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Charlie Daniels Birthday Jam- Bridgestone Arena, in Nashville, TN November 30, 2016

       Charlie Daniels Birthday Jam- Bridgestone Arena, in Nashville, TN November 30, 2016 
Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels
 by Terry Mercer 

Country singer and fiddle player Charlie Daniels, a member of the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame, celebrated his 80th birthday at the 42nd Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam. A project he’s done every year since its inception is 1974.

The event packed Bridgestone Arena, in Nashville, TN last Wednesday night (November 30th). With more than 15,700 fans, setting the record for the 4th most tickets holders in the arena ever, but hey it was an all-star cast of talent, and a once in a lifetime type of event!

Behind the scenes, before the show there was a press conference and semi-private awards 
Charlie Daniels with Gibson Guitar
Charlie Daniels with Gibson Guitar
presentation. Daniels was surprised with a custom Gibson guitar embossed with photos of 13 significant events from the singer’s career, engraved plackets around the edges, a photograph on the back, and a special message on the head. But it didn’t stop there. Daniel’s kept the gifts flowing, presenting each of this year’s performers with a custom Henry rifle and engraved Case pocket knife.

As the National Anthem was performed to start the festivities, Dolly Parton’s American Eagle Foundation mascot, Challenger flew across the audience. For the ticket holders, Charlie Daniels was preceded by Storme Warren as the event host, introducing Three 
Charlie Daniels with Birthday Jam
Charlie Daniels Birthday Jam
Doors Down, then Larry The Cable Guy, Travis Tritt (and his daughter, Tyler Reece Tritt), Kid Rock, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, with a special guest appearance by Randy Travis. The event helped raise over $245,000 for the Journey Home Project, and both raised awareness, and showed appreciation, for the men and women that serve in our nation’s military (past, present, and future).

The surprise this year was Randy Travis who helped present 
Charlie Daniels with the rare “Country Humanitarian of the Year” Award. An award Daniel’s had earned many times over during the last 42 years of Volunteer Jams, decades of USO tours, with all his efforts with the Journey Home Project. Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Keith Huber was also on hand to help present the award. 

“This has been an incredible year,” the spry 80-year-old country legend told the crowd. “I am so 
Randy Travis
Travis Tritt and his daughter, Tyler Reece Tritt
honored to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame along with my brother Randy Travis. I was so surprised when he came walking out here. This is one of the strongest, most courageous men that I know.” Then, with a short emotional pause, continued, “And I can tell you,” Daniels added, “he’s getting better yet, and he’ll sing again!”

At the end, Travis briefly addressed his friend and the cheering crowd, by simply saying, “Thank you… very much,” as the crowd roared in their amazement that another iconic country legend made a rare public appearance, and was helped off the stage.
Kid Rock with Charlie Daniels
Kid Rock with Charlie Daniels
After a few brief moments, the jam was back on… as Kid Rock joined Charlie on stage, then the rest started joining in from all sides, for over an hour of additional music that didn’t stop until nearly 1am.

Images by StageResults, Courtesy of MDsChoice.com

- More at UnRatedMagazine.com

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