Every Wednesday we take a trip down memory lane to highlight a classic country artist. This week we're flashing back to the early 1990's with Joe Diffie.

Joe, an Oklahoma native, came from a musical family.  His first performance was with his aunt's band when he was just four years old.

He and his family moved around quite a bit -- they spent some time in Texas, Washington and Wisconsin before they moved back to Oklahoma.  During his senior year of high school he was voted Best All Around Male Athlete.  He was in just about every sport imaginable including football, baseball, golf and track.

He took off for college after graduation where he contemplated pursuing a degree in the medical field but he ended up dropping out before graduating.  He worked several odd jobs, while working as a musician on the side.  He was able to save enough to build a studio where he recorded demos and sent them to Nashville.

In 1986 he lost his job and he had to sell the studio.  He was in deep depression when he decided to take a risk and move to Nashville to go after a career in country music. He took a job at Gibson Guitar Company and continued to record demos including ones that would be recorded by the likes of Alabama, Ricky Van Shelton and Billy Dean.

In 1990 he signed on to Epic Records.  He released several songs including Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox When I Die.  That song became part of a 1999 lawsuit brought on by songwriter Everett Ellis who though it bared a striking resemblance to his song Lay Me Out By the Jukebox When I Die.  

The Country Classic Flashback is brought to you by Midwest Machinery in Sauk Rapids with eight other locations in Central Minnesota.


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