Posted on 02.11.2023

That’s Been Fifty Years Ago… 50 Years of the CDB Part 42: Memories, Memoirs & Miles: Songs of a Lifetime

I wasn’t planning on doing anything past the Beau Weevils album breakdown until I realized how many soundtrack songs and various artist projects which had a CDB song on them were still out there, along with some compilation albums which had nice dedications but that I didn’t review because I had already reviewed the songs on other albums, so I thought this catch-all epilogue might be in order.

And while I’m using the title from ‘Memories, Memoirs & Miles: Songs of a Lifetime’ this isn’t a breakdown of that album because it is a compilation album of mostly Blue Hat Records masters of CDB songs that was released to coincide with the release of dad’s 2017 autobiography, “Never Look at the Empty Seats,” and since I’ve been covering dad’s “songs of a lifetime” for almost a year, it seemed fitting, but it does have a special dedication which I’ll get to later.

There have been a lot of CDB compilation albums, going all the way back to 1981 with ‘Travelin’ Band,’ ‘Listen Up,’ and ‘At His Best’ and from the early 1990s. These were considered budget-line products and CDs or cassettes could often be found at truck stops giving truckers some affordable music options for their middle of the night travels.

‘Travelin’ Band’ was around long enough to even be offered on vinyl, and sometimes companies that specialized in such trucker music would even license the masters from Epic directly.

About ten years after ‘A Decade of Hits’ was released, it was repackaged with a couple of newer songs for ‘All-Time Greatest Hits’ which then a couple of years later was repackaged as ‘Super Hits’ with the same track listing as ‘All-Time Greatest Hits.’ 

It’s worth noting that the ‘Super Hits’ cover artwork has changed over the years, when looking through CD bins or on eBay if you’re trying to complete a collection.

The boxed set “The Roots Remain” was culled down into the two-disc set ‘The Ultimate Charlie Daniels Band’ and then culled down even further to a single disc, ‘The Essential Charlie Daniels Band.’

The Blue Hat Records years produced several compilation albums as well, including ‘Snapshot’ which included several small printed photographs and a version of “Little Folks” that had previously only been available on a CDB website-exclusive Christmas CD.

In 2000, while promoting ‘Road Dogs’ on one of the home shopping channels, a live EP of songs from several Volunteer Jam shows called ‘Vintage Live Performances’ were pressed to go along with the ‘Road Dogs’ package. This is a basic no-frills package, but it does have some nice live performances, including the closest thing to the original recording of “Honky Tonk Avenue” that is out there, and it rocks.

The 2021 ‘Duets’ album was a compilation of recordings from ‘Deuces’ along with several other duets and vocal events from other CDB albums compiled together. Since Blue Hat is distributed by BFD through RED which is a Sony company, “All Night Long” from Montgomery Gentry’s first album was licensed for the CD and vinyl packages.

It would be difficult to track down every song from a various artists or movie soundtrack, but I’m going to try to come up with as comprehensive a list as I possibly can. 

I’m not talking about every time “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” appeared on a soundtrack, although at least two of them “Urban Cowboy” and “Coyote Ugly” were huge sellers, but I’m talking about songs that you generally wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.

Just for the heck of it, I’m just going to start with movies first.

You have likely never see it, but dad did the entire soundtrack for a movie called “Whiskey Mountain” back in 1977. It was low budget and was released on VHS back in the early 1980s and to my knowledge, had never been seen since, except that I just saw that someone uploaded the movie to YouTube in 2012, but I don’t think a soundtrack was ever released.

On the soundtrack for “Urban Cowboy” in addition to the obvious song, it also included a song that was never released on a CDB album, except as a live duet with Crystal Gayle on a Volunteer Jam album called “Falling in Love For the Night.”

And in addition to the songs from “Urban Cowboy” an ‘Urban Cowboy II’ soundtrack album essentially making a third LP in addition to the original double LP, but it was only released on cassette and LP, never on CD, but “Texas” was on it as was a new live version of “Orange Blossom Special,” but the fiddle medley dubbed “Urban Cowboy Breakdown,” only appears in the movie itself.

Dad did a song called “My Sweet Baby’s Gone” which was on the soundtrack for the 1988 Patrick Swayze movie, “Next of Kin,” which in turn inspired the CDB’s hit song, “Simple Man.”

