Taste of Country / YouTube
Jo Dee Messina has experienced a recent resurgence partially due to Cole Swindell’s current hit “She Had Me at Heads Carolina.” Messina is well-known for her hit song “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” which she released in 1996.
In a recent interview, we learned more about Messina’s close circle of acquaintances when she had just moved to Nashville. “My circle was really small, I didn’t know anybody,” she shares of her early years in Music City. “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.”
Messina recorded her song “Bring On the Rain” featuring Tim McGraw who added beautiful harmony to the song.
Messina stated in the interview:
“When I first started off, I was very timid and I didn’t wanna, you know, ruffle feathers. I didn’t wanna shake the cart, you know what I mean? And McGraw was like, ‘No! She needs to do this.’ Like ‘Lesson in Leavin’,’ he wanted to do that for the first record, and they were like ‘Nope, nope. Can’t do it…We can’t do remakes,’ and so then the second record he was like ‘Okay. We need to do ‘Lesson in Leavin’,” and so he was adamant and loved it and just heard it. He heard that song from like three years before we cut it. So, he knocked open a lot of doors for me at that point in time, so he was instrumental. I got to say to him the other day, I said ‘I don’t know if I’ve ever said this, but thanks for a great life.’ Ya know, ‘Thanks for knocking those doors open.'”
The interviewer then asked, “Well, what did he say?”
Messina responded, “I think we cried.”
In another interview with The Gazette, Messina credited Tim for standing up for her when she was too afraid.
“Tim stood up for certain songs that I hoped were going to be on that album when I was too frightened to say anything. I thought that I couldn’t disagree with anyone at the label, but he fought for the songs he thought would help me become successful, and he was right. I owe so much to Tim McGraw, who is one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet in this business.”
It sounds like these two have a really special bond.