In December of 1978, Charlie, the band and producer John Boylan realized they were missing a fiddle song when recording the album that would become Million Mile Reflections, so they took a few days off and wrote what would become the band's signature song, "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." The song became a worldwide phenomenon and launched the CDB into superstardom. The single was released on May 21st 1979, so happy 40th anniversary to the little song that was originally an afterthought. More will be added to this CDB history timeline soon, so keep checking back!
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"The Devil Went Down to Georgia" Song Facts
• Covered by Jerry Reed, Lynn Anderson, The Chipmunks, Blues Traveler, The Muppets, Keith Urban, Zac Brown Band, Colt Ford, Primus, a rap version by K.M.C Kru and a parody by Cletus T. Judd just to name a few.
• A common misconception is that the lyrics in the final verse were changed from “S.O.B.” to “son-of-a-gun” after Charlie was forced to go back in the studio and do a "clean" version, in fact, both versions were recorded on the very same day with everyone in agreement that the “son-of-a-gun” version would have a better likelihood of getting radio airplay. While the “S.O.B.” version was on the “Million Mile Reflections” album, it also got airplay on the Album Oriented Rock (AOR) stations, and continues on classic rock stations today.
• The devil’s “evil hiss” is a combination of Charlie playing a nasty sounding note on the fiddle and Taz DiGregorio running a guitar pick across piano strings.
• To get the devil’s fiddle solo, Charlie overdubbed seven fiddles, so they are all playing together on the track, Johnny’s solo is three fiddles overdubbed.
• The song won CMA, ACM Awards and a GRAMMY®.
• Featured in many TV shows, movies and commercials (check out the video below) and even a video game, "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock."
• It was the music chosen by gymnast Dominique Moceanu as she performed her floor routine at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
• Charlie’s Soapbox on the song’s 40th Anniversary is posted HERE.
• Certified Platinum Single (over 1 Million units sold)
• Downloads: Over 2.5 Million (as of 2016)
• Album Sales: Well over 16 Million counting CDB and soundtrack albums featuring “TDWDTG.”
• Streaming: Over 290.6 Million streams on top three streaming services combined (Apple Music/Spotify/Pandora)
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