A lot of people consider Charlie Daniels a “one-hit wonder,” but he certainly is not. His first release, “Uneasy Rider” hit #9 in 1973, and “The South’s Gonna Do It”, “The Legend of Wooley Swamp”, “Still In Saigon” all hit #31 or better.

His biggest hit was “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”, which went all the way to #3 in 1979. But the song I requested of Big Joe was “In America”, a healthy slice of Reagan Era jingoism. The song basically says that America was on the rebound from the malaise of the Carter administration and was ready to kick ass on the world stage. He warns that all of America (…the cowboys and the hippies and the rebels and the yanks) will band together and if you don’t believe it, “…just go and lay your hands on a Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan, then I think you’ll finally understand..” Even with all that patriotism and overt threats, and the fact that it went to #11 in 1980, Big Joe refused to play it.

Here is the video released in the aftermath of 9/11 (he changes the lyrics, substituting “all our enemies” for “the Russians” to reflect the change in attitude since 1980):

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