It was just before Christmas, 1962, as future country music icon Charlie Daniels was driving from El Paso, Texas, to the East Coast, that he began forming the idea that would become this song. Not very long afterwards his longtime friend Bob Johnston invited him to Nashville to co-write some songs, and they finished this one together. In his Songfacts interview
, Daniels remembers, "We just went on, and we finished it up, and Bob did a demo on it, and the company that he was writing for at the time - Hill & Range was the parent company - handled Elvis Presley Music and Gladys Music, which was Elvis Presley's two companies."
And the rest, as they say, is history. "Elvis came to town. He picked it 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," says Daniels, "the biggest thing that had ever happened to me in my life."