Charlie Daniels score his biggest, many career-defining hit through "The evil one Went down to Georgia," but the song originally started simply because he and also his band were lacking a fiddle-oriented tune for among their albums.

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"We had rehearsed, written, and also recorded the music for our Million Mile Reflections album, and every one of the sudden we said, 'We don't have actually a violin song,'" Daniels recalled to Songfacts.com in 2007. "I don't recognize why we didn't find that, however we went out and also we took a couple of days' break from the recording studio, went into a rehearsal studio, ns just had actually this idea: The adversary went down to Georgia."


The uptempo song gives a country twist on an old layout of Satan standing in ~ the crossroads to song a musician's guitar and also give castle a musical gift in return for your soul. In Daniels' telling, Satan challenges a brash young violin player called Johnny come a fiddling contest, promise him, "I'll bet a fiddle of gold versus your soul, 'cause ns think I'm better than you."

"I don't understand where it come from, but it simply did," Daniels reflected. "Well, ns think I might know where it came from, the may have come from an old poem called 'The mountain Whippoorwill' the Stephen Vincent Benet created many, numerous years ago, the I had actually in high school. The didn't use that line, yet I started playing, and the band started playing, and an initial thing you recognize we had actually it down."

"The evil one Went down to Georgia" centers around Daniels' distinctive spoken-word delivery, and two really different musical interludes in which Daniels performs expanded fiddle i in very different styles to stand for Satan and also Johnny's playing. He decided an atonal approach for the Devil's music, while employing a much much more melodic slant to Johnny's at some point winning style.

"The Devil's simply blowing smoke," Daniels explained. "If you listen to that, there's just a bunch the noise. There's no melody come it, there's no nothing. It's just a bunch that noise. Simply confusion and also stuff. And of course, Johnny's saying something. Friend can't win the adversary without the Lord. I didn't have that in the song, but I need to have."

Johnny taunts the devil one final time after beating him in the song, saying, "Devil, just come on ago if you ever before wanna try again / i done told you once, you kid of a b---h, I'm the finest there's ever before been!" once the tune was released to radio together the lead solitary from Million Mile Reflections in 1979, the radio modify replaced that through "son that a gun," and the resulting solitary went on to score the Charlie Daniels tape a No. 1 hit on Billboard's Hot nation Songs graph on Aug. 25, 1979, while likewise crossing end to land at No. 3 on Billboard's all-genre hot 100.

The track would walk on to success the CDB a Grammy for ideal Country Vocal performance by a Duo or team at the 22nd yearly Grammy Awards in 1979, and it's because become their most-recognized song.

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A 1993 sequel to the song called "The adversary Comes ago to Georgia" was consisted of on mark O'Connor's Heroes album, special Travis Tritt together the Devil, Marty Stuart together Johnny and also Johnny Cash as the narrator. Per a keep in mind from Daniels' team top top Twitter, Daniels and also his tape are noted as co-writers only due to the fact that the tune is a derivative the the original. The music track largely derives indigenous the original song, with brand-new lyrics relenten a rematch in between Johnny and Satan ten year after their initial fiddle duel.