Kelleigh Bannen's first experiences on radio taught her some important lessons: It was the first time she realized the power of the format as a way to engage with fans and broaden her listener base, for example. Early radio success also resulted in the first times that the country singer performed to a crowd that was singing her lyrics back to her.

Just as memorably, Bannen's first experiences on radio brought her an important country music friendship. Read on to learn more.

I remember the first time I heard "Sorry on the Rocks" on the radio, which was in -- I think it was on WPOR, in Portland, Maine. That station played that song like it was a hit. And we went back, and that was, I think, the first time I learned the power of radio, because it didn't actually matter that it wasn't a hit anywhere else. The people that had heard it in Portland thought it was a hit everywhere.

So when we went to go back and play a show, everyone knew the words to that song. It was very humbling. It's really amazing, because [radio] is such an incredibly powerful tool.

And, it was a hit in Portland, Maine, which is amazing, and, in fact, Kalie Shorr heard my music because of that. She was, I don't know, maybe 15 years younger. She covered "Sorry on the Rocks," and that was the first interaction we ever had with each other. And now we're buddies, of course, and I love her to pieces. So it's very powerful.

Who Is Kelleigh Bannen? 5 Things You Need to Know