The many roles played by Grammy winner and Grand Ole Opry member Joe Diffie during his '90's country heyday included a guest hosting gig in December 1992 on the popular TNN show Nashville Now. Diffie sat in Ralph Emery's seat to interview future country star Tim McGraw on an episode also featuring a live performance of Exile's 1986 hit "Super Love" (also known as "I Got (Super-Duper Love)").
The clip below goes from showing Diffie in all of his decade-specific fashion and hairstyle glory to a reminder of Exile's unmatched showmanship (not to mention members J.P. Pennington and Sonny LeMaire's skills as songwriters). Choreographed moves and contagious fun mark a song that's equal parts J. Geils Band, James Brown and Alabama. The in-studio performance is chock-full of the catchy hooks and carefree spirit that's not a given anymore from country music acts, much less rock 'n' roll bands.
The rock band behind '70's dance hit "I Want to Kiss You All Over" became crossover stars in the '80's after teaming with Nashville producer Buddy Killen. During an 11 single run lasting from 1983 to 1987, 10 of 11 Exile singles topped Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. The lone outlier, by chance, was "Super Love."
Diffie brought his own redneck swagger to Exile's cable TV jam session. McGraw arrived at the party shortly after, teasing how hat acts would later share the Nashville spotlight with rocking bands and honky-tonk lifers.
On up into 1993, Diffie's legend would grow thanks to the single "Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die)" while McGraw's self-titled mainstream debut would arrive and feature the Diffie co-write "Memory Lane."
After Diffie passed away on March 29, 2000 from COVID-19 (coronavirus) complications, both Exile and McGraw took to social media to offer their condolences.
"Shocked and heartbroken to hear of old friend Joe Diffie's death from COVID-19," Exile wrote on its official Facebook page. "Prayers for his family. Folks, please take this seriously; take care of yourselves!"
"I loved Joe... His music, his spirit, and his love for music...," McGraw wrote on Twitter. "One of the most influential vocalist of our time in country music. So many great songs... However 'Ships That Don't Come In' always gets me."