40 Years Ago: Charlie Daniels Hits No. 1 With ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’
On Aug. 25, 1979, Charlie Daniels was undoubtedly doing plenty of celebrating. It was on that day, 40 years ago today, that the singer earned his first No. 1 hit, with his single "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."
"The Devil Went Down to Georgia," which was the debut single from Daniels' Million Mile Reflections album, also became a gold single for the artist. Ironically, the hit tune almost didn't make it onto the record.
“We had gone in and rehearsed, written and recorded the music for our Million Mile Reflections album, and all of a sudden we said, ‘We don’t have a fiddle song,’” Daniels recalls. “I don’t know why we didn’t discover that, but we went out, and we took a couple of days’ break from the recording studio, went into a rehearsal studio, and I just had this idea: ‘the Devil went down to Georgia.’"
"The Devil Went Down to Georgia" earned Daniels a Grammys trophy for Best Country Vocal Performance By a Duo or Group; the hitmaker also won a CMA for Single of the Year and was nominated for an ACM in the same category. Daniels included the song on several of his compilation albums, including A Decade of Hits in 1983, Super Hits in 1994, Fiddle Fire: 25 Years of the CDB in 1998 and 2006′s 16 Biggest Hits.
This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.