VOLUNTEER JAM I - October 4, 1974
The very first Volunteer Jam concert was held at War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville. The show was scheduled as a live recording session for two songs for the Fire on the Mountain album, "No Place to Go" and "Orange Blossom Special." The CDB invited some of their friends - Dickey Betts from the Allman Brothers Band and Toy Caldwell, Jerry Eubanks and Paul Riddle from the Marshall Tucker Band - to get together and jam after their set. A tradition was born. "Ain't it good to be alive, and be in Tennessee!" - Charlie Daniels, 1974
VOLUNTEER JAM II - September 12, 1975
Officially known as "Volunteer Jam '75," the second Jam was held at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Special guests included The Marshall Tucker Band, Dickey Betts and Chuck Leavell from the Allman Brothers Band, Jimmy Hall from Wet Willie and Dru Lombar from Grinderswitch. The concert was filmed and released as Volunteer Jam - Starring The Charlie Daniels Band, the first full-length Southern rock motion picture.
VOLUNTEER JAM III - January 8, 1977
Volunteer Jam III was held at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. Special guests included The Winters Brothers Band, Grinderswitch, Wet Willie, Sea Level, The Sanford-Townsend Band and others. Performances from this Jam were combined with performances from VolJam IV to create a live album, Volunteer Jam III and IV.
VOLUNTEER JAM IV - January 14, 1978
Volunteer Jam IV was held again at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. Special guests included The Winters Brothers Band, Grinderswitch, Wet Willie, Sea Level, The Sanford-Townsend Band and others. Performances from this Jam were combined with performances from VolJam III to create a live album, Volunteer Jam III and IV.
VOLUNTEER JAM V - January 13, 1979
Volunteer Jam V was held again at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. This Jam marked the return of Lynyrd Skynyrd to the stage for the first time since the 1977 plane crash that claimed several band members, and the CDB gave the first live performance of a song that would catapult the band to superstardom later that year, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." Special guests also included Toy Caldwell and George McCorkle from the Marshall Tucker Band, Dobie Gray, The Winters Brothers Band, The Henry Paul Band, Link Wray, and John Prine.
VOLUNTEER JAM VI - January 12, 1980
Volunteer Jam VI was held again at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. Special guests included The Winters Brothers Band, Dobie Gray, Grinderswitch, Papa John Creach, The Henry Paul Band, Rufus Thomas, Crystal Gayle, Wet Willie, Bobby Jones, Louisiana's LeRoux, Ted Nugent & others.
VOLUNTEER JAM VII - January 17, 1981
Volunteer Jam VII was held again at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. The CDB's special guests included Ted Nugent, Dobie Gray, Molly Hatchet, Delbert McClinton, Crystal Gayle, Bobby Bare, Jimmy Hall from Wet Willie & others.
VOLUNTEER JAM VIII - January 30, 1982
Volunteer Jam VIII was held again at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. Special guests included Johnny Lee, George Thorogood, Crystal Gayle, Quarterflash, The Oak Ridge Boys, Dickey Betts, Jimmy C. Newman, Duane Eddy, Roy Acuff and others.
VOLUNTEER JAM IX - January 22, 1983
Volunteer Jam IX was held again at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. The CDB's special guests included James Brown, Carl Perkins, Dickey Betts, Grinderswitch, Quarterflash, Johnny Lee, The Winters Brothers Band, Papa John Creach, Woody Herman and others.
VOLUNTEER JAM X - February 4, 1984
Volunteer Jam X was held again at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. Special guests included The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Ronnie Milsap, Dobie Gray, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Vince Gill, Louise Mandrell, Amy Grant, The Bellamy Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Crystal Gayle, Streets, Exile, B.J. Thomas, Tammy Wynette and others.
VOLUNTEER JAM XI - February 2, 1985
Volunteer Jam XI was held again at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. Special guests included Kris Kristofferson, Tom Wopat, Little Richard, Nicolette Larson, Alabama, Ted Nugent, Bill Medley from The Righteous Brothers, Tommy Shaw from Styx, Lacy J. Dalton, Gail Davies, Eddy Raven, Emmylou Harris, Amy Grant, and others.
