I ordered an autographed edition of Charlie Daniels Band’s new CD, Hits of the South….
…. and I was all excited when it was delivered Tuesday… I ripped open the packaging and took it over to show
Frank The Mayor of Funtown and he asks, “Did it come with a certificate of authenticity?” Man… way to burst my bubble.. because there was no accompanying literature to validate the autograph! It’s real, though, because Charlie Daniels wouldn’t scam me… he’s too good of a fella!
C.D.B. does fall into the country genre that I’ve been hooked on lately, but they’re way more than that. They’re also considered southern rock and outlaw country like David Allan Coe… only Charlie Daniels is a bit cleaner than Mr. Coe in that he doesn’t sing about weed and fuckin’ as much as he does about politics… more on that in a bit…
Let’s start with his early career…
Did y’all know that in 1962 Charlie co-wrote a song with his friend and record producer Bob Johnson, It Hurts Me, that was eventually recorded by Elvis in 1964? Here’s Charlie talking about the single:
Elvis came to town. He picked it [the demo] up and held it for almost a year in what was called his portfolio. You know, they’d pick songs out for Elvis and when he’d go in to record, he’d review them, and if he liked it, he’d do it. So anyway, he recorded it, and it was by far, the biggest thing that had ever happened to me in my life.
Charlie also, as a session musician, played bass on a few Bob Dylan albums in ’69 and ’70… pretty cool, eh?
The first of his own hits came in 1973; and it’s freakin’ awesome…
~ Uneasy Rider ~
There are some good political jabs in there! Last month, I saw someone do this tune at karaoke… Dude did a pretty good job!
Getting a little more political now… Well, let’s call it patriotic!
Here’s a tune he wrote to describe the unity of all Americans following the Iran hostage crisis…
~ In America ~
That’s prolly the only song that doesn’t bother me with the mention of Pittsburgh Steelers fans..
In 1982, Daniels released the following single, which portrays the pain and suffering experienced by a typical Vietnam veteran a decade after the war…
~ Still in Saigon ~
Charlie Daniels maintains a blog, for 13 years now, in which he primarily discusses political issues. It’s his Soapbox (click that link to check it out). I recommend that you liberals not read it, but all you smart people should… and bookmark it!
The first I ever heard of Charlie Daniels Band was when I was my youngest daughter’s age. That tune was Devil Went Down to Georgia. I remember singing it in the car with my sisters back then…
~ Devil Went Down to Georgia ~
Holy shit! Charlie Daniels was 72 for that performance and he totally kicked ass! And did you see his big ass belt buckle? DAMN! That’s some impressive hardware.
That tune remains, to this day, one of my favorite ever! I did not know about the musical references within it, however, until searching for material for this post.
Everyone knows the basic meaning of the song… Good vs. Evil; the devil tries to steal Johnny’s soul by challenging him to a fiddle playing contest. Should Johnny win, he get’s a golden fiddle… but if he loses, the devil gets his soul. Now when it comes Johnny’s turn in the contest, the lyrics in that verse make reference to four different songs.
1. Fire on the mountain, run boys, run.
2. The devil’s in the house of the risin’ sun.
3. Chicken in the bread pan, pickin’ out dough.
4. Granny, does your dog bite? No, child, no.
Check this out:
- “Fire on the mountain, run boys, run” is from Fire on the Mountain, a traditional bluegrass fiddle song dating back to the early 1900s. It was recorded by Bill Monroe who is considered to be the “Father of Bluegrass”
- “The devil’s in the house of the risin’ sun” refers to The House of the Rising Sun, which is a traditional American folk song recorded in 1938 by Roy Acuff, who was a huge country star from the 1930s through the ’60s… and a popular fiddle player.
- “Chicken in the bread pan, pickin’ out dough,” from what I can tell, is basically square dance lingo…
- “Granny, does your dog bite? No, child, no” is another folk song from the late 1930s.
The cool thing is that the last two lines, though originating in different fiddle tunes, are featured together in a song by Bob Wills titled Ida Red (Skip to the 1:10 mark to see for yourself. I recommend it because it’s some old ass music!)…
… and Bob Wills is widely credited as being the originator of western swing music!
Ultimately, what Charlie Daniels did in four short lines paid homage to not only fiddle music in general, but to the great fiddle players who came before him and were obviously inspirations to him!
I thought it was fascinating!
Enjoy your weekend folks!