A native of Rochester, New York, Joe English was a member of Jam Factory, a band 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. 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 Wings, and English got the job. His first album with Wings wasVenus 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 was the drummer on the Wings Over the World tour.
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 theCompassion 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.
- Venus and Mars (1975)
- Wings at the Speed of Sound (1976)
- Wings over America (1976)
- London Town (1978)
- Trident (1978)
With Sea Level
- On the Edge (1978, Capricorn)
- Long Walk on a Short Pier (1979, Capricorn)
- Ball Room (1980, Arista)
- Best of Sea Level (1997, Capricorn)
With Joe English Band
- Lights in the World (1980)
- Held Accountable (1982)
- Press On (1983)
- Live (1984)
- What You Need (1985)
- The Best Is Yet to Come (1985)
- Back to Basics: English 101 (1988)
- Lights in the World / Held Accountable (1991)
Compassion All Star Band
- One by One (1988)