Confederate Railroad is a Chattanooga-based country band with a string hit records over the last 20 years.
Band leader Danny Shirley founded the country rock group...and still leads it.
But WDEF News 12's Bill Mitchell tells us he also remains a "home-town" boy, who tries to give back to those who helped him along the way.
AUDIO--"The night I fell in Love with the Queen of Memphis."
Confederate Railroad is a show band!
After more than 20 years and dozens of hit country records, they show no signs of slowing down.
Their songs are still played on country and southern rock stations and their fans are still singing along with songs like "The Queen of Memphis", "Jesus and Mama always loved me" and "Trashy Women".
Confederate Railroad was formed in 1987 by Danny Shirley and several local musicians. The band went on to have two platinum albums and more than 20 singles that hit the Billboard charts.
That success was not enough to pull Danny away from his family and his Chattanooga roots.
DANNY SHIRLEY, CONFEDERATE RAILROAD "For the most part we've always had a real normal life, my kids, I've got three boys..Levi, Nick and Mitchell...and I think that they're perfectly normal kids because they've been raised in a perfectly normal household."
But, back in the day, before the record deal, Danny and the band toured with controversial performers Johnny Paycheck and David Allen Coe. It was an association that almost kept Confederate Railroad from making the big time. Shirley says he owes a lot to Hall of Famer George Jones.
DANNY SHIRLEY "Other artists would not take me out on the road with them because there was still that old Coe and Paycheck question. And George stepped up and he said, I'll take you out..why don't you go out on tour with me. And once George accepted me..and showed he accepted me, then other artists said well, he must be o.k. cause George Jones likes him."
Danny and the Band got to hang with other music legends.
DANNY SHIRLEY "You know to get to know people like Willie, Waylon, and tour with David and Paycheck..its just been a dream come true for me."
But Danny Shirley is just a home-town boy when it comes to doing local shows. Like the time he was nervous about doing Riverbend 1995, in front of 138-thousand people.
DANNY SHIRLEY "I start walking up the stairs and the camera picks me up..and puts me on the big screen. And actually did a standing ovation walking on stage. And, then I was...whooo..Its still emotional to me today."
On this particular night Shirley and songwriter Roger Allen Wade were raising money for the Hunter -Worley Foundation.
Despite his touring schedule, Danny says he'll always make time for things like this.
DANNY SHIRLEY "This town has supported me from day one and I have no idea how to ever pay them back for it."
Confederate Railroad may not be a top ten band anymore, but Danny and the boys are not forgotten.