He was born the youngest of three children on October 11, 1976 in Baytown, Texas, to Jerry and Linda Rucker. Shortly after his birth, the family moved back to their previous home in Geneva, Florida, where they still reside.
Since his father played the guitar and wrote songs, Joe started singing along with the family at an early age. "We played a lot of Churches and barbecues . . . things like that. It was quite a learning experience for me."
Joe played baritone horn in middle and high school, going on to earn two superior ratings in conducting his junior and senior years. He was also drum major his senior year. During this time, he was also learning the guitar. "I guess I was about 11 when my Dad taught me my first three chords on the guitar."
At age 14, he wrote his first song entitled NEVER SAY NEVER. "I had just been to an Eddy Raven show a couple of months prior, and I really had the bug then. Wow, what an entertainer. I wanted to be just like him. So I wrote the song with him in mind." He also sites Hank Locklin as an important influence in his music. "I think the reason I have such a good range and am suited to many different types of Country Music is because of Hank Locklin and Eddy Raven. I love both of their styles so much and they are both so different from one another. It made me more 'well-rounded'. I've got every Hank Locklin and Eddy Raven record there is! Including old radio broadcasts and everything! I bet I've got things they don't have," he says with a laugh.
Joe did his first recording session at age 19 at HomeGrown Studios in Deltona, FL. He also played lead guitar, keyboard, and the mandolin on that session. "It took about ten hours to do two songs," he laughs. "I was doing most of it and I didn't know what I was doing! Never stepped into a studio before. Needless to say, I learned a lot. It really brought out the creative side of me. I love to work in the studio."
As far as performing on stage, Joe gained valuable stage skills at the Wiersdale Opry where he played semi-regularly. He won several talent contests, and was broadcast on radio there as well. But he knew that if he wanted to further his career, moving to Nashville was the next step. So with his bride Lori, he moved to Nashville in October 1998. One month later, he was invited by Jack Greene to appear on world famous
Ernest Tubb Midnite Jamboree, which is broadcast from "The Air Castle of the South",
WSM AM Radio 650, and "Home of the Grand Ole Opry". Jack was that week's host, and has invited him back to perform two times since. The Midnite Jamboree is the second oldest live country music radio show in the world. Over the years, it has featured great artists such as it's original host, Ernest Tubb, along with other stars like Stonewall Jackson, Martha Carson, Elvis Presley, George Hamilton IV, Loretta Lynn, T. Graham Brown, Randy Travis, Marty Stuart, and countless others. September 15, 2001 found Joe on the Jamboree's stage again, this time as a guest of his buddy Hank Locklin. Joe is honored to have been a part of such a musical legacy, and hopes to continue performing on WSM.
In 2001, Joe released his first album on CD and cassette entitled Nashville Scenes,
a project he co-produced with Doyle Grisham. Doyle, (a legend in his own right), is responsible for the steel guitar sound on many big named artists' records including : Jimmy Buffett, Dan Seals, Chris Ledoux, Lynn Anderson, Jim Glaser, and all of Randy Travis' hits, to name a few. Doyle continues to travel with Jimmy Buffett playing steel guitar.
Nashville Scenes showcases Joe's singing, writing, playing, and arranging talents. He wrote six out of the 11 songs recorded, (his father writing the other 5).
Today Joe is working on a second project that will include new material he's written, cover material, and guest vocalists such as Hank Locklin and Clifford Curry.
Joe enjoys international attention doing television shows, radio, and interviews, but his main goal is to perform on the world famous Grand Ole Opry , (just listen to the words from the title song, Nashville Scenes), and to eventually become a member of the famed institution. "The Opry is the most important thing to a true Country artist. It's THE place to be, and I hope I'm there one day!"
Check out the artist's website:
1. Farytale Endings
2. Nashville Scenes
3. From Now Through Eternity
4. Oh Heart
5. There's Not Enough Fingers For You
6. Never Say Never
7. Your Picture's Worth A Thousand Tears
8. You Gotta Walk In The Light
9. Heavenly Father
10. His Name Is Jesus
11. Daddy Can You Tell Me Why (home recording of Joe at age 4 with t