In 1998, dad did a song on a Nashville album of music inspired by the animated movie, “The Prince of Egypt,” - based on the Book of Exodus. The song was called “Could it Be Me?” and was co-written with Wayne Tester. The two would later collaborate on a song for a VeggieTales project, but unfortunately that song, “Minnesota Cuke,” is only available on the DVD for “Minnesota Cuke and the Search For Samson’s Hairbrush.”

In 1994, the CDB also did a song for the Lou Diamond Phillips called “Sioux City,” called “Cry of the Wounded Eagle.”

In 2000, dad provided a song called “Can’t Keep a Country Boy Down” from the animated version of “Tom Sawyer,” and appears on the soundtrack album.

Also in 2000, dad composed the score for the independent motion picture, “Across the Line,” starring Brad Johnson, including several songs featured in the movie. 

The film hit several snags with distribution and then ended up with a very limited release and pretty much went straight to VHS with little fanfare, but the title song did make it onto the band’s ‘Road Dogs’ album in 2000.

In 2012, dad appeared in a documentary called “Behold A Pale Horse: America’s Last Chance” about the coming of the antichrist and global government, and also contributed a title song which is available digitally, although the documentary has been re-edited and re-released as “Revelation: The Dawn of Global Government.”

In 2015, dad recorded a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Susie Q” for the movie “Susie’s Hope” about a dog named Susie that had been burned alive and left for dead but survived and became an inspiration for animal cruelty laws.

Next, here’s an assortment of songs from various artists collections featuring exclusive CDB songs.

In 1994, the CDB contributed “One More Time” to the Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute album, ‘Skynyrd Frynds.’

In 1995, the CDB contributed to ‘Amazing Grace (A Country Salute to Gospel)’ with “Kneel at the Cross,” and then on ‘Amazing Grace 2’ with “Just a Little Talk With Jesus.”

In 1996, dad had a song released on a Children’s album called ‘A Child’s Celebration of Song 2’ which was released later on a few repackaged collections from the Music for Little People brand.

In 1997, dad appeared on a Jim Croce tribute album, performing Croce’s “Box #10.

In 2000, dad played “I Am a Pilgrim” with Ricky Skaggs on the Bill Monroe tribute album, ‘Big Mon.’

In 2000, dad performed a rockin’ version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” on the Lynyrd Skynyrd-hosted album, ‘Christmas Time Again, the only other group to appear on the collection was 38 special.

In 2001, dad was approached to do a song for a project based around Tennessee Volunteers football called ‘The Rocky Top Album.’ The song, “Volun-Tears” became very popular in Tennessee during football season through the end of the Phil Fulmer coaching years, after that, a lot of up-and-down seasons diminished its popularity, but I posted it after Tennessee beat Alabama in 2022. I’m sure dad was smiling down on ol’ Rocky Top.

Dad did a song for the Professional Bull Riders album ‘Dancin’ With Thunder’ called “Bull Ridin’ Son-of-a-Gun” in 2001.

Here’s some inside information for you. This song almost brought dad back to Sony Music, where the bulk of his catalog was. After working with Sony on Montgomery Gentry’s cover of “All Night Long,” dad was invited to contribute a song to the PBR album, and Sony even went as far as to make an offer to bring dad back to the label, and it ALMOST happened.

Because dad had been out of the Nashville grind for about seven years, he was content doing his recording at Twin Pines studios and recording and mixing his way.

After hearing the track, Blake Chancey, who was the VP of A&R for the Nashville labels, reached out to our camp about how they loved the song, but thought it needed to be remixed because sonically it didn’t sound like the rest of the album.

I passed that along to dad, and he said he would not remix, he didn’t want to sound like everyone else, in fact, he walked away from Sony’s deal on the table to come back to the label.

Integrity matters.

In 2002, a song co-written by dad and Noah Gordon called “Christmas Time in Dixie” was part of a various artists Christmas album called “Southern Rock Christmas.”

In 2007, dad did a song on the Time-Life album ‘Songs for Worship: Country,’ a rockin’ cover of Rich Mullins’ “Awesome God,” which is amazing.

In 2008, dad contributed a song, “The USS New York,” which is a real ship using steel from the original World Trade Center site in its hull, to the “Never Forget…” 9/11 themed album.

In 2012, dad recorded a song that his buddy, Teddy Gentry from Alabama, wrote, “Take Back the USA” which was released as a single only.

And also in 2012, the CDB appeared on the opening for ESPN’s Monday Night Football with “Peyton Went Down to Georgia” which was released as a digital only single.