VOLUNTEER JAM XII - July 12, 1986
Volunteer Jam XII was held at the then-new Starwood Amphitheatre in Nashville. Special guests included John Conlee, Dobie Gray, The Judds, Restless Heart, Marty Stuart, The Outlaws, John Schneider, The Allman Brothers Band, Dwight Yoakum and others
VOLUNTEER JAM XIII - September 6, 1987
Volunteer Jam XIII was held again at Starwood Amphitheatre in Nashville. Special guests included William Lee Golden, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Chapman, Great White and others including Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was Johnny Van Zant's first appearance as Skynyrd frontman, replacing his brother, Ronnie, who died in a 1977 plane crash. The Jam also coincided with the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, and some of the Jam performances were broadcast on the program.
VOLUNTEER JAM XIV - May 4, 1991
Volunteer Jam XIV was held again at Starwood Amphitheatre in Nashville. Special guests included Tanya Tucker, Bobby Jones & New Life, Travis Tritt, Joe Diffie, Ted Nugent, Jim "Dandy" Mangrum, B.B. King and John Kay & Steppenwolf.
VOLUNTEER JAM XV - September 20, 1992
Volunteer Jam XV was held again at Starwood Amphitheatre in Nashville. Special guests included Poco, Eddie Rabbitt, Little Feat, The Oak Ridge Boys, Paulette Carlson, Suzy Bogguss, Pirates Of The Mississippi, Confederate Railroad, Hal Ketchum, The Desert Rose Band, and others.
VOLUNTEER JAM XVI - October 29, 1996
The last of the original Jams, Volunteer Jam XVI, was held at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville. The Jam was reimagined as an acoustic show and commemorated Daniels' 60th birthday. Special guests included Lorrie Morgan, David Ball, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tracy Byrd, Tracy Lawrence, John Berry, Randy Scruggs and BlackHawk
VOLUNTEER JAM XVIII - August 12, 2015
The CDB celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Volunteer Jam with an all-star lineup at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Artists scheduled to perform included Travis Tritt, Montgomery Gentry, Billy Ray Cyrus, The Kentucky Headhunters, The Outlaws, Lee Roy Parnell, Trace Adkins, Colt Ford, Tracy Lawrence, Craig Morgan, Ted Nugent, The Oak Ridge Boys and Michael W. Smith.
VOLUNTEER JAM XIX - November 30, 2016
Daniels celebrated his 80th birthday with a Volunteer Jam on November 30, 2016, with special guests Chris Stapleton, Travis Tritt, Kid Rock, Larry The Cable Guy, 3 Doors Down and Luke Bryan.
VOLUNTEER JAM XX - March 7, 2018
"Volunteer Jam XX: A Tribute to Charlie" included the CDB, Alison Krauss, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Blackberry Smoke, Bobby Bare, Chris Janson, Chuck Leavell, Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Ricky Skaggs, Alabama, Sara Evans, Lee Brice, Chris Young and Travis Tritt. Was recorded for broadcast on AXS TV, as well as DVD/CD releases.
VOLUNTEER JAM XX1 - Scheduled for September 15, 2020
"Volunteer Jam XXI: A Tribute to Charlie." Daniels died on July 6 of that year.
My Memories Of Nashville's Volunteer Jam by Pat Adams (from TennesseeConcerts website).
