Before Joe Nichols was country, he was fired playing country music. The singer recently opened up about his days as a radio deejay. It didn't last long, and it ended with a twist of irony.

The "Good Day for Living" singer was on air at a small Top 40 country radio station in Arkansas. He worked the overnight shift, "for like 10 minutes," he says, exaggerating some. "I was so bad at it."

The "Brokenheartsville" and "Sunny and 75" hitmaker has always been known for his dedication to traditional country music. In fact, he can talk your ear off about why Gene Watson and Keith Whitley belong in the Hall of Fame. He did just that during his full interview with Taste of Country Nights' Evan Paul:

At this station, Merle Haggard was the hill he was willing to die on.

"When I'd do overnights, midnight to 5AM, I'd slide in some of my favorite records because, you know? Nobody's listening," he shares.

"I kept getting calls at about 4 o'clock in the morning when my program director would wake up and he'd say, 'Yeah, I haven't programmed a Merle Haggard record in 15 years, so you need to stop doing that and I'm not going to warn you again.' ... I'm like, 'Ah, sorry. Totally slipped. It was probably in the wrong CD (case) or had the wrong label.'"

After the third or fourth time, the PD showed up and fired him, but Nichols got the last laugh.

"The weird twist is," Nichols begins, smiling his way into laughter, "like two weeks later, that guy got fired and they switched to real country, the classics. I was like, 'Maybe my ratings were up!'"

Portions from Nichols 'interview with ToC Nights are included in the video below, including his great Blake Shelton drinking story and why Mark Chesnutt was once very cross with him. Nichols' Good Day for Living album was released on Feb. 11.

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