Fun fact about Eric Church getting tossed from the Rascal Flatts tour: He wasn't the first country star to get axed for playing too long. He wasn't even first to get fired for playing too long in New York City!

Another legend did something very similar over 40 years earlier. This country king was literally carried off the stage so the show could continue without him. We're not encouraging any new artists to do the same, but we're saying that those who did have a 100 percent success rate ... well, eventually.

The act, the banishment and the rising of Eric Church are all part of Ep. 3 of the Secret History of Country Music Podcast. Jay DeMarcus, Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney have since weighed in on the night they told him to pack his Aviators and go home, admitting they don't regret it, but can now appreciate the humor in how Chief trolled them afterwards. Church likes to say that no one would touch him for years afterward, but that's not totally true. The fact is, he did sign on to a new tour pretty soon after being dumped.

Do you remember which future star was there for him?

Season 1 of the Secret History of Country Music Podcast is an extension of the popular video series of the same name, and a part of the Townsquare Media podcast network. Look for new episodes every Monday.

Top 50 Eric Church Songs: His Greatest Hits and Best Deep Cuts

Eric Church’s best song fall into rows. There’s the sullen heartbreakers and the grateful lovers. There are the snarling social statements and buoyant bops. OK, there are only a couple of buoyant bops on this list of Church's 50 greatest songs, but they exist. 

He's been known to sample R-Rated burners and sage truth-tellers — and then there are two songs about murder. So, Eric Church’s songs fall into rows, but there are a lot of rows in his 15-year catalog. 

His best song? Taste of Country asked fans, staff and the industry to weigh in and then looked at chart success, sales data pop culture importance to choose No. 1 from No. 50. Songs with strong lyrical content rank high. Songs with creative production rank high. Songs with both ended up in the Top 5. 

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