Rory Feek of Joey + Rory • Book Talk, 2017
Special Programs • 1h 17m
Joey + Rory’s Rory Feek surveys his childhood, his rise as a professional songwriter, and his career with his late wife, Joey Martin Feek, during a talk about his 2017 memoir, “This Life I Live: One Man’s Extraordinary, Ordinary Life and the Woman Who Changed It Forever,” at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
The program begins with a clip from a 2009 Songwriter Session at the Museum, with Joey + Rory singing “That’s Important to Me.” Feek observes that such clips “captured a lot of things that most people don’t have in their marriages.” Presented on March 11, 2017, the program takes place just over a year after Joey Martin Feek’s death from cancer at age forty.
Rory Feek talks about his wife’s final days and how his writing helps with his grieving process. He adds that by writing the book—inspired by a personal blog Joey encouraged him to start—he learned about himself, family, and marriage. He also shares his experiences as a divorced dad with two daughters and explains how Merle Haggard’s music factored into his decision to join the Marines, which he served in for eight years.
After paying his dues in the Texas club scene, Feek came to Nashville and found a champion in songwriter and Country Music Hall of Fame member Harlan Howard, who signed him to a publishing deal. He placed hit songs with Tracy Byrd, Easton Corbin, Collin Raye, Blake Shelton, and Clay Walker, but ultimately traded writing for other artists for singing songs with his wife and writing songs specifically for Joey + Rory.
About 45 minutes into the program, Rory Feek reminisces about the first time his future wife watched him sing at the Bluebird Café, and how two years would pass before they crossed paths again. They married in 2002. He recounts their involvement in the CMT vocal competition series “Can You Duet?”, and a clip is shown of them singing “Play the Song.” Later, he elaborates on creating a feature film set during the Civil War titled “Josephine,” and speaks about his creative future.
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