A Country Music Celebration: The 30th Anniversary of the Country Music Assocation 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)
Singer-songwriter Charlie Daniels fused traditional country music with elements of rock and bluegrass for a handful of singles in the 1970s and early 1980s that enjoyed Top 40 status on both pop and country charts, including "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," "The South's Gonna Do It" and "In America. " A prolific session player for Columbia Records producer Bob Johnson in the late 1960s, Daniels made inroads towards a solo career in 1971 but found only sporadic success until his chart-topping country hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." A hoary but hard-driving ballad about a duel with Satan over a fiddler's soul, the single highlighted Daniels' exceptional fiddling talents while also reaching the southern rock fan base, which boosted the track to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978. Despite the monster success of that career-making single, Daniels would remain in the mainstream spotlight for only a few years before slipping down the country charts, though he remained both a popular concert attraction and a consistent source of conservative editorializing, most notably over the Iraq War and September 11th terrorist attacks, which spawned his late-inning Top 40 track, "This Ain't No Rag, It's a Flag" (2001). Political leanings aside, Charlie Daniels' music bridged the gap between rock, blues and country in frequently impressive ways, which ensured his status as one of the most popular country music figures of the late 20th century.