Many country fans got to know Rory Feek as one half of beloved country duo Joey + Rory in 2008. That year, the married couple appeared on the first season of the reality TV contest CMT. Can you duet. Although they won third place in the competition, their superb harmonies and sweet personalities won them a record deal just months after the show ended.
Their first album The life of a song was well received by country fans and critics alike, debuting at No. 10 on the Billboard Top Country Albums and earned them a nomination for Top Vocal Duo at the 2009 ACM Awards. They would go on to win that same category at the 2010 ACM Awards and went on to build a solid career with the release of their second album. album number twotheir first holiday album Christmas on the farm in 2011 and third LP His and hers in 2012. Their 2013 gospel record Inspired: Songs of Faith and Family was a multi-genre hit, fitting into the Billboard 200, Top Country Albums and Top Christian Albums Lists.
In 2014, Joey and Rory welcomed their first child, Indiana. A few months later, Joey was diagnosed with cervical cancer. After a successful operation, doctors told Joey she was cancer free. A few months later, the couple began working on a film titled Josephinewritten and directed by Rory, which followed a love story set during the Civil War. After Joey started to feel sick again during production, doctors discovered that his cancer had returned and spread to his colon. She began treatment and found support from country fans around the world, as Rory shared their story via her own blog. This life that I live. During this time, the duo also worked on what would become their final album together, Anthems that are important to us. Tragically, Joey Feek passed away on March 4, 2016.
Since the passing of his wife, Rory Feek has focused on his family while continuing to pursue his own creative endeavors. He published his moving memoirs This Life I Live: One Man’s Extraordinary, Ordinary Life and the Woman Who Changed It Forever in 2017, which became a national bestseller. In 2021, the multi-talented 57-year-old releases his first solo album Gentlemanwhich includes collaborations with Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Trisha Yearwood, Alison Krauss, Lee Ann Womack, Ricky Skaggs and more.
Although he is known as a performer, producer and songwriter, many country fans don’t know how many amazing country songs Rory Feek has written throughout his career. After moving to Nashville in the mid-1990s, he quickly earned a reputation as one of the city’s most talented country songwriters. Some of the biggest names in the genre have cut his songs and taken them to the top of the charts for the past two decades.
Read on to learn about 15 songs written by Rory Feek and recorded by other country artists.
“Someone You Knew”
Saved by Collin Raye
In 1999, “Someone You Used To Know” became one of Rory Feek’s first big hits as a songwriter. Collin Raye recorded the melody for his fifth studio album The walls have fallen. “Someone You Knew” which Feek wrote with Tim Johnson, became Raye’s second single from the record. The heartbreaking track connected with country fans and reached No. 3 on the Billboard Chart of hot country songs.
“The Chain of Love”
Saved by Clay Walker
A year after Collin Raye propelled “Someone You Used To Know” to the top of the country charts, Clay Walker repeated that success with “The Chain of Love.” Written by Rory Feek and Jonnie Barnett, this moving story-song has touched the hearts of listeners from all walks of life. The song climbed to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and became a top 40 hit across all genres Billboard Hot 100.
“The Truth About Men”
Saved by Tracy Byrd
Co-written by Feek, Paul Overstreet and Tim Johnson, this cheeky, testosterone-infused tune became the lead single and title track from Tracy Byrd’s 2003 eighth studio album. Blake Shelton, Montgomery Gentry and Andy Griggs make guest appearances on the song, which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Chart of hot country songs.
Saved by Blake Shelton
Another co-write with acclaimed singer-songwriter Paul Overstreet, “Some Beach” became a pivotal hit for Blake Shelton’s career in 2004. The track spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs, becoming one of the biggest hits of Shelton’s early career.
Saved by Jimmy Wayne
“I Will”, which Feek co-wrote with Dave Pahanish, was released as the second single from Jimmy Wayne’s 2008 record Do you believe me now. The heartfelt love song spent 28 weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, peaking at No. 18.
“A little more country than that”
Saved by Easton Corbin
Easton Corbin caused a stir on the country music scene in 2009 with the release of his debut single “A Little More Country Than That”. Co-written by Rory Feek, Wynn Varble and Don Poythress, the song went all the way to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and was certified platinum by the RIAA.
“How Do You Get This Loneliness”
Saved by Blaine Larsen
Blaine Larsen became one of the first artists to be signed to Giantslayer Records, a label established by Rory Feek and fellow singer-songwriter Tim Johnson in 2004. “How Do You Get That Lonely” was released later that year- there and ranked No. 18 on the Billboard Hot Countries Singles Chart. Feek co-wrote the powerful song with Jamie Teachenor in tribute to Lance Emmitt, a 19-year-old Tennessean who died by suicide in 2003.
“A rich man”
Saved by Mark Wills
A sweet and sentimental track “Rich Man” was co-written by Feek and D. Vincent Williams. Mark Wills recorded the track for his 2000 album Permanently. Although the song was not released as a single, Permanently is one of Wills’ highest charting and best-selling records to date.
Canadian country artist Crystal Shawanda achieved major success with the release of “You Can Let Go” in 2008. The song became her first major hit, peaking at No. 21 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs and going as high as #5 on the Canadian country chart.
“When Mom Prayed”
Saved by Randy Travis
Co-written by Feek with Paul Overstreet, “When Mama Prayed” is a moving and spiritual track that Randy Travis recorded for his fourteenth studio album. Rise and shine. Released in 2002, “When Mama Prayed” is the third track from the project, which was Travis’ second gospel record.
“When I Think About Leaving”
Saved by Kenny Chesney
Another songwriting dream collaboration from Rory Feek, Paul Overstreet and Tim Johnson, “When I Think About Leaving” was cut by Kenny Chesney for his 2004 hit album When Sun sets.
“Strong Enough to Cry”
Saved by Lorrie Morgan
This emotional and cathartic track by Feek and Max D. Barnes caught the ear of Lorrie Morgan, who recorded it for her 1999 album My heart. Joey Feek also cut his own version of the song for his 2005 solo album. If it’s not for you.
“When You’re Not Trying To”
Saved by Reba McEntire
Another Rory Feek and Tim Johnson gem, “When You’re Not Trying To” was recorded by Reba McEntire for her 25th career studio album. “When You’re Not Trying To” is the tenth track from McEntire’s hit record So good togetherreleased in 1999 and certified platinum by the RIAA.
“Better than you”
Saved by Terri Clark
Terri Clark has teamed up with Rory Feek to write this captivating song that follows the journey of a woman and a man on a dinner date. Clark recorded the cleverly written track for his fifth studio album, pain to killreleased in 2003.
“I met him in a motel room”
Saved by Trisha Yearwood
Rory Feek wrote this moving and colorful piece with Jamie Teachenor. This expert writing motivated Trisha Yearwood to cut the song for her highly anticipated 2014 album. PrizeFighter: Blow after blow. Yearwood recorded a very special duet version of the track with Feek for his 2021 solo album Gentleman.