Those who have been fans of Joey + Rory from the beginning have listened to their many heartwarming songs over the years. For fans new and old, these songs have taken on a whole new meaning since Joey passed away on March 4, 2016.
Joey + Rory released a variety of songs since coming in third place on the show Can You Duet in 2008. In fact, “Cheater Cheater,” their only Top 40 hit, has a sassier and more playful tone to it than many of their other songs.
But we feel that the songs Joey + Rory will be remembered for the most are their many heartwarming songs about life, family, and faith. Of course, it would be an impossible task to pick the four best Joey + Rory tunes.
So we’ve gathered a list, ranked in no particular order, of four songs of theirs that will always touch our hearts.
“That’s Important To Me”
Released in 2010 as the second single off of their album titled Album Number Two, “That’s Important to Me” was co-written by Joey, Rory, and Tim Johnson.
The song is one of Joey + Rory’s greatest chart successes, peaking at the 51st spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart after making a debut in the 58th slot.
Joey + Rory celebrate life’s little moments in the song’s lyrics, singing how much joy they find in “Opening the windows and letting in air. Holding hands when we’re saying a prayer.” All of these moments, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant, were important to Joey + Rory long before Joey received her cancer diagnosis.
But once they learned of Joey’s cancer, she and Rory took every chance they could to celebrate the little, but important moments they had left with one another.
“If I Needed You”
Originally written and recorded by blues/country/folk singer Townes Van Zandt, “If I Needed You” isn’t a new song to the country music community. Emmylou Harris and Don Williams released a duet version of it nine years after Townes’ original, which climbed to the third spot on the charts.
33 years after the release of Emmylou and Don’s duet, Joey + Rory covered the song for their album Country Classics: A Tapestry of Our Musical Heritage. The song was never released as a single, and therefore didn’t make its way onto the charts, but did receive some special recognition.
On December 7, 2015, the nominees for the 2016 Grammy Awards were announced, with Joey + Rory’s version of “If I Needed You” being nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. The nomination was a huge surprise to Joey + Rory, with Rory telling ET their reaction to the news:
“Joey and I feel like we’re just regular folks…so to be nominated for an award like this…is such an honor.”
The music video for “If I Needed You” is just as heartwarming as the song itself, since it features footage from the day Joey gave birth to her and Rory’s daughter, Indiana.
“Long Line of Love”
Released in 2013 off of their album Inspired: Songs of Faith and Family, “Long Line of Love” is yet another song of Joey + Rory’s that was never released as a single, but is still remembered for its heartwarming feeling.
Rory sings the lead to the song, while Joey sings harmony along with him on the chorus. As the song’s narrator, Rory sings about falling in love with his sweetheart, saying, “I bought a beautiful diamond ring/And offered it to the sweetest thing I know.”
When the girl asks if they can make it, the narrator responds, “‘My Granddad’s still in love with my Grandma’/I said ‘My Dad still thinks my Mom’s the sweetest thing he ever saw.’”
As the song continues, the narrator sings about his son, who now wants to marry his own true love. The narrator tells his son the same thing his dad always told him, that he would be just fine since he comes from a “long line of love.”
Throughout Joey + Rory’s career and especially during Joey’s battle with cancer, the world has witnessed how much they truly cared about each other, proving that they too, came from “a long line of love.”
“When I’m Gone”
Without knowing the story behind it, many people listen to Joey + Rory’s “When I’m Gone” and assume it was released during Joey’s cancer battle. But it turns out that is not the case. In fact “When I’m Gone” was released in 2012 as the sixth track on their album His and Hers.
Joey serves as the song’s narrator, singing to her husband about how to stay strong when and if she passes away. She tells him, “You wonder how you’ll carry on/But you’ll be okay on that first day when I’m gone.” Joey also sings to her husband that “even though you love me still/You will know where you belong/Just give it time well both be fine/When I’m gone.”
Now, the song has taken on a whole new meaning since Joey passed away. It almost makes it seem like Joey was trying to help Rory far before she even knew he needed it, giving him a touching song to remember her by.
No matter how many times you listen to “When I’m Gone,” it is guaranteed to touch your heart and bring tears to your eyes.
Joey + Rory have released a wealth of heartwarming, touching songs over the years. Unfortunately, many of these songs didn’t get much recognition at first. But now, these songs take on special meanings that make them far more powerful than when they were released.
Thank you for all of the beautiful music Joey + Rory.