Country music fans, and fans of Charlie Daniels in particular, stood in line Thursday, Nov. 2, at MTSU‘s Phillips Bookstore to receive autographed copies of the famed musician’s book, “Never Look at the Empty Seats: A Memoir.”
Daniels’ book, released Oct. 24, takes readers down the path from his post-Depression childhood to his career with the Charlie Daniels Band, performing for millions, and relates what he’s learned along the way.
The Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center at MTSU is named for the Danielses.
Before the signing event, local Quilts of Valor members presented Daniels, a strong advocate for the U.S. military, with a special quilt. Daniels, in turn, gave longtime Grand Ole Opry performer and Gold Star mother Jan Howard an MTSU football jersey.
The surprised Howard also received a special brick from Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, that will be placed at the MTSU Military Memorial site outside the Tom H. Jackson Building Saturday, Nov. 4, during the 36th annual Salute to Veterans and Armed Services at MTSU.
“We started a tradition here to honor our heroes, our family members, and their sacrifice,” Huber, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, told Howard.
“This Gold Star brick will be placed at the Veterans Memorial in recognition of your loss of your son and the sacrifice of our heroes, our precious family members. God bless you.”
Howard’s son, James Van Howard, a former MTSU student, was killed in action in Vietnam in 1968 and is among the fallen soldiers whose names are inscribed on the wall of the MTSU memorial.
“Thank you so much,” said Howard, searching for words. “That you for your service, all of our veterans.”
Howard’s surviving son, Carter “Corky” Howard, who served in Vietnam at the same time as his brother, also attended Thursday’s event.
— Randy Weiler (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Famed musician Daniels to sign copies of new memoir Nov. 2 at MTSU
Oct. 30, 2017
Famed country music artist Charlie Daniels, one of the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame, will sign copies of his new book, “Never Look at the Empty Seats: A Memoir,” at Middle Tennessee State University this Thursday, Nov. 2.
Daniels will sign from noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 2 at Phillips Bookstore in the Student Union Building, 1768 MTSU Blvd.
The public is invited to attend. Copies of the book, which was released Oct. 24, will be available for sale. Daniels will only be signing copies of the new book while on campus.
Parking will be available in the Rutherford Boulevard lot, and Raider Xpress routes will shuttle visitors to the Student Union. To find the parking area, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. All visitors should use parking meters or obtain a permit from the Parking and Transportation Services office at 1403 East Main St. or print a visitor pass at https://mtsu.t2hosted.com. Visitor permits are $2 per day.
The Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center is named for the Danielses. The star’s Journey Home Project foundation, which assists other not-for-profits in securing funds to benefit veterans and assist in their transition from uniform into civilian life, has provided gifts totaling $120,000 to the center.
The center, located on the first floor of the Keathley University Center, has assisted more than 900 student veterans and family members on campus this fall. It works to help current military, veterans and family members in their move from military to college, then from college to a successful career.
In the book, Daniels travels the path from his post-Depression childhood to his career with the Charlie Daniels Band, performing for millions, and what he has learned along the way.
He also provides insights into the musicians in his world, including Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette and many more.
Daniels, who turned 81 Oct. 28, has seen his career span nearly 60 years; he was inducted into the hall of fame in 2016. He shares a life lesson in the book:
“Walk onstage with a positive attitude,” he writes. “Your troubles are your own and are not included in the ticket price. Some nights you have more to give than others, but put it all out there every show. You’re concerned for the people who showed up, not the ones who didn’t. So give them a show and … never look at the empty seats!”
For more on the event and the veterans center, call 615-904-8347 or visit www.mtsu.edu/military.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)