That’s Been Fifty Years Ago… 50 Years of the CDB Part 43: The Concert Home Video Releases
But wait! There’s more!
I had gone back and forth on whether or not I should include the concert and longform VHS and DVD releases because most are essentially concert performances and I’d just be going over the same songs again and again.
After I finished my “last” breakdown of soundtrack albums, various artists appearances and compilation dedications, I decided I should do one last analysis of all the commercially released CDB videocassettes and DVDs.
So, here we go.
We start way back in 1975, before home video was even a thing, Volunteer Jam 1975, aka Volunteer Jam II was filmed at MTSU’s Murphy Center and released as “The First Full-Length Southern Rock Motion Picture,” and featured “The whole damn Marshall Tucker Band” as dad announced them, along with Dickey Betts and Chuck Leavell from The Allman Brothers Band, Dru Lumbar from Grinderswitch, and Jimmy Hall from Wet Willie were the only artists performing that got credit for the motion picture.
The performances included were “Whiskey,” “Birmingham Blues,” “Long Haired Country Boy,” “No Place to Go,” “Funky Junky,” Texas,” “The South’s Gonna Do It (Again),” “Orange Blossom Special, “24 Hours at a Time,” “The Thrill is Gone,” “Jelly Blues,” “Sweet Mama” and “Mountain Dew.”
It was one of the very first VHS releases that I can remember, although I don’t think we ever got a copy.
In 2007, the video master was licensed to Eagle Rock Home Video and they released a nice DVD collection of the historic film.
The license with Eagle Rock has since expired, and we’re looking at possibly releasing it through our label, Blue Hat, or potentially licensing it to another home video manufacturer.
Of course, with streaming being all the rage nowadays, that is probably the way to go, but we might need to do a little digital cleanup to it first as it was shot on video and converted to film and the lack of white spotlights give the whole show a bit of a pinkish hue.
The very first CDB concert release was ‘The Saratoga Concert’ which was recorded at Saratoga Springs, NY in 1981, and it is also notable because it is one of the very first concerts broadcast on the young MTV network, you know, back when they used to play music, and FYI, the Marshall Tucker Band was the first MTV concert broadcast, so southern boys were well represented on the channel in its early days.
The video was released on VHS and Beta, as well as the CED and Laserdisc formats through CBS Video and later CBS/FOX Video.
The performances include “In America,” “Ain’t No Ramblers Anymore,” “Lonesome Boy From Dixie,” “The Legend of Wooley Swamp,” “Reflections,” “The Lady in Red,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Carolina (I Remember You)” “Makes Me Want to Go Home,” “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “The South’s Gonna Do It (Again),” “Orange Blossom Special,” “Amazing Grace” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”
Two of those songs, “The Legend of Wooley Swamp” and “Carolina (I Remember You)” included music videos on the home video releases which were not part of the MTV broadcast, “Carolina” had a lot of old photos and some film of what growing up there might have looked like growing up there and “Wooley Swamp” had the story acted out by David Corlew, Sid Yochim and Roger Campbell as the Cagle boys and Sid’s father, the ultimate character of all characters, Schasale “Pappy” Yochim as Lucius Clay.
These are in a vault somewhere, it’s another one of my dreams to get this back out to the fans in a DVD release.
In 1990, Cabin Fever Home Video released ‘Homefolks and Highways’ a longform VHS release which combined live performances with exclusive music videos and camera crew coverage of a Daniels family reunion, visiting the Cowboy Hall of Fame, hanging out in the studio, a trip to the Berlin Wall as it was coming down and the Daniels family hitting golf balls from the front yard of Twin Pines, including my grandmother, LaRue.
I’m not sure where I was, but there was a guy who kind of looked like me, but he had his hair permed, so it definitely wasn’t me.
It did very well and there was even a behind-the-scenes video that followed.
Performances included “The South’s Gonna Do It (Again),” “(What This World Needs Is) A Few More Rednecks),” “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “Simple Man,” “Long Haired Country Boy,” “Old Rock and Roller,” “It’s My Life” and “In America.”
It also had a nice dedication –
"Listen good people and I’ll tell you a tale of homefolks and highways and byways and trails of farmers and fiddles and eagles and doves
Of good times and good friends of family and love of mountains and mole hills and rivers and streams of humble beginnings and grandiose dreams
Of things best remembered with a touch of delight of millions of hard miles and thousands of nights
With the wine of remembrance I offer a toast
To the people and places that to me mean the most
When it's all said and done I’ve got one thing to say God bless the homefolks, God bless the highways"
Charlie Daniels 1990
Hallmark bought the video catalogs of Cabin Fever, so I don’t even know where to begin to look for the video masters on this one.
But we’ll keep trying.
In 2005, the CDB performed in front of over 100,000 people both with and without the Nashville Symphony Orchestra during the 2005 Nashville 4thof July Celebration downtown.
The concert was released later in 2005 as ‘CDB•DVD•Live’ and contained footage shot on tours to Iraq as well as video from the aforementioned Volunteer Jam II, interviews and much more.
