Country Music Mourns “One Of The All-Time GREAT Vocalists”

Joe Diffie and Waylon Jennings, Grande Ole Opry, 1997. Screenshot: Youtube

“I met all my wives in traffic jams / There’s just something women like about a pickup man.” 

| Mar 29, 2020

| CNN – Joe Diffie, a country music singer known for his lighthearted odes to country life that reached mainstream success in the 1990s, died Sunday from complications of coronavirus, his publicist said in a news release.

Diffie, a 61-year-old native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, made 13 albums and had more than 20 Top 10 hits to his credit, his publicist said.

Sporting a mustache and mullet, his crowd-pleasers included the hits, “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)” and “Honky Tonk Attitude.”

Two days before his death, Diffie released a statement saying he had tested positive for coronavirus and was receiving treatment.

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The statement said:

“My family and I are asking for privacy at this time. We want to remind the public and all my fans to be vigilant, cautious and careful during this pandemic.”

His songs were full of tongue-in-cheek takes on life as a “good ol’ boy,” like 1994’s “Pickup Man,” his song about pickup trucks and the men who drive them. He sang:

“I met all my wives in traffic jams / There’s just something women like about a pickup man.”  Read more. 

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Joe Logan Diffie (December 28, 1958 – March 29, 2020) was an American country music singer.

After working as a demo singer in the 1980s, he signed with Epic Records’ Nashville division in 1990.

Between then and 2004, Diffie charted 35 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, five of which peaked at number one: his debut release “Home”, “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)”, “Third Rock from the Sun”, “Pickup Man” (his longest-lasting number-one song, at four weeks) and “Bigger Than the Beatles”.

In addition to these singles, he had 12 others reach the top 10 and ten more reach the top 40 on the same chart. He also co-wrote singles for Holly Dunn, Tim McGraw, and Jo Dee Messina, and recorded with Mary Chapin Carpenter, George Jones, and Marty Stuart.

Diffie released seven studio albums, a Christmas album, and a greatest-hits package under the Epic label.

He also released one studio album each through Monument Records, Broken Bow Records, and Rounder Records.

Among his albums, 1993’s Honky Tonk Attitude and 1994’s Third Rock from the Sun are certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, while 1992’s Regular Joe and 1995’s Life’s So Funny are both certified gold.

His album, Homecoming: The Bluegrass Album, was released in late 2010 through Rounder. His style is defined by a neotraditionalist country influence with a mix of novelty songs and ballads. Read more at Wikipedia. 

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