By the way, if anyone is ever looking for the original recording of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” WITHOUT the “S.O.B.” lyrics, it can be found on ‘Columbia Country Classics Vol. 3-Americana.’

Lastly, there are a few dedications from compilation albums I wanted to share, but I didn’t want to review the albums themselves for fear of being too redundant.

2010’s ‘Land that I Love’ was a repackaging of ‘Freedom and Justice For All’ with a few other patriotic songs that had been released after it. It had a special dedication,

“To all those who hold their hands over their hearts and remove their hats when the National Anthem is played

To the folks who still think their America is worth fighting for and respect the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us free to all who raise their children to cherish God, country, family and flag to you we dedicate this work.

God bless the American patriot and the Land that I Love

Charlie Daniels”

2012’s ‘Hallelujah It’s Christmas Time Again’ repackaged selections from ‘A Merry Christmas to All’ and ‘Joy to the World: A Bluegrass Christmas’ and released in between distribution deals with E1 and MegaForce Records International, and was initially available exclusively at restaurants operated by Buffets, Inc. A portion of the sales went to benefit military families through the YMCA Armed Services, and it was dedicated accordingly.

“This album is dedicated to the men and women of our armed forces who will spend their Christmas in a far and hostile land, with a prayer that next Christmas they will be back at home with their families,

Merry Christmas heroes,

God bless and keep our troops,

Charlie Daniels”

2013’s ‘Hits of the South’ was a repackaging of songs from ‘Tailgate Party’ along with a few live tracks – released during the distribution deal with MRI. - and it contains a very special – if brief – dedication.

“Dedication to our brothers, Tommy and Taz, and all the minstrel warriors who grew old before their time.

Charlie Daniels”

Both Tommy Crain and Taz DiGregorio passed away in 2011, so it made sense to dedicate this collection to their memory.

I can’t think of a better way to end all the writing about dad’s songs, albums, dedications and his career as a whole than this dedication from 2017’s ‘Memories, Memoirs and Miles,” and if you’ve ever wanted to hear the first song dad ever recorded, “Jaguar”, it’s on this collection.

“Dedication to Russell Palmer

You taught me my first guitar chord my friend.

Never realizing the seed you were planting.

Without you and that old Stella guitar

I don’t know where I’d be today.

Much love and gratitude.

God Bless,

Charlie Daniels 2017”

Russell Palmer and Bob Johnston were two key figures in dad’s life. Had it not been for either of these friendships, dad’s life would have probably turned out much differently, and the world would have been deprived of the music which lived in dad’s heart and just needed special people in his life to help him be able to bring that music to the world.

The Daniels family is forever grateful to Bob and Russell.

I’m sure I’ve left out a lot, there are a lot of duets and guest appearances that I didn’t include, but this was the best I could do at the time, but I’m sure I’ll add to this.

It’s been fun diving deep into dad’s body of work, his “songs of a lifetime,” now on to other exciting opportunities to keep dad’s legacy alive which are now presenting themselves, and we will keep you posted when we are able to.                                                         

What do you think?

Let’s all make the day count!

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

God Bless America!


#BenghaziAintGoingAway #End22

—  Charlie Daniels, Jr.



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Now that the soapbox album series is coming to an end. I want to thank you, Charlie Daniels,Jr. for all the time and hard work that you put into this project. I revisited each album mentioned in the Soapboxes and was able to really "connect all the dots". Enhanced my listening pleasure, paying even more attention to the lyrics. And enjoying such wonderfully thought out album dedications to honor special people in Charlie's life. Able to add a few official versions of albums to my collection, that I didn't know existed,thanks to your behind the scenes information. I hope that you will continue to pursue the "music vault" hunt and wish you the best in cutting thru all the red tape in order to share more unreleased music. The Volunteer Jam 1 ,The Legend Begins was a great starting off point. Thank again.
Posted by RaccoonMan
Charlie Daniels "The Great American"
What a great body of work. I miss Charlie speaking the truth about everything!!! I was lucky I got to meet Him. He put on a high energy concert. I loved the Man! Thank You CD Jr for keeping this web site going!
Posted by Walt
Amen, Amen & Amen Charlie Jr integrity does matter and your dad's was always without question. As I've believed my whole life, a half a truth is a whole lie. Its taken me a while to digest all that you have out into this one article and I cannot thank you enough for sharing all the information, as only you can do.....nuff said God Bless Plowboy
Posted by Plowboy