Joe Diffie ‘Stunned’ by Shoutouts in Jason Aldean’s ‘1994’
In ‘1994,’ Aldean references at least half a dozen Diffie tunes, including ‘Honkytonk Attitude,’ ‘John Deere Green,’ ‘Ships That Don’t Come In’ and ‘A Night to Remember.’ An icon in the genre, Diffie reigned over the country music scene in the ’90s and churned no less than four gold and platinum albums in addition to several No. 1 hits.
“It’s really an honor. It’s kind of flattering, yet uncomfortable at the same time,” Diffie tells CMT of being acclaimed in Aldean’s song. “Talk about unexpected, you know? Someone told me that Thomas Rhett had co-written a song that mentioned me. And I thought, ‘I wonder what he said about me in there?’ Because we’ve all heard songs in the past that mention [Merle] Haggard or [George] Jones, so I thought it might be something like that.”
It was much more than a simple name-check, however — ‘1994’ is a full-fledged Diffie tribute, completed by Aldean chanting the legend’s name during the chorus. “When I heard it, I was stunned,” Diffie admits.”I was like, ‘You gotta be kidding me.’ It’s pretty flattering they went that far with it. It’s one thing to hear a song title or your name mentioned, but when it started into the ‘Joe. Joe. Joe Diffie‘ part, that’s cool right there.”
1994 was the year Diffie released his fourth studio album, ‘Third Rock From the Sun,’ which hit No. 6 on the Billboard Country Albums charts and spawned the hits ‘Third Rock From the Sun,’ ‘So Help Me Girl’ and ‘Pickup Man.’ The album sold over 1 million copies.