Joe McQuany and Charlie Parmley (who died in 2007 and 2011, respectively) known as Joe and Charlie met in 1973 and spent the next three decades spreading their interpretation of the Big Book. Most of those in the A.A. program are familiar with the duo.
These two Southern gentlemen are credited with making the program literature accessible to many who might have otherwise found the language archaic and just downright confusing.
Alcoholics Anonymous quietly considers Joe and Charlie to have had the most significant impact on AA in the last 30 years.
Peter, a 49-year-old engineer in Arizona, is among those who have benefitted from listening to Joe and Charlie. Peter had decided it was time to quit drinking after his second divorce 10 years ago and The Big Book Comes Alive meetings quickly became the foundation of his recovery.
“The meetings are only one part of it. I think the tapes really drive people further into the book. And it doesn’t hurt that Joe and Charlie are incredibly amusing. They’re funny,” Peter says. “They have this folksy charm that helps the medicine go down, which has always been what I love about AA. We can talk about these serious matters and still laugh at ourselves.”