A native of Rochester, New York, Joe English was a member of band Jam Factory, a group based in Syracuse, that evolved into the Tall Dogs Orchestra of Macon, Georgia.

Searching for an opportunity to expand his talent, he answered an ad for a drummer in early 1975. The address led him to the basement of an old building where, much to his surprise, he found himself face to face with Paul McCartney. The audition was for McCartney’s Wings, and English got the job. His first album with Wings was Venus and Mars and, one album later, he would even take the lead vocals for the song, “Must Do Something About It” from Wings at the Speed of Sound. He accompanied Wings on tour and was the drummer on the Wings Over the World tour.

In September 1977, during the recording sessions for Wings’ London Town, English became homesick and returned to Macon, Georgia, where he began playing with Chuck Leavell’s band Sea Level. This ended his time with McCartney and Wings.

Following his Christian salvation experience, he formed the Joe English Band, performing as lead singer and drummer. The band toured the world, playing with other major Christian bands of the era, including Petra, DeGarmo & Key, Mylon LeFevre and Servant. The Joe English Band recorded a release without Joe’s vocals called AKA Forerunner. The band included John Lawry, who left to play for Petra in 1984. In 1986, Joe English played in former Petra vocalist Greg X. Volz’s band, Pieces of Eight. In the late 1980s, English joined Randy Stonehill, Phil Keaggy, Rick Cua and others as part of the Compassion All Star Band. In 1988, the band recorded live One by One, their only album together.

English played the snare with his right hand and the hi-hat and ride cymbals with his left, a technique commonly termed “open handed”. He has been unable to play drums professionally since the late 1990s, due to chronic ankle health issues.

As of 2008, English lives in Spindale, North Carolina being a member of the Word of Faith Fellowship community. He is no longer involved in the music industry. However, he maintains his interest in music as a member of the choir at WOFF. In May 2016 he left Word of Faith Fellowship.

Selected Discography

What You Need

Myrrh Records 1985

Tracks: What You Need, The Master, Take The Cross, The First Stone, Easy Street, I Will Follow You, Yield To The Spirit, The Joy Of The Lord, Children Of The Light & Through The Veil.

Musicians on the What You Need album: Joe English, Paul Brannon, George Cocchini & Paul Mills.

Joe English Band Live

Word Records 1984

Tracks: To Love Is To Love, Midnight Angel Choir, Dyin', Rio Samba, Power Of Prayer, Let Me Praise You Again, Learn To Celebrate & Get Ready.

Musicians on the Joe English Band Live album: Joe English, Paul Brannon, George Cocchini & Tim Smith.

Press On

Myrrh Records 1983

Tracks: Stop, Echoes Of The Spirit, Royal Priesthood, The Harvest, Press On, Power Of Prayer, All My Heart, Let Me Praise You Again, Roll Of Life & To Know the Heart Of Jesus.

Musicians on the Press On album: Joe English, Paul Brannon, George Cocchini, Tim Smith, John Lawry, Sam Levine, Doug Moffett, Jay C. Coble Jr., John Harbaugh, Christy Betts, Tom Douglas, James Isaac Elliott, Phil Elliott, Dayle English, Tommy Funderburk, Grammy Grandall, Debbie Halverson & Brenda Nenow.

Held Accountable

Refuge Records 1982

Tracks: Best Things, We Live When We Die, My Strength Is in the Lord, First Love, Voice of Triumph, Wake Up, Learn to Celebrate, Where You Gonna Run, Thief in the Night & The Best Is Yet to Come.

Musicians on the Held Accountable album: Joe English, Paul Brannon, George Cocchini, Tim Smith & John Lawry.

Lights In The World

Refuge Records 1980

Tracks: To Love Is To Live, Shine On, Dyin', Is There Not One Good Man, Midnight Angel Choir, Get Ready, Is The King Your Friend, The Lord Never Leaves, Praise Him & Keep In Touch.

Musicians on the Lights In The World album: Joe English, George Cocchini, Phil McHugh, Kenny Mims, Dave Perkins, Brent Rowans, Larry Paxton, Shane Keister, John Rosasco, Terry McMillan, Greg Nelson, John Rosasco, Sheldon Kurland, Bonnie Bramlett, Vicki Hampton, Donna McElroy & Russ Taff.