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Don Chase and Sarah

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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 30: Charlie Daniels performs during "FOX & Friends" All American Concert Series outside of FOX Studios on May 30, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Debbie looked puzzled at my comment yesterday, “this is like the day Elvis died.”

The date was August 16, 1977, a sunny, hot, sultry North Carolina day for cropping tobacco. After a hard but fantastic day, I headed home not knowing how things were about to change. The second I walked in the back door, I knew something was up. I could see the tears streaming down Mom’s face as she pointed to the television displaying the words “Elvis Presley Dead.”

Monday was one of those days. I walk in from the BIG 957 WKML Radio Ranch only to have Debbie say, “hey did you hear the news that Charlie Daniels died?” That’s when I said, “this is just like the day Elvis died.”

The first thought that crossed my mind took me back to the late 1970’s. It was an early Saturday morning when a few friends and I popped into Talmadge Dove’s restaurant in Bladenboro, North Carolina for a bite of breakfast. It didn’t take long for word to get around as to who was also there having breakfast that morning. I look over and could not believe my eyes. There sat Charlie Daniels.

Charlie was in town going coon hunting. I am sure it was family that Charlie back to his home territory. I was once told that with a brother (Murray) in Elizabethtown and family and friends scattered all the way to Wilmington, it didn’t take much to get Charlie home. I was so hoping that Debbie’s words were some of that “fake news.” The words were true. C

harlie, how can a huge fan say thank you? Thank you for the music, the many years of concerts, the always standing up for these great United States of America. Speaking of concerts, were you at the Fort Bragg 4th of July celebration in 2011 at the Main Post Parade Field? This was definitely one of the hottest days on Earth as a fairly new Country group Little Big Town opened
for Charlie and his band. Charlie hit the stage wearing his signature cowboy hat, long sleeved shirt and fiddle. After an hour and half workout, Charlie still had as much energy as he did before the show began. No one enjoyed a live audience more than Charlie Daniels.

For music collectors, how far does your Charlie Daniels library go back? I am fortunate to have a song from 1959 called “Jaguar” from a group by the same name. Charlie was a member of the group and also co-wrote the song. Just for grins and giggles, what would be your favorite Charlie Daniels song? For me, “Carolina I Remember You.” You may not remember the song from 1980. If not, may I share the lyrics for you to enjoy? Charlie, on behalf of millions of fans, thank you!

“Carolina (I Remember You)”

The first things I remember are frosty Carolina mornings with a cheery fire crackling in my mommas big black wood cook stove.

I remember snow flakes as big as goose feathers and the moon the color of new made country butter and a night sky like diamonds against black velvet reaching from horizon to horizon.

I remember when the biggest problems in my barefoot life were sand spurs and red ant hills.

I remember sitting with my grand-daddy on the front porch and watching the last of that magnificent southern sun bleed away into the twilight sky.

I remember Sunday school and kneeling at the cross and trying to imagine what God looked like; Sunday dinner, short pants, hair cuts and a little puppy my daddy brought home to me and I remember love.

I remember steam puffing, fire breathing, awesome 10 wheel locomotives and the conductor’s watch looked as big as one of my grandmothers biscuits.

I remember my mother smiling in a red and white checkered dress and Christmas always seemed so far away. Yes, I remember you Carolina, grand old lady of the south. I remember you as home.

One of the memories that stays on my mind about an old southern lady that I left behind,
is a ramshackle bridge where the deep river winds and an old two-lane blacktop through the tall long-leaf pines.

Carolina, Carolina You’re hard, but you’re hard to forget.

I still remember the magnolia nights and goosefeather snow flakes in the gray morning light;
sandspurs and puppies and red autumn leaves and the warm lights in the clear night on a cold Christmas Eve.

Carolina, Carolina You’re hard, but you’re hard to forget.

Carolina I knew you before the highways got to you and I loved you as one of your own and I still do

Carolina, Carolina You’re hard, but you’re hard to forget

You’re hard To Forget