School bus driver and bass singer Joe Thompson, is shown here on the right, with his gospel quartet The Fairfield Four, and Lee Ann Womack. The quartet won a Grammy award for Best Roots Gospel Album.

School bus driver and bass singer Joe Thompson, is shown here on the right, with his gospel quartet The Fairfield Four, and Lee Ann Womack. The quartet won a Grammy award for Best Roots Gospel Album.

LEBANON, Tenn. — A local school bus driver recently won a Grammy award for his gospel quartet The Fairfield Four, and mentioned his employer in his acceptance speech, The Tennessean reports.

Special-needs school bus driver and bass singer Joe Thompson, 80, leads the quartet, which attained fame outside the genre in 2000 when it appeared at the end of the Coen Brothers' movie “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, according to the newspaper.  He had built trucks for 29 years for Peterbilt, and retired in 2002, but got bored and started driving a bus for Wilson County Schools that same year, The Tennessean reports.

Thompson loves his job so much that he mentioned it in his acceptance speech when The Fairfield Four won for Best Roots Gospel Album at the Grammys, according to the newspaper. “I would like to send a shout-out to the transportation department in Wilson County, Tennessee,” Thompson told the audience at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Teachers told The Tennessean that the pre-K students don’t know what a Grammy is, but they know that “Mr. Joe” won a big prize. Teachers also said that Thompson deserves another prize for making each of his students with special needs feel important and safe, and one teacher noted that he makes the students “feel like rock stars.” One of his 4-year-old students presented him with a large congratulations card, according to the newspaper.

To read the full story, go here.

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