Tulsa, Okla. native Joe Diffie was one of the most successful country artists of the 1990s and early 2000s, with 35 of his singles charting on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. That included five No. 1 hits, his debut single “Home,” 1991’s “If The Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets),” 1994’s “Third Rock From the Sun” and “Pickup Man,” and his 1995 track “Bigger Than the Beatles.”
His 1993 record Honky Tonk Attitude and 1994 album Third Rock from the Sun were certified platinum. Diffie recorded multiple collaborations with fellow country stars, and even won an Academy of Country Music Award for his appearance on “I Don’t Need Your Rockin’ Chair” with George Jones, and a Grammy Award for ”Same Old Train” with Marty Stuart. On March 29, 2020, Diffie died at the age of 61 due to complications related to COVID-19, marking a tragic end to a lengthy and impressive music career.
Songs like “John Deere Green” have become beloved classics and trademark releases of the 90s country era. He was an extremely talented songwriter, and co-penned many of his most popular tracks, including “Honky Tonk Attitude” and “Bigger Than the Beatles.” What many country fans might not know is that Diffie also penned some major hits for other country stars.
Keep reading to discover 6 country songs written by Joe Diffie and recorded by other artists.
“My Give a Damn’s Busted”
Recorded by Jo Dee Messina
Co-written with Tom Shapiro and Tony Martin, “My Give a Damn’s Busted” was originally recorded by Diffie and included on his 2001 album In Another World. Four years later, Jo Dee Messina included her own version of the song on her fourth studio album Delicious Surprise. It was selected as a single and spent two weeks at No. 1 on the country charts.
“There Goes My Heart Again”
Recorded by Holly Dunn
“There Goes My Heart Again” was another successful Diffie, Wilson and Perry co-write. Holly Dunn recorded the tune and released it as the second single from her 1989 record The Blue Rose of Texas. The track, which made it to No. 4 on the country charts, also featured Diffie on backing vocals.
Recorded by Tim McGraw
One of two tracks from Tim McGraw‘s 1993 self-titled debut album co-written by Diffie, “Memory Lane” was released as one of McGraw’s first singles. The song didn’t make it to the Top 40 on the Billboard charts, but McGraw found breakout success the following year, when his second record Not a Moment Too Soon became the best-selling country album of the year.
“I Got a Feelin’”
Recorded by Tracy Lawrence
Penned by Diffie and Wilson, “I Got a Feelin'” was featured on Tracy Lawrence‘s 1994 record I See It Now. Three years later, Diffie would record his own version for his seventh studio album Twice Upon a Time.
“I’m the Only Thing (I’ll Hold Against You)”
Recorded by Conway Twitty
Penned by Diffie, Lonnie Wilson and Kim Williams, ”I’m the Only Thing (I’ll Hold Against You)” was recorded by Conway Twitty just months before his death in 1993. It was included on what would become his last solo album, Final Touches, released later that year. Diffie also recorded the track for his own 1999 album A Night to Remember.
“Burning Down the Town”
Recorded by Doug Stone
Written by Joe Diffie and Wayne Perry, ”Burning Down the Town” became the seventh track on Doug Stone‘s 1991 album I Thought It Was You.