Through all of Charlie Daniels accomplishments, Charlie Daniels may be best known for organizing the genre-bending musical extravaganzas known as the Volunteer Jams, 16 music events over the course of three decades. Some of my best concert memories growing up in Nashville Tennessee, are attending almost all of the Volunteer Jam concerts. The first of the Jam's which featured the Charlie Daniels Band & friends on October 4, 1974, took place at Nashville's War Memorial Auditorium..CDB songs at the Jam included Whiskey, Long Haired Country Boy, Trudy, Georgia, Feelin' Free, Be Proud You're A Rebel, The Souths Gonna Do It, and New York City Rosewood Bed on which the late Joel (Taz) DiGregorio took over the lead vocals. This was the beginning of a Nashville tradition, and several live songs from that Jam were featured on the 1974 triple-platinum album "Fire On The Mountain". Volunteer Jam II (1975) took place at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro Tennessee, and was actually made into a movie, billed as "The First Full-Length Southern Rock Motion Picture." Not only was I at the concert, but I remember going to see the movie as soon as it came out in the theater. I now own the DVD, which was released in 2007 under the name "Volunteer Jam." It can be purchased on Charlie Daniels official website at www.charliedaniels.com. This is a video worth buying, if you are in to southern rock. It also features Jam guests Jimmy Hall, Dickey Betts, Chuck Leavell, Dru Lumber and Artimus Pyle. Also featured, some great footage of the original Marshall Tucker Band with Doug Gray, Paul Riddle, Jerry Eubanks, plus late members Toy Caldwell, Tommy Caldwell and George McCorkle. Others performing at the concert included Alvin Lee and Ronnie Stoneman. This event
was recorded at a turning point in the history of the CDB. The breakthrough record "Fire On The Mountain" was riding high on the charts, The South's Gonna Do It Again, was a hit anthem on FM radio and the band was enjoying a peak moment of popularity that would keep on building. One of the reasons for the first Volunteer Jam was to do some live recordings for "Fire On The Mountain", Daniels recalled. The first Volunteer Jam was in a 2,200 seat hall and the second one was in a 13,000 seat hall. Daniels excepted the group's first gold record on stage that night at Volunteer Jam II. Volunteer Jam III-X took place at Nashville's Municipal Auditorium, between 1976 and the mid-1980's. The Municipal Auditorium Jam's have been broadcast nationally on over 250 radio stations and later around the globe. Many were televised on TV specials, including Volunteer Jam X, produced by the one and only Dick Clark. Host Charlie Daniels, had no limit to the genre of music which is featured at the Volunteer Jam concerts including rock, country, bluegrass, gospel, soul, classical, comedy, and last but not least southern rock. My favorite Volunteer Jam concert was Vol Jam V, in January of 1979. This Jam also took place at Nashville's Municipal Auditorium, and was somewhat of a tribute to Ronnie Van Zant and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Lynyrd Skynyrd reunited for the first time on-stage, since their October 20, 1977 lane crash. They performed the J.J. Cale song Call Me The Breeze, with my friend Taz from the CDB on vocals, then an instrumental version of Freebird, with a spotlight on Ronnie VanZant's hat hanging on an empty microphone. Many people in the audience had tears in their eyes. Other CDB members playing with Skynyrd that special night included Charlie Daniels and CDB bassist Charlie Hayward. Leon Wilkeson appeared on stage, but could not play due to injuries from the plane crash. Judy Van Zant and Teresa Gaines also spoke. The show featured other Skynyrd related tributes including Grey Ghost, a tribute to Ronnie Van Zant by the Henry Paul Band, and Reflections by the Charlie Daniels Band. My other
memories of the Volunteer Jam Municipal Auditorium concerts include Billy Joel, Ted Nugent with Molly Hatchet doing Mississippi Queen and Carol, Leon Russell, Mickey Gilley, Duane Eddy, Woody Herman, Charlie Daniels with the Jordanaires doing an Elvis Presley medley, Louisiana's Leroux performing New Orleans Ladies, Grinderswitch, Vince Gill, Nicolette Larson, Tommy Shaw doing Too Much Time On My Hands, Dwight Yoakam, Papa John Creach, Orleans, Willie Nelson singing his classics Crazy, Night Life and Good Hearted Woman, the late Soloman Burke, Sea Level, Eddie Rabbitt, Poco, the Oak Ridge Boys singing Elvira. Later Jam's featured a solo William Lee Golden singing Long And Winding Road, B.B. King, Delbert McClinton doing Standing On Shakey Ground, Ray Price singing For The Good Times, The Outlaws, Bill Medley performing You've Lost That Lovin Feeling, Quarterflash doing Harden My Heart, the late Boxcar Willie, the late Roy Acuff doing Wabash Cannonball, the late Jim Varney with his comedy, Amy Grant, Tammy Wynette singing Stand By Your Man, Crystal