Joe Logan Diffie was born in Tulsa, OK on December 28, 1958. Diffie moved all around including Washington, Wisconsin, and San Antonio, Texas in his grade school and early teenage years. He eventually made it back to Oklahoma in Velma where he graduated high-school. After high-school, Diffie attended Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. He initially earned medical credits, but he failed to finish at Cameron and got married to his first wife in 1977. After several jobs and musical adventures with family and bands, Diffie declared bankruptcy in 1986 and got divorced. He moved to Nashville, TN where he took a job at the Gibson Guitar Corporation. He worked at Gibson for about three years where he continued to hone his songwriting skills and produce demos. Eventually in 1989, Diffie quit Gibson and started recording demos full time. He then met his second wife Debbie. While producing demos, Bob Montgomery of EPIC Records signed Diffie in early 1990.
By the end of 1990, Diffie recorded ‘A Thousand Winding Roads’ which turned out to be the #23 Album on the Billboard charts. The #1 Single “Home” became the first debut single to reach #1 on three separate charts. Also from this debut album, “If The Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)” reached #1. The album included two #1 songs and two #2 songs. The #2 songs “If You Want Me To” and “New Way (To Light Up An Old Flame)” could have easily went #1 with the exception of a hot market with George Strait, Garth Brooks, and Clint Black running super hot at the time. Diffie also started his first concerts in 1990 touring with George Strait and Steve Wariner.
Joe Diffie’s second album ‘Regular Joe’ was released in 1992. It went Gold and featured two top-five singles “Is It Cold In Here” and “Ships That Don’t Come In”. With a few collaborations and songs that would later become hits for other artists, this was another very successful album for Diffie.
In 1993, Diffie put out what he called his “rowdier” album compared to the previous two. ‘Honky Tonk Attitude’ went platinum and 3 singles off the record reached the top 10 on the Billboard Charts. “Honky Tonk Attitude”, “John Deere Green”, and “Prop Me Up Beside The Jukebox (If I Die)” all were fun and carried the torch for the album. Later that year in November, Joe Diffie was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. He later explained this is one of his greatest accomplishments.
‘Third Rock From The Sun’ was Diffie’s second Platinum album and was produced in 1994. It was his highest charting album and topped out at #6. The album featured two #1 singles “Third Rock From The Sun” and “Pickup Man”. Another single off the record “So Help Me Girl” made it all the way to #2 on the Billboard Charts. Diffie was becoming a staple at the top of the charts with all the hits up to this point.
From 1995 to 1998, Joe Diffie’s albums were not nearly as successful as those earlier days. Diffie managed one #1 single “Bigger Than The Beatles” from his 1995 album titled ‘Life’s So Funny’. In 1998, a Greatest Hits album was produced. From 1999 to 2019 Joe Diffie put out additional albums that included a bluegrass album, an ultimate collection, and a vinyl album in 2019 called ‘Joe, Joe, Joe Diffie’.
Joe Diffie’s accomplishments include 2 Platinum Albums, 2 Gold Albums, Five #1 Singles, Twelve Top 10 Songs, and Ten Top 40 Songs. This includes 35 Songs that charted on the Billboard’s – Hot Country Songs Chart.
On March 27, 2020, Joe Diffie tested positive for the Coronavirus. Two days later on March 29th, Diffie died in Nashville, Tennessee from complications of COVID-19 at the age of 61. He is survived by his wife Tara Terpening and his five children. The country music world mourns a great singer/songwriter from Oklahoma. Rest in Peace Joe Diffie.