Walker Hayes' country music journey has been anything but a straight shot: After he and his wife moved to Nashville in 2005, the singer-songwriter landed a job with a publishing company, and then a deal with Mercury Nashville; however, he was dropped from the label before he released any music. A deal with Capitol Nashville led to a charting single and an EP in 2010 and another charting single and a full album in 2011 ... but then Hayes got dropped again.

Hayes took a job at Costco to support his family, but continued writing songs. In 2016, he signed with Shane McAnally's publishing company and label and released two EPs. Monument Records picked him up, and his first single with the label, 2017's "You Broke Up With Me," rose to the Top 10 on the country charts and has been certified platinum; the album on which it appears, Boom, also hit the Top 10.

It was way back when, though, that Hayes heard himself on the radio for the first time. Below, the singer recalls that moment to The Boot ... and shares how his children react when they hear Dad on the radio.

I was actually driving out of Mobile, [Ala., my hometown].

When that happens to you, it’s pretty emotional, because you put so much into this job and this dream and chasing it. I think in your head you’re like, “I can see it happening. I can hear it happening. It’s gonna happen.” But then when it does, you still can’t believe it. That’s how it was for me.

Hearing it in Nashville never gets old. The kids, they blow the speakers out when it comes on.

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