“Sweet Music Man”, song written and recorded by Kenny Rogers for the United Artist Records label, on April 23, 1977, at Jack Clement Recording Studio 3102 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, TN. In the same session, two other songs were recorded: “Maybe in the end” and “Ole lady luck”. In this session, Kenny was accompanied by: Billy Sanford (guitar), Dave Kirby (guitar), Jerry Shook (guitar), Jimmy Capps (guitar), Jim Colvard (guitar), Johnny Christopher (guitar), Larry Keith (guitar), Reggie Young (guitar), TG Engel (guitar), Pete Drake (steel), Tommy Allsup (bass guitar), Bob Moore, Joe Osborn and Mike Leech (bass), Bobby Daniels, Jerry Carrigan and Kenny Malone (drums), Bobby Wood, Charles Cochran, Edgar Struble, Gene Golden, Hargus “Pig” Robbins and Steve Glassmeyer (keyboards), Shane Keister (synthesizer) + strings +, Bergen White, Bobby Daniels, Buzz Cason, Don Gant, Gene Golden, Johnny MacCrae Jordanaires, The Larry Keith, Randy Rogers, Sandy Rogers, Steve Glassmeyer and Steve Pippin (background vocals). With the production of Larry Butler, the song was released on October 10, 1977, and on December 17, 1977, peaked at # 9 on the U.S Hot Country Songs charts, spending a total of 15 weeks on the charts. On December 31, 1977, it reached # 1 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks charts. Rogers used the song as the B-side for two of his subsequent singles: “Lady” in 1980 and “You Were a Good Friend” in 1983.
Interestingly, the song was first recorded by Anne Murray on March 15, 1976, for the album, Keeping In Touch (Capitol 1976).
The song was included on Kenny Rogers’ third studio album, Daytime Friends (UAR 1977), the album was released on July 25, 1977, on September 17, 1977, reached # 2 on the US Top charts Country Albums, and remaining a total of 68 weeks on the charts. On charts , Canada Country Albums peaked at # 44. The album was certified platinum in the USA and gold in Canada.
The song was included in two soundtracks:
Urban Cowboy (Paramount Pictures 1981), the film was released on June 6, 1981, its main actors were: John Travolta , Debra Winger, Scott Glenn, Barry Corbin and Madolyn Smith. Charlie Daniels appears playing the song “ The Devil Went Down to Georgia ” .The soundtrack reached # 1 on the charts of US Top Country Albums, and # 2 on the charts of Canadian RPM Country Albums.
Coyote Ugly (Buena Vista Pictures 2000 ), the movie was released on August 4, 2000, its main actors were: Piper Perabo, Adam Garcia, Maria Bello, Melanie Lynskey, Bridget Moynahan, John Goodman and Tyra Banks. The soundtrack was released on August 1, 2000, was internationally successful, reached # 1 in the USA, Canada and Australia, and top ten in: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Switzerland,
Charlie Daniels said the idea for this song came from a poem he read in high school called The Mountain Whippoorwill by Stephen Vincent Benet. Daniels said, “We had come in and rehearsed, written and recorded the music for our Million Mile Reflections album, and suddenly we said, ‘We don’t have a violin song.’ I don’t know why we didn’t find that out, but we went out and had a couple of days off from the recording studio, we went to a rehearsal studio and I had the idea: ‘The devil came down to Georgia.
Vassar Clements originally wrote the basic melody one octave lower, in a song called “Lonesome Fiddle Blues”, released on Clements’ self-titled 1975 album in which Charlie Daniels played the guitar. The band Charlie Daniels raised it an octave and put words to it. The verses of the song are closer to being spoken than sung (i.e. recitation). The song is a perfect fusion of three styles, Bluegrass, country and country rock.
Cotton Mill Boys 1979 (Hawk)
Showdown 1980 (Damon)
Jerry Reed 1981 (RCA Victor)
Jana Jae 1982 (Lark Records)
Tommy Cash 1982 (51 West)
Lynn Anderson 1983 (CBS Special Products)
The Shoppe 1985 (Not Lebel)
Jennifer Weatherly 2004 (JK)