Daniel Joseph Schafer

Daniel Joseph Schafer
Daniel Schafer (Dan Schafer)
Birth name Daniel Joseph Schafer (Dan Schafer)
Born October 5, 1952(1952-10-05)
Mount Pleasant, Michigan, U.S.
Genres Country, Christian, pop
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, pedal steel guitar, bass guitar
Years active 1970-present
Associated acts Shania Twain, Barbara Mandrell, George Jones
Website danschafer.com

Daniel Joseph Schafer (born October 5, 1952), known professionally as Dan Schafer, is an American country music and Christian singer, lead guitarist, songwriter, and actor, who has toured with Shania Twain, Barbara Mandrell, George Jones, Lorrie Morgan, T. Graham Brown, and played bass on the Grand Ole Opry for six years. He was a recording artist for RCA Records and moved from playing guitar in the studio to songwriting and touring with national country music artists. His career includes singing commercial jingles for national products and as a songwriter, has had one composition reach #1 on the Billboard Christian music chart.


Early life

Schafer was born in Mount Pleasant, Michigan and began performing at a child on local radio shows and performing jamborees. He learned to play guitar at age 9 and, together with his parents, performed at area dance clubs, such as Palmer's Idle Hour Bar in Weidman, Michigan. While in high school, he played with two rock-and-roll bands, The Bark of Paper Mulberry and The Wild West Show. He graduated from Beal City High School in 1970, and relocated to Detroit to perform with the music group, the Grand Band.

In Detroit, Schafer's guitar skills caught the eye of local recording talents, including Moonstone and Skip Van Winkle, who'd scored records on the Billboard charts.


In 1974, Schafer was signed to a two-year contract with RCA Records and worked with producer Jack Richardson (record producer)(The Guess Who, Alice Cooper, and Poco). In 1976, Schafer recorded his own work, " A Day Without You Dear," which was released but failed to chart, despite substantial international airplay. His own song was next covered by The Skyliners on their album, "Once Upon a Time"[1] as well as their 1978 comeback album on Tortoise International [2]

In 1978 Schafer released "Baby, Now That I Found You," a remake of the Foundations' hit single, working with producers Bruce Goldberg and Don Davis for the RCA Tortoise International Label. Based on increased experience in working with award-winning record producers, Schafer was given the opportunity to sing and produce radio and TV commercials in the Detroit area. Some of the commercials were broadcast nationally, including Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Dow Cleansers.

Schafer next became a full-time guitarist and background singer for recording artists including Larry Santos and The Skyliners.

Relocating to Nashville in 1979, Schafer found professional success in the country music genre. Because of his versatility in playing lead guitar, pedal steel guitar, and bass guitar, Schafer was chosen to tour with Leroy Van Dyke, which was a showcase that led to his opportunities in touring with several major recording artists including Barbara Mandrell, Lorrie Morgan, Keith Whitley, George Jones, T. Graham Brown, and Shania Twain. He was featured in Barbara Mandrell's "Do-Rite Band" on her "Moments" tour and appeared on the CBS Mandrell Family Christmas Special. Working with Shania Twain, Schafer was featured in multiple TV appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman on 02/2/95 and 2/26/96.[3]

These tours afforded him multiple opportunities to appear on TV as the featured guitarist backing these singers on numerous award shows including "Billboard Music Awards," "The American Music Awards," "Grand Ole Opry 'Live'," and "Blockbuster Music Awards."

Schafer then left the road and performed continuously for six years on the Grand Ole Opry, playing bass for Jack Greene. He performed at Opryland theme park and was featured in Dick Clark's American Bandstand Classics Show. He made an uncredited appearance as an extra in the November 1982, CBS movie, "Country Gold," which featured Loni Anderson, Earl Holliman, and Linda Hamilton.

In Nashville, Tennessee Schafer continued his jingle recording career and sang on commercials for Pepsi, Dole Pineapple, and Honda vehicles. Simultaneously, he was hired to sing backup on the Grand Ole Opry and The Nashville Network, today known as the Spike TV channel. He is an endorsed artist for Seymour Duncan SSL-1 and California single-coil pickup sets.[4]

A renewed commitment to Christianity took Schafer into further Bible study and his current pursuit of additional credentialing. His songwriting next encompassed Christian and gospel music. Together with Greg Nelson (producer), he co-wrote "All Along the Way," which was recorded by singer Larnelle Harris and reached the #1 spot on the CCM Christian Inspirational charts and is included in Billboard.[5][6]

Schafer recorded 2 instructional videos for the Epiphone Guitar Company as well as an instructional DVD and CD teaching "Bender style" guitar techniques. He is also endorsed by Peavey Instruments and Amplifiers,[7] Hohner Guitars,[8][9] and Steinberger basses.[10]

As a music industry professional, he was asked to serve as a Judge for Music City Star Quest.[11] After completing a B.A. degree in Biblical Studies and obtaining a Master's of Theology degree from the Christian Bible College and Seminary in Independence, Missouri, Schafer's music focus has been on Christian music. Presently, Schafer continues as songwriter, performs in concert as a solo artist, and has begun producing projects for other artists in Nashville.


Schafer's song, "All Along the Way," co-written by Greg Nelson received distinction as a #1 radio hit by the artist, Larnelle Harris,[12] and remained there for five weeks in mid-August–September 1998.[13] In 2003, Schafer was inducted into the Michigan Country Music Hall of Fame.


  1. ^ "Once Upon a Time - AND - Skyliners: Skyliners: Music". Amazon.com. 2009-09-09. http://www.amazon.com/Once-Upon-Time-Skyliners/dp/B002BRTLY6/ref=sr_1_9?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1320773513&sr=1-9. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  2. ^ "Skyliners, The - The Skyliners (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. http://www.discogs.com/Skyliners-The-Skyliners/release/2248537. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  3. ^ Letterman, David. "Epiguides.com". Episode Guides. epiguides.com. http://epguides.com/LateShowwithDavidLetterman/. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "California '50s™ SSL-1 - Seymour Duncan Sets". Seymourduncan.com. http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/sets/california_50s/. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  5. ^ "All Along the Way - Larnelle Harris". Billboard.com. http://www.billboard.com/song/larnelle-harris/all-along-the-way/1198004#/song/larnelle-harris/all-along-the-way/1198004. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  6. ^ "Danschafer.Com". Danschafer.Com. http://www.danschafer.com. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  7. ^ http://timashley.tripod.com/pix/peaveyadcollage.jpg
  8. ^ "Hohner Musikinstrumente GmbH & Co. KG - Dan Schafer". Hohnerusa.com. http://www.hohnerusa.com/index.php?1651. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  9. ^ http://timashley.tripod.com/pix/_07_collage.jpg
  10. ^ "S T E I N B E R G E R . C O M". Steinberger.com. http://www.steinberger.com/artists.html. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  11. ^ "The Judges". Musiccitystarquest.com. http://www.musiccitystarquest.com/The_Judges.html. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  12. ^ http://www.larnelle.com/discography.php
  13. ^ ""All Along the Way" @ #1 page"". Timashley.tripod.com. http://timashley.tripod.com/Along_the_way.html. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 

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