Madison Life and Times Spring 2016 - Page 13

Joey Martin Feek | COVER STORY JOEY MARTIN FEEK, WHO ROSE FROM COUNTRY ROOTS IN ALEXANDRIA TO COUNTRY MUSIC STARDOM, FACED TERMINAL CANCER WITH AMAZING GRACE “WHEN I’M GONE” You’ll wonder why the Earth still moves You’ll wonder how you’ll carry on But you’ll be okay on that first day WHEN Joey Martin was growing up on a five-acre Indiana farm, life was simple. It was normal. It was the same childhood many people, especially others who grew up in Alexandria, lived. “We weren’t very wealthy people,” said June Martin, the country singer’s mother. “When you were old enough to work, you worked. It was a very simple childhood. It was very basic.” As normal as Joey’s upbringing was, she was different. From a young age, she had a natural talent for entertaining. Folks around Alexandria remember her singing Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors” as a little girl. Dean Morehead was a few years ahead of Joey in school. To this day, he still recalls her rendition of the Parton classic. “I don’t know if she was in kindergarten then, but I still, to this day, remember that,” he said. “Even at 10 years old, I knew she was phenomenal.” Joey honed her singing abilities throughout high school, while also developing skills in her other interests – athletics and animals, especially horses. In the Alexandria-Monroe yearbook, Joey’s senior year (1994), her classmates wrote about their ambitions. Some said they wanted to go to college before jumping into their careers. Some said they aspired to become doctors and lawyers, and some wanted to make it big through sports or another talent. Joey wrote that she would go to Nashville to become a country singer. And she did just that. Joey launched a career in Nashville, and she met the love of her life, Rory Feek. When I’m gone MADISON 13