Connect with Tim Nickols
Nichols was born on 5 August 1958 in Portsmouth, Virginia but his family moved between there and Springfield, Missouri. While in college, he pursued a broadcasting major, although the college soon dropped their programming. From there, he went to manufacture buckets for the fast-food chain KFC. Nichols started taking guitar lessons as well, and soon founded a band which played locally. His guitar teacher recommended him to a man who told Nichols that he could find a record deal. The man was a scam artist, however, and Nichols later went to the Attorney General's office to reclaim the money. After his experience, Nichols was featured in a 60 Minutes exposé about Nashville scam artists, and helped his local band gain exposure.
Later on, Nichols and his band moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and by 1984 he had signed to a publishing contract with a company owned by Ronnie Milsap. At a songwriters' night at the Bluebird Café in Nashville, Nichols met Zack Turner through a friend. The two began writing together, and one of their collaborations, "I'm Over You", was recorded by Keith Whitley, whose rendition was a Top Five country hit shortly after his death in 1989. Both artists continued writing for other artists, with Nichols's first cut as a songwriter being "This Time Last Year", which Milsap recorded. Nichols also met Giles Godard, with whom he would later collaborate as well. By the early 1990s, Nichols had also had several more chart singles as a songwriter, including Milsap's "All Is Fair in Love and War", Billy Dean's "Tryin' to Hide a Fire in the Dark", and another posthumous release from Whitley, "Brotherly Love" (a duet with Earl Thomas Conley).