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Joe Diffie: 10 Essential Songs

“Pickup Man,” “Ships That Don’t Come In,” and a stunning duet with Mary Chapin Carpenter

Joe Diffie

Joe Diffie's string of hits in the Nineties helped define the decade in country music.

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Garth, Alan, and Reba may be the associated superstars of Nineties country music, but it’s impossible to think of the decade without the contributions of Joe Diffie. Even more so, without the Oklahoma native’s run of radio staples like “Home,” “John Deere Green,” and “Third Rock From the Sun,” there’d likely be no Jason Aldean, Luke Combs, or Morgan Wallen today. Which is what makes Diffie’s unexpected death on Sunday due to complications related to COVID-19 so hard to fathom. We look back at 10 songs of Diffie’s that sum up country’s ever-reliable “Pickup Man.”

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