Gayle, Wet Willie doing Keep On Smilin' and Street Corner Serenade, John Prine, the Allman Brothers Band with Bonnie Bramlett performing Rambin' Man, the Winters Brothers Band performing Sang Her Love Songs and I Can't Help It, Jim Dandy & Black Oak Arkansas, Emmylou Harris, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band doing Mr Bojangles, and B.J. Thomas.Carl Perkins usually performed his big hit Blue Suede Shoes, Link Ray played some mean guitar, the late Ronnie Lane from Small Faces made an appearance, Little Richard removed his shirt and shoes while performing only to throw them to the crowd, Alabama played some mountain music plus a few ballads, a funny Rufus Thomas (with Al Kooper) did the Funky Chicken, and James Brown brought the house down at one Jam performing I Feel Good and a medley of his other big hits. People got excited when they would see people come out because they didn't know who was there and over the years people would never know who would come out. Volunteer Jam regulars included Jimmy Hall usually doing Keep On Smilin', Henry Paul (solo, Outlaws, Blackhawk), Dobie Gray with his hit song Drift Away, Dickey Betts performing Ramblin' Man, the late Toy Caldwell and George McCorkle usually doing Can't You See. Lynyrd Skynyrd's Artimus Pyle also appeared at many of the Volunteer Jam concerts. The Volunteer Jam concerts at Starwood Ampthitheater began somewhere around Vol Jam XI (or XII) and took place from the 1980's up until 2000 (the last). They have been the subject of documentary television productions as well as a live appearance on the national broadcast of the Jerry Lewis Telethon. Guests at the Starwood Jam's include Don Henley and J.D. Souther) doing Desperado & You're Only Lonely, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan performing Superstitious, The Judds, a later version of the Marshall Tucker Band, and Little Feat. Volunteer Jam XIII brought back Lynyrd Skynyrd in a second reunion since the plane crash, with a paralyzed Allen Collins speaking to the crowd, not long before his death. This Skynyrd show was the beginning of the new Lynyrd Skynyrd band featuring Johnny VanZant, which still tours to this day. Other acts at the Starwood shows included John Kay from Steppenwolf doing Born To Be Wild, Molly Hatchet flirtin' with disaster, the late Bill Monroe performing Blue Moon Of Kentucky, Montgomery Gentry, 1950's idol Pat Boone, Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander playing piano, Travis Tritt, plus Charlie Daniels and Garth Brooks performing Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye. Starwood, also brought the first time the CDB performed Devil Went Down To Georgia, before a live crowd. The CDB often showcased their new songs to the Vol Jam crowds. Starwood Amphitheater was torn down in 2007. Volunteer Jam XVI on October 28, 1996 was held on Charlie Daniels birthday. This was a special "acoustic jam" in Jackson Hall at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Along with the Charlie Daniels Band were Billy Ray Cyrus doing Achy Breaky Heart, Blackhawk (with the late Van Stephenson and Artimus Pyle on the bongo's), Lorrie Morgan, David Ball, John Berry, Tracy Lawrence, John Michael Montgomery, Tracy Byrd and many others. Longtime CDB guitarist Tommy Crane returned to the Jam, as did guest Judy Van Zant and others in town for the "Freebird The Movie" premiere. I have seen the best of the best, by attending these Volunteer Jam concerts. I thank Charlie and the band, for giving me the opportunity to actually see and hear so many great artists and songs. Their were so many performers that I can't recall many of them, after racking my brain, looking through Vol Jam memorabilia and watching old Jam video's. In my opinion, the Volunteer Jam was the greatest regular event, growing up in Nashville. I ran into Roy Acuff at Nashville's Rivergate Mall (food court) about a year before he died, and we talked about Charlie Daniels and the Volunteer Jam, over a cup of coffee. The last time I saw Charlie Daniels, we also spoke of the Volunteer Jam. A 2007 Volunteer Jam was scheduled for Nashville but was cancelled, due to the closing of Starwood Amphitheater. Daniels was quoted in 2007 as saying "We never had any idea how big it would become, broadcasting it all around the world and on Voice of America. We thought it was a hometown thing. We never realized it would become an international event." I hope to see more Nashville Volunteer Jam's concerts in Nashville, in the future. As Charlie Daniels says "Ain't it good to be alive, and be in Tennessee." Some of the information from this article came from Volunteer Jam/CDB memorablia.
By Pat Adams from the www.TennesseeConcerts.com and the www.SouthernTribute.com website’s out of Nashville Tennessee. Pat along with the late CDB drummer Gary Allen ran the "Play It Again Jam", a weekly/monthly musicians jam at venues around Nashville from 2008-2011 (not related to the Volunteer Jam).