Song:The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Album:The Essential Charlie Daniels Band
The Devil Went Down To Georgia was the biggest hit and signature song for Charlie Daniels in 1979. Daniels started out as a session musician and became a solo artist in 1970. He was born Oct. 28, 1936 in Leland, NC. He learned to play the fiddle as a child and played in local bands as a teen. Then he had a an instrumental band called The Jaguars. They recorded a single in 1959 with producer Bob Johnson. A decade later when Johnson became a Columbia Records house producer working with Bob Dylan, Daniels was brought to Nashville to play on Dylan's album Nashville Skyline. He also toured with Leonard Cohen. Daniels first recorded solo in 1970 on Capitol. But then he formed The Charlie Daniels Band heavily influenced by the Southern Rock of The Allman Brothers Band but also heavily influenced by country and bluegrass. Other band members were Don Murray on guitar, Joe DiGregorio on keyboards, Charlie Hayward on bass and James Marshall on drums. They signed with Kama Sutra Records and scored a top ten pop hit with Uneasy Rider in 1973. The 1974 album Fire On The Mountain was certified Platinum. The band moved to Epic Records in 1975. And though they continued to have success as a touring draw and album act, they just couldn't seem to get that big hit single until The Devil Went Down To Georgia in 1979. The song topped the country music chart and it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album Million Mile Reflections was certified 3XPlatinum. The lyrics are a morality play similar to The Devil and Daniel Webster. The melody is based on an old Vassar Clements song Lonesome Fiddle Blues. Legendary fiddler Clements was a big influence on Daniels. The song was featured in the 1980 film Urban Cowboy. Daniels said to choreographer Patsy Swayze "How fast can you dance it?" and her response was "How fast can you play it?". Though Daniels has never had another big hit, he continues to record and tour regularly. This budget comp is a good intro to his music. He is currently on tour and he released a Bob Dylan tribute CD last year. Here's The Charlie Daniels Band performing The Devil Went Down To Georgia on The Midnight Special 1979.