News That Matters To Antelope County - Your News. Your Way. Every Day!
© Pitzer Digital, LLC
While the watertower won’t be painted “John Deere Green,” it will likely be a hot summer night when “Pickup Man” Joe Diffie headlines the Antelope County Fair in August.
Fair officials announced Diffie as their 2019 headliner on Wednesday morning. He is slated to perform in front of the grandstands on Friday, Aug. 2. Tickets have not gone on sale yet for the concert.
“I’ve always loved well-written songs,” says the Grammy winner from Oklahoma. “There’s really no magic formula. I’ve just always drawn on my own experience whether it’s falling in love or hanging out in a bar. I feel like if I relate to it, other people will, too.”
Diffie has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 25 years. He signed with Epic Records in 1990 and saw his debut single, “Home,” reach No. 1. He continued to dominate the charts throughout the 1990s with such hits as “New Way (To Light Up an Old Flame),” “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets),” “Is It Cold in Here,” “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die),” “So Help Me Girl,” “Bigger than the Beatles” and “Third Rock from the Sun.”
County star Jason Aldean paid tribute to Diffie and name-checked many of the veteran entertainer’s classics in his hit “1994.” The video featured Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett, Little Big Town, Jake Owen and others paying homage to the man who influenced them.
“It was a nice shot in the arm, and it’s amazing to me the impact that it’s had. A lot of fans are coming to my shows now to see who the dude is that Jason and Thomas are talking about,” Diffie said, noting that Thomas Rhett co-wrote the song and often plays it in his shows. “The really amazing thing is the fans know every song that I sing. We’ll go to a place and they’ll be a bunch of younger people and they’ll know every single word. Obviously, they’ve gone back and done some research or downloaded something. It’s pretty cool.”
With nearly 30 years in the spotlight, Diffie said he has no plans to slow down.
“I love music. It’s just a part of me,” he says. “Retiring would be like cutting off my arm or something. I enjoy everything about it. The travel part gets old once in a while admittedly, but I love the fans. It beats working any day.”