.
Christmas felt more normal as well. Again, aside from the big jolly man who was always at the center of the festivities, and I don’t mean Santa.
This was the first “real” Christmas season without dad, and it went about as well as it could without dad there.
He is missed, there’s no doubt about it. But we persevere.
This brings us to 2022. A new year, another one without dad, but it’s fresh and new with endless possibilities.
My goals are what they always are, keeping dad’s legacy alive, but my mantra for 2022 is “think outside the box.”
That started with The Charlie Daniels Podcast and shall continue. We launched on August 6, one year and one month after dad went home, and it’s been a learning process since it was completely out of my wheelhouse, but I’m learning.
And it’s doing better than I could have ever imagined. With over 305K downloads in 2021, over 127K downloads in December alone and over 50K downloads of the latest episode with 3 Doors Down frontman, Brad Arnold, it has literally exploded beyond my wildest expectations.
I feel like God is preparing me for something else with the podcast, but I’m not sure what it is yet.
But whatever it is, I want what I do to honor dad, and bring glory to God Almighty.
One special thing about 2022 is that it marks 50 years since dad first started performing as The Charlie Daniels Band.
I had someone on social media recently question whether we should be celebrating the anniversary since dad was no longer alive and touring. The anniversary isn’t that he toured as the CDB for 50 years, it’s that it was 50 years since he formed the CDB. Other deceased artists have had commemorations of their career milestones after they passed away, so we are doing nothing unusual.
In addition to the official T-shirt and other merchandise in the works, I’m hoping for us to have some new music available in 2022. Dad’s label, Blue Hat Records, will soon announce a new partnership that will allow us to craft some projects with previously unreleased songs that are in our vault which goes back to the late 90s, and I continue to be optimistic that we will work out some sort of agreement with Sony Music to be able to put together some vault albums from masters that they own as well.
So, I’m hoping that 2022 can be the CDB celebration that I had hoped it would be had dad still been here to be part of it. But he’s always part of it, because this is a legacy that he built and worked very hard to turn into something special, and we intend to keep that legacy going for future generations.
The man may be gone, but his music will live forever.
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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