Music

Confederate Railroad Singer Danny Shirley Breaks His Back in a 'Freak Accident'

Screengrab via YouTube

Danny Shirley, the lead singer of Georgia-born country music band Confederate Railroad, broke his back on Tuesday (March 30) in an unspecified accident.

"After a freak accident at home yesterday, our lead singer Danny Shirley has suffered a broken back," reads the band's Facebook post. "He is currently heavily medicated & under Dr's care.  On a good note, there is no paralysis & the Doctor is optimistic.  Updates to follow.  Danny is not able to answer phone calls at this time and requests privacy as he heals.  Prayers are very much appreciated."

Another '90s star from Georgia, John Berry, offered prayers in the comments, as did Neal McCoy.

"Please tell him we'll keep him in our prayers!!," wrote McCoy.

Confederate Railroad formed in 1987. Original members Shirley, Mark Dufresne, Michael Lamb, Chris McDaniel and the late Gates Nichols (May 26, 1944 - August 14, 2009) and Wayne Secrest (April 29, 1950 - June 2, 2018) cut their teeth as a backing band for Johnny Paycheck and David Allan Coe before scoring their own hits for Atlantic Records.

The list of Confederate Railroad members over the years includes Sawyer Brown co-founder Bobby Randall and former Mark Wills and Sammy Kershaw collaborator Rusty Hendrix.

Fan favorites by Confederate Railroad include the No. 2 hit "Queen of Memphis" plus "Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind," "Bill's Laundromat Bar & Grill," "Elvis and Andy," "Jesus and Mama," "When You Leave That Way You Can Never Go Back" and a cover of Jerry Jeff Walker's "Trashy Women."

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The band's name and its use of the Confederate flag cost it 2019 bookings at the DuQuoin State Fair in Illinois and the Ulster County Fair in New York. Despite losing paid gigs, the Southern rock-inspired act has shown zero interest in distancing itself from Civil War imagery.

"I would never do that," Shirley told Rolling Stone Country. "All these people who have stood up for us through this, and the millions of people who have bought these records over the years, and especially now, with us being under fire and people taking a stand in our defense, there's no way I'd ever change the name of the band. That'd just be a kick in the gut to anyone who ever bought a record by us."

Confederate Railroad's 1992 debut album and its follow-up, 1994's Notorious, were platinum-selling releases.

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Confederate Railroad Singer Danny Shirley Breaks His Back in a 'Freak Accident'