Was it the songs? Sure, Alan Jackson had some good ones. Was it the songwriting? Definitely — the Country Music Hall of Famer is great with a pen. But to appreciate why he's a legend, you need to appreciate something at the core of the 62-year-old hitmaker.

Jackson's secret weapon is the subject of this week's episode of the Secret History of Country Music Podcast. Host Adison Haager and ToC's Billy Dukes explore several controversial decisions Jackson has made throughout his life and career, and how they served to anchor him as traditions changed and the music he loved began to be threatened by artists more familiar with frosted tips than a fiddle.

While outwardly quiet, humble and kind, the "Gone Country" singer is fastidiously dedicated to his roots and convictions. His biggest song would have never happened had he not fought hard for it. A protest at the CMA Awards would have spelled doom for another artist's career. A gospel album at the height of his career ended up being a great call, but that doesn't mean everyone on Jackson's team was convinced it'd work out in the end.

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 on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Taste of Country. Be sure to follow for more great country music podcasts.

See Alan Jackson Through the Years: Country as All Get Out!