Jo Dee Messina has really had a resurgence as of late, due in part to Cole Swindell's hit song "She Had Me at Heads Carolina."

When she visited the Taste of Country Nights studio, I wanted to know who she was friends with back in the day, when she debuted with "Heads Carolina, Tails California" in 1996. At first, she admits, she didn't have many friends.

"My circle was really small, I didn't know anybody," she reveals. "I was new to Nashville, I met Tim [McGraw] and I met Byron (producer Byron Gallimore) and I met a couple other people."

"I didn't go out and drink and I didn't party and I didn't go out to the bars, so all that networking never happened. Somebody heard me here, somebody heard me there and then I ending up getting a deal, but that was McGraw that made that happen."

The way she tells that last part? She sounded so sincere and conscious in the moment, I had to dive deeper.

Listen to this interview to hear Jo Dee talk about everything from her early career to her new music, including her inspiring new song "Just to Be Loved." She also explains how Tim McGraw helped her. It sounds like they lost touch a little bit, but recently had a chance to catch up. That's when she shared her heart.

Wait until you see how he reacted.

I had a lot of fun sitting down with country music icon Jo Dee Messina — check out our full conversation in this week's episode of Taste of Country Nights, On Demand wherever you get your podcasts from.

Evan Paul is the host of Taste of Country Nights, a syndicated radio show heard on more than 120 country radio stations nationwide, every night from 7PM to midnight. He plays the best new country music and interviews today's top stars, like Luke Combs, Miranda Lambert, Dan + Shay, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, Lady A, Morgan Wallen, + more! 

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