Joe Scaife — the man behind two of the most ear-catching country songs of all time — died last weekend at age 68.

In addition to producing "Redneck Woman" for Gretchen Wilson in 2004 and "Achy Breaky Heart" for Billy Ray Cyrus in 1992, Scaife was a part of hit songs for K.T. Oslin, Montgomery Gentry, Toby Keith, Shania Twain and more.

  • The Tennessean notes that Scaife was part of making records that sold over 80 million copies.
  • Often he was an engineer for well-known music producer and executive Harold Shedd.
  • Scaife's wife Danielle confirmed the news on Facebook.

"Our hearts are broken. We love you so much Joe Scaife," she shares with a memorial photo.

Scaife was a Belmont University graduate. He grew up watching his father make records at Sam Phillips' Sun Studio in Memphis before relocating to Nashville.

"80's Ladies" — a Top 10 single for Oslin — was an early taste of success for Scaife. His later hits would rely on the soundscape as much as the lyrics and singer's performance. "Redneck Woman" is a forceful, country-rock anthem driven by hard-charging guitars and relentless drums.

"Achy Breaky Heart" cut a beat that Cyrus could easily shake his hips within. Millions of fans worldwide did it with him, thus amplifying line dance culture.

Daughter Jaela shared that a memorial is planned on Music Row later this year. She also shared tender words about her father.

"You were the coolest hang there ever was," she writes. "Anyone who knows me knows that there is no one in the world I love more than Joe Scaife. Words will never do him justice."

He was the absolute coolest, most down to earth, incredible dad I could have ever asked for. I don’t know how I am going to make it without him, but I know he is going wide open on his boat in heaven. I love you so much daddy and I can’t wait to see you again. Happy first Father’s Day in Heaven.

Joe Scaife also had a son named Tristan. His cause of death has not been revealed.

Billy Dukes is a Senior Editor and Executive Producer of Video Content at Taste of Country. He specializes in country music interviews, trend analysis and the Secret History of Country Music. Additionally, Billy covers Yellowstone, 1923 and related television shows through the Dutton Rules podcast. To date, he's written more than 13,000 articles for Taste of Country and produced over 3,000 videos for the Taste of Country YouTube channel.

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Gallery Credit: Carena Liptak

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