Country Throwback: Watch Charlie Daniels Ride Tom the Turkey at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

by Emily Morgan
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Take a break from eating turkey and watch the late, great country singer Charlie Daniels’ performance at the 1991 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

Sitting atop “Tom the Turkey,” Charlie Daniels performed his song “Little Folks” as he rode the giant balloon through New York City. 

In the video, hundreds of onlookers gather in the streets, cheering on the country music star.  

On this occasion, Daniels is adorned with his iconic ten-gallon cowboy hat and southwestern style sweater. He captures everyone’s eyes and ears using his smooth, sultry voice. 

The track is off his 1991 record, Renegade. The song became No. 47 on the “US Country Charts.” Renegade peaked at No. 25 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart.

Country Legends’ Take on Thanksgiving

“The Devil Went Down to Georgia” singer was only 55-years-old at the time of the annual parade. Prior to the parade, several of Daniels’ albums and singles were hits on the country charts. They still receive airtime on radio stations today. In 1999, Daniels collaborated with Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry on the hit song, “All Night Long” on their debut album, Tattoos and Scars. The album became a huge commercial success. In addition, Daniels’ voice was used in the 1999 musical, The Civil War. The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame inducted Charlie Daniels to honor his musical influence the same year.

In 2017 Daniels gave his own philosophical take on the Thanksgiving holiday. In summary, he writes:

“Our peripheral view of Thanksgiving has, unfortunately, been reduced to displays of fall colors, turkeys, stuffing, football and an excuse to begin the Christmas shopping season.

As in so many things the true meaning of Thanksgiving, a day set aside to give thanks for all things, has been shoved to the side by the secular circus of sales, specials and the vision of tables loaded with enough food to feed a small village.”

In the message, Daniels described the importance of taking time to appreciate his blessings.

“My family and myself have an awful lot to be thankful for. There will be a prayer of thanks at our house, with all family and dinner guests holding hands and ending in The Lord’s Prayer. Hopefully giving all in attendance pause, to stop and think about their own blessings.”

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