Joe Rucker (born October 11, 1976, Baytown, Texas) is an American country music musician.
Joe Rucker is the youngest of three children. He was born near Houston, Texas, in a place called Baytown, where his father was working a construction contract. Shortly after his birth, the family moved back to their previous home in Geneva, Florida.
Joe grew up listening to his dad, Jerry Rucker, play the guitar and write songs. The family sang on a regular basis at churches and community functions. His sister Michelle (Shelly), vividly recalls him being so shy about being on stage, that he hid behind her while they sang. But that shyness evaporated completely away for Joe when he met the legendary Hank Locklin through a friend of his father. The Country Music Hall of Famer had sung songs Joe grew up hearing, like Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On - and it made an impression on the teen. He had always been musically inclined, winning band awards throughout his Junior High and High School years, but that first day spent with Locklin set his passion for music off like never before.
He made the move to Nashville, Tennessee in October 1998. One month later, he was invited by Jack Greene to appear on Ernest Tubb's Midnite Jamboree, which is broadcast from "The Air Castle of the South",WSM AM Radio 650, and "Home of the Grand Ole Opry". Since that time, Rucker has made multiple appearances with Bill Anderson, Hank Locklin, Charlie Louvin, Jett Williams, Junior Brown, and others. The Midnite Jamboree is the second oldest live country music radio show in the world. Over the years, it has featured artists such as its original host, Ernest Tubb, along with other stars such as Stonewall Jackson, Martha Carson, Elvis Presley, George Hamilton IV, Loretta Lynn, T. Graham Brown, Randy Travis, Marty Stuart, Patsy Cline, and Hank Williams.
Rucker released his first album entitled Nashville Scenes in 2001. He co-produced it with Doyle Grisham. In 2007, his second effort Untangle My Mind was released, and his sister, Michelle Donahue, was Executive Producer. This eighteen song project included duets with Clifford Curry, Hank Locklin, and Eddy Raven. Rucker went to his hometown (Geneva), for the CD release party, and the community center was standing room only.
As a musician, Rucker is credited on Locklin's 2006 gospel album, By The Grace of God: The Gospel Album, which also included the Oak Ridge Boys, the Jordanaires, and Gold City.
In late 2009, he joined cartoonist / singer / songwriter Guy Gilchrist as bandleader of his group called The Comics. The group did a series of Christmas shows in December 2009 with guest artists Mandy Barnett and Tommy Cash. Rucker left the group in the fall of 2010.
On September 11, 2010, Rucker and his group from Nashville (which included Jennifer Brantley) made his debut on the legendary Wheeling Jamboree out of Wheeling, WV. The Jamboree was once the longtime rival of legendary country radio shows such as the Grand Ole Opry and the Louisiana Hayride and at one time had artists such as Grandpa Jones, Louvin Brothers, the Osborne Brothers, Chickie Williams & Doc Williams, and Jimmy Dickens.
Recently, Joe has been in rotation on the Musictogousa.com Songwriter's Network as well as performing on its live radio show hosted by Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member, Jerry Foster (of the famed writing team Foster and Rice). Other regualars on the network and live shows include legendary writers: Jim McBride, Jimmy Payne, and Glenn Douglas Tubb, Jimmy Fortune. He continues to tour occasionally, recently opening for Doug Stone at the Farmer's Opry Country Music Festival in 2010.
INTERESTING SIDE NOTE: Joe's dad, Jerry Rucker, worked in the Space Shuttle program for more than 35 years, and wrote several songs specifically geared towards the Shuttle program. The first song, called Blastoff Columbia, was used to wake up astronauts Robert Crippen and John Young from their first night in space during STS-1. It was a great honor for the entire family, and the song has been featured in several NASA videos and television news reels regarding the Shuttle program.