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My Memories of the Charlie Daniels Band Volunteer Jam in Nashville
by Pat Adams (from the TennnesseeConcerts website)

My Memories Of Nashville's Volunteer Jam by Pat Adams
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
plane 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
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
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
, Dwight Yoakam, Papa John Creach, Orleans, Willie Nelson singing his classics Crazy, Night
and Good Hearted Woman, the late Soloman Burke, Sea Level, Eddie Rabbitt, Poco, the Oak Ridge
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
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. (See the video's below)
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
, 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
, 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
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
, 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
I ran into
Roy Acuff at Nashville's Rivergate Mall (food court) about a year before he died, and we talked
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
. 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, CD's & the DVD

Record World Magazine (November 9, 1974) wrote:
Charlie Daniels and his band recently recorded an album of material at a concert at the War Memorial
Auditorium in Nashville. The album featured not only Charlie's band, but a jam session with Dickie Betts,
of the Allman Brothers Band, Toy Caldwell (of Cowboy) & Paul Riddle from the Marshall Tucker Band, plus
others. The "others" included Joel (Taz) DiGregorio, piano player for the Daniels band, as well as guitarist
Barry Barnes, bassist  Mark Fitzgerald and drummer Freddy Edwards of the Charlie Daniels Band.  
Also playing were Jerry Eubanks of the Marshall Tucker Band, Artimus Pyle, Jamie Nichol, Sam McPherson,
and of course, Charlie Daniels. Portions of the Jam will be used on an album..... Pure "Southern Rock" mixed
with the funkiest versions of some old country songs you've ever laid your ears on should make the album
as good as the concert.

Rolling Stone Magazine (November 21, 1974) wrote:
"Ya'll stick around" boomed the voice of Charlie Daniels, who had just delivered a dynamic set with his
own band." We're going to have some people come out here, that can really play." When he reappeared
with Dickey Betts and about half of the Marshall Tucker Band, there was that unmistakable feeling of
good will let loose within the audience, and it snapped my head..... Joining him, his band and Betts on
stage for the Volunteer Jam were Toy Caldwell, Jerry Eubanks, Paul Riddle and Sam McPherson from
the Marshall Tucker Band, Artimus Pyle, who works in the studio with Lynyrd Sknyrd, and Jamie Nichol,
a young Nashville percussionist.  

Performance Magazine - Municipal Auditorium Jam review:
Performance Magazine "The Proof Is In The Grooves. After the thunderous ovation, the crowd still
stood for a while, turning to each other and showing off their goosebumps. Heavee!"
Cashbox Magazine "From the 10,000 strong who braved icy winter winds, to the lavish Tennessee
Mountain Stage set and on down to the blistering, stock car speed and spunk of Southern Rock,
the atmosphere smelled of southern pride and heritage."  
Charlie Daniels (founder) "Dedicated to the ten thousand souls who were such an important part
of the Volunteer Jam - THE AUDIENCE."
Volunteer Jam       TENNESSEE CONCERTS        Nashville Tennessee   
Pat Adams & Charlie Daniels
Search this website
Volunteer Jam
By Pat Adams from the TennesseeConcerts.com website
Some of our favorite Videos
from the Nashville Volunteer Jam's
Kid Rock - All Summer Long - Volunteer Jam 2016
Kid Rock performing "All Summer Long" at the
Charlie Daniels 80th Birthday Volunteer Jam on 11/30/ 2016
The late Dobie Gray performs "Drift Away,"
at Volunteer Jam XI at Municipal Auditorium
in Nashville, TN on February 2, 1985
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Complete Volunteer Jam Xlll Nashville 1987
Starwood Amphitheater, Nashville TN 9.6.-1987 Volunteer Jam XIII, MDA telethon
Set list: 01:20Scuttle Buttin', 03:42Say What, 08:18Look At Little Sister, 12:24Mary Had a
Little Lamb,15:57Superstition, 21:25Cold Shot, 26:42Life Without You, 36:52Voodoo Chile
The Charlie Daniels Band - Long Haired Country Boy
Volunteer Jam II  The CDB perform "Long Haired Country Boy"
at Volunteer Jam II in at Murphy Center in Murfreesboro, TN on
September 12, 1975 with some assistance from Toy Caldwell
from The Marshall Tucker Band playing steel guitar.
Givin' It Up For Your Love - Delbert McClinton
The Charlie Daniels Band celebrated the 40th anniversary of the