Madison Life and Times Spring 2016 - Page 17

Joey Martin Feek | COVER STORY JOEY+RORY JOEY first saw Rory Feek sitting in a group of four on stage during a songwriter’s night at the Bluebird Café in Nashville. “Everything that he said, I hung onto his words and the stories he was singing,” Joey said in a 2010 Madison article. “Stories he told about his life and his kids. … I sat there in awe and said to myself, ‘Oh, gosh, I don’t know who this guy is, but I’m going to marry him someday’ because I felt that strong about him.” Joey didn’t actually meet Rory until about two years later, when he was on stage performing again. Joey said she just had to go see him and find out whether her previous feelings toward him were still there. They were. They dated about six months before getting married in 2002. “She didn’t want a long courtship,” June Martin said of her daughter. “She said that breeds temptation.” Rory’s sister, Marcy Gray, said she loved Joey from the time Rory first brought her home. “She’s too pretty for Rory. This is a very lucky man. That was my first impression,” Gray remembered. The couple decided Rory would keep in the shadows of songwriting while Joey would pursue a solo country singing career in the spotlight. In the meantime, Joey and Marcy Gray decided to go into business together. “I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat if we opened a little diner down the road?’” Gray recounted. “That first year, I cooked, and Joey waited tables. It was really, really the best time for me and Joey.” The diner, Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse, is still alive and well in Pottsville, Tenn. Before get [