Charlie Daniels’ Former Manager Opens Up About ‘Gigantic Hole’ His Death Left on Family, Crew

by Shelby Scott

It’s been more than a year since the pioneering country music legend Charlie Daniels passed away. Following the Charlie Daniels Band frontman’s death last July, his absence has left a hole within the industry. Additionally, his absence affects those maintaining his Journey Home Project, and the hearts of friends and family as a whole.

Wednesday night sees the first Patriot Award dinner sponsored by the organization since Daniels’ death last summer. Daniels’ longtime friend and manager, David Corlew, shared how life has progressed behind the scenes without Charlie Daniels. He detailed the ways the Journey Home Project has kept the country star a prominent feature within the organization.

According to Fox News, Daniels’ Journey Home Project, which serves to assist veterans in their transition back to civilian lifestyles, has pushed efforts to immortalize the country star and his contributions. The singer’s organization, now renamed the Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project, received more donations than ever before following his passing. Corlew and other family members and friends continue to work through their grief following Daniels’ demise. Additionally, the artist’s manager said he feels honored to carry on the flame of the Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project.

“I know that he was very proud of and very appreciative of the work that we were doing,” he stated, “so knowing that I’m kind of carrying the flame” leaves Corlew with a great responsibility in Daniels’ wake.

He added, “Obviously we can never replace Charlie but what we can do is continue to carry that spirit and the things that he wanted to accomplish.”

Charlie Daniels’ Life On the Road Created Connection to Veterans

Our United States veterans clearly lead a different life than any of us here in the home states. However, in his own way, Charlie Daniels connected with veterans in ways others could not.

Corlew said of his friend, “In his heart, [Charlie] just loved the veterans, he loved playing for them. He loved raising money for them and he loved spending time with them.”

Daniels’ love for country and those who serve remains imminent in the values embodied and emphasized within the Journey Home Project. Those values extend to the significance of the Patriot Award.

Daniels’ longtime manager and friend further shared, “His famous saying was, ‘there are two things that protect the United States of America against all evil, and that’s the United States military and God almighty.'”

Between his patriotism and his grueling life on the road pursuing country music, Charlie Daniels frequently related to U.S. veterans. Corlew said, “It’s a hard road to spend 150 to 200 nights a year away from home and away from your family.”

In this way, “I think there’s a parallel with veterans and anyone that has to leave home to go complete their mission to serve,” be that in the military or in a day-to-day job.

In hosting the Patriot Awards ceremony, Corlew makes further efforts to keep the legacy and love of Charlie Daniels alive.