This is a fantastic snapshot of the band in 2005 and full of energy, which dad never lacked, even up until 2020, he was still a hard man to keep up with.
I’d love to see about having this upconverted to a higher resolution in some sort of special edition someday.
Performances included “El Toreador,” “Trudy,” “The Legend of Wooley Swamp,” “The Intimidator,” “Simple Man,” “Floreeda Road,” “Long Haired Country Boy,” “Preachin’, Prayin’, Singin’,” “Heart of My Heart,” “William Tell Overture,” “The South’s Gonna Do It (Again),” “Orange Blossom Special” and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” along with a bonus track of “Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye.”
I believe it’s also the only place you will find Chris Wormer’s guitar-shredding version of “William Tell Overture.”
As he did with several albums, the DVD was dedicated to a special group of Americans.
“Dedicated to the men and women in the military of The United States of America
I know of no organization for which I have more respect, no group of men and women I am prouder of or any force this side of Heaven which is more powerful.
We owe you so much.
Thank you and God Bless you for keeping our country free.
Charlie Daniels 2005”
On the heels of the “Songs From the Longleaf Pines” Bluegrass Gospel album, a live show of songs from that album was performed at The Ford Theater in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, with legends Earl, Gary and Randy Scruggs, Mac Wiseman, The Whites and the GrooveGrass Boys, Del McCoury’s backup band without Del.
It captures a very special show where living legends all got together to celebrate Bluegrass Gospel, and sadly, all three Scruggs men, Mac and dad have all “flown away” to that better home in the sky, Lord in the sky.
It mostly included songs from the “Songs From the Longleaf Pines” album with a few extras. The tracks are “Walking in Jerusalem (Just Like John),” “Preachin’, Prayin’, Singin’,” “I’ve Found a Hiding Place,” “I’m Working on a Building,” “The Old Account,” “What Would You Give (in Exchange For Your Soul),” “The Old Crossroads,” “Salty Dog Blues,” “Keep on the Sunny Side,” “1952 Vincent Black Lighting,” “Uncle Pen,” and “I’ll Fly Away.”
I believe we sold out all the copies we had, and no plans to order any more at this point, but I believe it is streaming on the Qello service, along with the ‘CDB•DVD•Live’ show.
In 2011, the CDB did a show in Birmingham, AL at what was then called the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Complex – B.J.C.C. - with Widespread Panic.
Widespread Panic recorded all their shows and the service they used struck a deal with the CDB to record their show as well.
The concert video, “Live at the B.J.C.C.” was available as a digital download and a limited number of DVDs which were sold through their website.
This is a show that we need to try to make available again, on DVD or streaming, because it was recorded in HD and looks beautiful, and the performances were superb, but there are a few of the songs from the show on YouTube.
Performances include “Redneck Fiddlin’ Man,” “Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye,” “The Legend of Wooley Swamp,” “Saddle Tramp,” “(What This World Needs Is) A Few More Rednecks,” “Birmingham Blues,” “Long Haired Country Boy,” “Black Ice,” “Amazing Grace,” and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.
In 2015, dad recorded what would be his last DVD, ‘Live at Billy Bob’s Texas.’ It’s part of a series that Billy Bob’s has been releasing for several years showcasing different artists performing in the iconic honkytonk.
Performances included “Southern Boy,” “Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye,” “Tangled Up in Blue,” “The Legend of Wooley Swamp,” “El Toreador,” “(What This World Needs Is) A Few More Rednecks,” “In America,” “Black Ice,” “Long Haired Country Boy,” “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “How Great Thou Art,” “The South’s Gonna Do It (Again)” and – of course – “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”
There was one more commercially recorded show, but to this date, it hasn’t been released on DVD, although the double CD of ‘Volunteer Jam XX: A Tribute to Charlie Daniels’ is readily available, but the show still ends up being rebroadcast on AXSTV from time to time so you might be able to catch it. It features performances by Ricky Skaggs, Alabama, Eddie Montgomery, Sara Evans, Billy Gibbons, Justin Moore, Lee Brice and Chris Young, just to name a few.
It was a great show, even though the CDB only did a couple of songs.
Maybe they’ll get around to releasing it on DVD or streaming someday. It definitely deserves it, but.
There’s one honorable mention that I didn’t plan on including because it wasn’t intended for commercial release when it was recorded, but ‘Live From Rockpalast’ is a German release of a TV show that CDB performed on in 1980.
It wasn’t recorded to be released on home video, but 32 years after the show, it was released on DVD and separate CD copies.
I ordered the DVD last fall, but haven’t had time to watch it yet, but I need to soon.
So, that’s all we have so far, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t more things to tap into.
We’ve got several years’ worth of Volunteer Jam film and video masters in storage, some of which we’ve transferred to digital and put onto YouTube, but it’s only a small sliver of what we have in the archives.
There’s a treasure trove of performances that we need to tap into, and when we do, we’ll let you know.
Exciting things are coming!
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!
— Charlie Daniels, Jr.
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