Country singer Rory Feek remembers his late wife Joey, and tries to look ahead

Joey and Rory Feek, the husband and wife country duo, soared to the top of the country charts early last year with their Grammy-winning album "Hymns That Are Important To Us." Soon after, Joey lost a two-year battle with cancer. 

To keep Joey's legacy alive, Rory has posthumously released his wife's first solo album, which she made back in 2005. Released on a small label, it got little attention at the time. 

"We recorded it a couple of years after Joey and I got married. She was still an aspiring singer on her own and I was a long way from ever thinking about singing with her," Rory told "CBS This Morning: Saturday" co-host Anthony Mason at Gibson Guitar Studios in New York. 

Joey and Rory Feek

"Nothing was going her way. You know, it just wasn't happening. So it just pretty much sat on a shelf for the last, how long?" he said. "Ten, 12 years it's been sitting there, sort of waiting for a moment when someone might care."  

That time finally came. It debuted at No. 6 on the country music chart.

Joey and Rory were rising stars on the country scene with their own TV show. Then, in 2014, just after their baby Indiana was born, Joey was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Two years later, the illness would take her at the age of 40.

"That's the biggest thing I struggle with is I still walk around thinking, 'She's really not here," Rory told Anthony Mason on "CBS Sunday Morning" last August. 

"Are you still writing music?" Mason asked.

With love, from Rory to Joey

"No, I don't want to be on a stage without her that's what I'm thinkin about right now," Rory said. 

At the back of their 60 acres, Joey had been laid to rest under a cluster of sassafras trees. Rory has a bench there he says he visits almost every day. 

"I got a place for my coffee and hers. And we still have coffee together," he said. 

Eight months later, Rory is beginning to look ahead.

"I'm still at the farm raising Indiana and trying to see where I'm going from here. The baby's doing amazing. She just learned to walk," Rory said.

Indiana recently got a piano for her birthday.

"We sort of, we got our family a piano. And I try and play with her, but she mostly grabs my hands and stops me and she wants me to hear her play. But there's a little bit of music in our house again that's, that's wonderful," Rory said.
"I don't know yet what's down the road, but I'm thinking about it. I'm really thinking about it for the first time. And I'm staying pretty open to the possibilities. I haven't been very open to the possibilities," he admitted.


Recently he heard a church group play a Joey + Rory song. He wondered how it would sound if he sang it alone. 

"And so later that night when the baby was in bed, I got my wife's guitar down off the wall. Pretty soon an hour had gone by and I'd probably sang about a dozen songs that I hadn't sang in a year or so. And it felt pretty good. Then I just hung it back up," Feek said.  

"Was that the first time you really played in a long time?" Mason asked.

"Oh yeah. I've had someone hand me a guitar from time to time, but I begrudgingly just pass it on to the next person." Rory said. 

So as our interview was ending, this came as a surprise.

"Would you like me to play a song?" Rory said. 

With a borrowed guitar, Rory Feek gave us a song.

To hear Rory sing the first song he's played publicly in over a year, watch the video above