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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 long-time friend Bob Johnston invited him to Nashville to co-write some songs, and they finished this one together. 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 - Hillman Range was the parent company - handled Elvis Presley Music and Gladys Music, which was Elvis Presley's 2 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."
Although he never had the opportunity to shake Presley's hand, Daniels did get a chance to meet the King's daughter, Lisa Marie, at an event in Memphis. "I just got to tell her, I said, 'You know your dad picked one of my songs. I was a big fan,'" says Daniels.
With her sunglasses on, she resembles her famous father so much that it's "spooky," says Daniels with a laugh. "She looks like a miniature Elvis with, of course, feminine features."
Bob Johnston, who wrote this with Daniels, was writing under the name "Joe Byers" at the time. Daniels was credited as "Charles E. Daniels."
This song was relegated to the B-side of "Kissin' Cousins," and appears on over 25 subsequent Elvis Presley albums and compilations. (Thanks to Charlie Daniels for speaking with us about this song. Learn more at www.charliedaniels.com
A fun anecdote, appropriate to a song with this title, is found in Al Kooper's Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards
. It seems that Elvis' bodyguard, Lamar Fike, would be sitting in the room reading the paper when Elvis played darts, and... "On a few occasions, the darts would bounce off the target and stick in various parts of Lamar's anatomy. He wouldn't even look up from the paper as he pulled the darts out and handed them back to Elvis each time. Not even a grunt."
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