The Charlie Daniels Band – The Devil Went Down to Georgia

Reaching # 1 on the U.S Hot Country Songs charts, it remained a total of 21 weeks on the charts. On the Canada Top Singles charts, it also peaked at # 1. The song was included on The Charlie Daniels Band's tenth studio album, Million Mile Reflections (Epic 1979)

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“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.

Some versions:

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)





“I guess you didn’t know it, but I’m a fiddle player, too.
And if you’d care to take a dare I’ll make a bet with you.
Now you play a pretty good fiddle, boy, but give the Devil his due.
I’ll bet a fiddle of gold against your soul ’cause I think I’m better than you.”

The boy said, “My name’s Johnny, and it might be a sin,
But I’ll take your bet; you’re gonna regret ’cause I’m the best there’s ever been.”

Johnny, rosin up your bow and play your fiddle hard.
‘Cause Hell’s broke loose in Georgia and the Devil deals the cards.
And
if you win you get this shiny fiddle made of gold,
But if you lose the Devil gets your soul.

The Devil opened up his case and he said, “I’ll start this show.”
And fire flew from his fingertips as he rosined up his bow.
And he pulled the bow across the strings and it made an evil hiss.
And a band of demons joined in and it sounded something like this.

When the Devil finished, Johnny said, “Well, you’re pretty good, old son,
But sit down in that chair right there, let me show you how it’s done.”

“Fire on the Mountain”. Run, boys, run!
The Devil’s in the house of the rising sun;
Chicken in the bread pan picking out dough.
Granny, does your dog bite? No, child, no.

The Devil bowed his head because he knew that he’d been beat.
And he laid that golden fiddle on the ground at Johnny’s feet.
Johnny said, “Devil, just come on back, if you ever wanna try again,
I done told you once, you son of a bitch, I’m the best that’s ever been.”
And he played:

“Fire on the Mountain”. Run, boys, run!
Devil’s in the house of the rising sun;
The chicken in the bread pan picking out dough.
Granny, will your dog bite? No, child, no.

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