Joe NicholsThe old expression, "You win some, you lose some," certainly rings true for Joe Nichols. The win/lose column on the singer's roster of hit records kicked in when he drew the long straw, getting to record what turned out to be a No. 1 hit, 'Gimmie That Girl,' while Billy Currington edged him out by the luck of the draw for his No. 1 single, 'People Are Crazy.'

When Joe visited 'Country Countdown USA' last weekend, he explained how he and Billy happened to get their respective No. 1s. It seems Billy turned down 'Gimmie That Girl,' giving Joe a shot at the record. But it took some convincing before he decided to cut it.

"When they first demoed [the record], a buddy of mine said, 'This is the biggest hit you're going to have.' I was like, 'Whatever!'" Joe recalls. "I took it home and listened to it. I thought it was pretty good. And next day, [he said], 'You heard that song yet?' I said, 'Yeah, man.' And then the emails kept coming. He'd email me the song or slip it somewhere to make sure I heard it. I said, 'You need to go get someone like Joe Nichols to cut that song.' [laughs] And that's who cut it. I'm glad to have it.'"

Joe, as it turns out, had a chance to hear the demo of 'People Are Crazy' before Billy got a chance to cut it, but it was a little too late.

"I knew he had the hold on it," Joe says with a sigh. "I knew he was going to cut it, and I knew they were working on it, but by the time I heard it, it was too late. He already had the first dibs on it. That's the one song I wish I'd got the chance to cut. I heard it, and I knew immediately I wish I could get my hands on that one. I wish Billy had just decided he didn't want to cut it -- like 'Gimmie That Girl!'"

Philosophically speaking, Joe admitted, " I tend to think songs end up where they're supposed to be."

Speaking of where songs are supposed to be, Miranda Lambert's new rising single, 'The House That Built Me,' was originally meant for Blake Shelton, but Miranda managed to talk her way into recording that one.

Miranda's single happens to be one of Joe's favorite songs right now. "What a special song, 'The House That Built Me.' My wife actually pulled me aside one day, and played this for me. She said, 'Now, I want you to just sit here and listen to this song. Give me four minutes. Don't say a word. Just listen to it.' She turned it up real loud, and, man, from the beginning of the song to the end of the song, I thought, 'Wow! What a powerful song!'"

What was it that affected Joe the most? "Maybe it was my wife," says Joe, adding, "maybe because it reminded me so much of her ... the way she is and the kind of values that her family gave her and the place that she grew up in the country in Texas. It just made me think of her. She and Miranda are kind of from the same area. Miranda sold it. She made me believe every word of the song. It's a powerful deal. She's really coming into her own."

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