48 Years Ago: TG Sheppard Earns First No. 1 Hit With ‘Devil in the Bottle’
Forty-eight years ago today (Feb. 15, 1975), TG Sheppard earned his first No. 1 hit with "Devil in the Bottle." The song was the debut single from Sheppard's eponymous freshman album.
Songwriter Bobby David penned "Devil in the Bottle," which tells the tale of a man giving in to alcohol, even as it harms his wife. With lines such as "And she knows the hell I'm going through / In this world inside my head / There's a devil in the bottle / And he wants to see me dead," the song set a precedent for Sheppard for recording songs with substance and a message.
Sheppard followed up "Devil in the Bottle" with "Tryin' to Beat the Morning Home," which also went straight to No. 1; he then released 11 Top 20 singles before reaching the top spot on the chart again, with "Last Cheater's Waltz," in 1979.
Sheppard put "Devil in the Bottle" on several of his compilation albums, including Live at Billy Bob's Texas in 2002 and Best of T.G. Sheppard in 2011. Hank Williams Jr. recorded "Devil in the Bottle" for his 2003 album I'm One of You.
This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.