Welcome to Radio Feedback, Radio.com’s weekly feature where we ask artists to wax nostalgic on the first time they heard themselves on the radio.
Joe Nichols had already worked with a couple of independent labels– even releasing an album (Joe Nichols) and a handful of singles– before signing, in 2002, with Universal South Records. That label released Nichols’ second album, Man with a Memory, which lifted the young Arkansas native’s music career out of the trenches and took it to a whole new level.
“I’d heard my songs on the radio locally,” Nichols told Radio.com, referring to his early singles. “But the first time I had a national release, it was my first single on Universal South, it was ‘The Impossible.'” The song was written by Kelley Lovelace and Lee Thomas Miller, and it was released in March of 2002.
Nichols said that he was in Nashville at his record label when that radio moment took place. “We knew they were going to play it around lunchtime,” he explained,” so “everybody at the label gathered around and listened. They played ‘The Impossible,’ and of course we all high-fived. ‘This is it! OK, now we can all go home!’ It was a great moment, we were all proud of the way it sounded on the radio. It sounded really good.”
“The Impossible” went on to become Nichols’ first Top 10 single, reaching all the way to No. 3 on Billboard‘s Hot Country Singles chart. He followed it up with “Brokenheartsville,” which became his first No. 1. From there, his career was off and running.
Nichols is currently in the Top 20 with his current single “Sunny and 75,” and next week he will release his eighth studio album, Crickets. Hitting stores on Oct. 8, it’s Nichols’ first album for Red Bow Records.