Madison Life and Times Spring 2016 - Page 3

EDITOR Scott Underwood (765) 640-4845 CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kaylee Harden, (765) 640-4868 ONLINE Find Madison magazine online at madisonthemagazine.com Joey adored for her music, loved for her heart B ack in the early 1990s when I was a sportswriter for The Herald Bulletin, she was all knees and elbows in her Alexandria High School basketball uniform. Framed by jet black hair, her dark, fawn eyes projected innocence and strength, empathy and innate intelligence. She was a beautiful person. Pretty and nice, with a sweet smile and a natural confidence suggestive of a special mission in life. And then there’s that unforgettable name: Joey. I’m not a big fan of country music. So I had lost track of who Joey Martin had become — until she surfaced on CMT’s “Can You Duet” TV competition with husband Rory Feek in 2008. Subsequently, we featured Joey+Rory on the cover of this magazine in 2010. With this issue, Joey becomes the first person to grace the Madison cover twice since the publication’s inception in 2007. I went to see Joey+Rory perform at the Madison County Fair a few years ago. She still looked like the Joey I remembered — tall and slender and pretty. And she still had that quiet, natural dignity that some- Scott Underwood how had shown through when she was a slightly awkward high school basketball player two decades before. When Joey was on the stage, she didn’t perform elaborate dance moves. She didn’t shatter glass with her voice. She just had to be Joey. Her greatest asset as a performer was her genuineness. Even if you don’t like country music, her voice captures you with its honesty, with its purity. Joey and Rory released six studio albums in rapid succession and started a TV show. They built a loyal fan base among country folk who appreciate wholesome living and good music. Joey could sometimes be found cooking, serving customers and singing at the restaurant she started with her sisterin-law, Marcy Jo’s Mealhouse & Joey Martin Feek during a performance in 2010. Bakery, in Pottsville, Tenn. Joey and Rory lived on a farm nearby. Blessed by God, the couple also had a daughter. They named her Indiana. Thousands of people know Joey Martin Feek much better than I do. These folks could relate sweet stories about her from the time she was a precocious singer as a youngster. She loved Dolly Parton, she loved horses and she loved Alexandria. Hundreds turned out in November for a candlelight vigil in her hometown to pray for Joey. Their prayers were heartfelt, their love palpable, their tears real. Joey Martin Feek has brought people together with her singing talent and with the simple, true, consistent goodness of her life. In a 2006 new-artist interview with AngryCountry.com, Joey was asked how she’d like to be remembered 50 years down the road. “I would hope that I had left a positive mark in this world as someone who dreamed big, accomplished big and compromised little,” she said. Done. Done. And done. Not bad for a fawn-eyed, country girl from Alexandria, Indiana. Editor’s note: This is a revision of a column that first appeared in The Herald Bulletin in November 2015. EDITORIAL PHOTOGRAPHY PUBLISHER Staff writers Kelly Dickey Ken de la Bastide Devan Filchak Stu Hirsch John P. Cleary, Don Knight, Scott L. Miley Beverly Joyce DESIGN ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Kaylee Harden, Tyson Bird Mark Elliott (765) 640-2309 EMAIL DISTRIBUTION madison@indianamediagroup.com Susan Snyder (765) 648-4295 Contributors Julie Campbell Howard Hewitt Stinson Anderson Derek Price David Reddick Stephen T. Jackson Copy Editors Paula Bivens, Tom Swenson SUBSCRIPTIONS Madison is published by The Herald Bulletin. The subscription price of $15 per year can be mailed to Madison at 1133 Jackson St., Anderson, IN 46016, or paid by phone at (765) 640-4848 or (800) 750-5049. MADISON 3