Editorial: My Time With Joey + Rory

Here our editor discusses his memory of the first time he met Joey Feek and why that moment remains a special moment in his life and career.

While other country music related websites seem to want to update everyone daily about how Joey Martin Feek's health is doing, I choose to let her husband Rory Feek tell the story and by doing so, I instead choose to think fondly of my interactions with both of them. Below is my recollection of the primary reason why everyone seems to care about Joey Martin Feek.

The first time I met Joey Martin Feek was when she and husband Rory Feek had just finished the CMT show “Can You Duet” and scored a record deal with Vanguard/Sugar Hill Records. I became friendly with them over the following years but the very first interaction with the duo made me feel like family.

Their PR representatives had set up our first meeting and it was to be held at Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse, the cafe co-owned by Joey and Rory’s sister Marcy. Located in their small Middle Tennessee community, the restaurant would become the place we most-often visited when we would get together to chat about projects.

While we discussed the project over a tasty meal, Rory had to leave to go to his (then) office in Nashville for a songwriting appointment or to do something for his publishing company. That left me to chat with Joey about the project as for, even then, their debut album The Life Of A Song was a way for Rory to be able to showcase his beautiful wife and her ethereal singing ability.

Joey invited me back to and into their beautiful farmhouse, the building which would become the epicenter of their music and entertainer career much like it was for their family. Joey and I chatted on her porch that day about their career — this was over the course of a couple of hours — and it felt like we were instant friends. She even took me on an errand (I can’t remember if it was this first day or a later time) to help one of her neighbors out, keeping a promise she had, something he’d surely have understood if she said to them that her appointment had to be delayed to finish up our conversation for a story about her career with Rory. But she didn’t do that. No big time star business with her.

But that’s who Joey always has been to everyone she’s ever met. She was your instant friend and even in the most recent of posts that Rory is so lovingly telling on his blog about their journey through life, Joey is still wanting to make everything about everyone else, not about her and the cards God has dealt her.

Joey Martin Feek didn’t have to extend that early interview with an unknown journalist to her front porch, to see her interact with her beloved pets (dogs, geese, etc.) or work on her family’s beautiful farm and talk about dreams for what to do with the farm’s large “front yard.” Even then, she was giving of her time and giving everything she had to just be who she still is today, even as she knows her time on Earth is limited.

While Joey’s time these days may be mostly reserved for her family, including her beautiful young daughter Indiana, she’s still thinking of others. And while other publications may choose to post daily updates about her health, I choose to think of the great moments we had together and while I’ve never gotten to meet little Indiana yet, I know at some point in the future, I’ll get to meet her. And even when Joey has left this earth, she can do so knowing she’s left a mark on everyone she’s met and that her and Rory’s beautiful children (Indiana and their older daughters Hope and Heidi) will help carry her torch for her love of God, Family and life itself.

The great ones may have a flame that burns bright but too short of time but their impact on all that knew them and love them will forever be burned in our hearts, memories and life. They're the ones that God lets down to earth to help guide us, to love us, to console us, to lift us up but they also heed his call when he needs them back.

Though Joey Martin Feek's time on earth may be short, she encompasses everything every human should ever hope to be: Faithful. Hopeful. Compassionate. Kind. Caring. Loving. Good. One of God's angels.


  • LiLndaL

    I have enjoyed so much reading your true words about Joey. After meeting her a few times, I've said "to meet her is to love her" She just draws you in to her love and truthfulness and you are forever 'hooked' on her! I feel you have captured her true self in your story of meeting her. She is God's heaven sent angel to show LOVE. Thank you.