Remembering Toby Keith

I have created well over 2,000 medleys, but very few of them have been career retrospectives of artists who left us much too soon. John Lennon, George Harrison, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty are among the few who have received that honor.

Today I am adding another name. Toby Keith passed away on February 5 at the age of 62, following a battle with stomach cancer. He was, without question, my all-time favorite country singer.

He released 21 studio albums. He released 69 singles, with 65 of them charting on the Billboard country chart; 55 reached the Top 40, 42 made the Top 10, and 20 hit #1. I don’t pretend to think I have captured everyone’s favorite Toby song, but I did try to capture the essence of the man.

He was a staunch supporter of American veterans, and he was firm in his belief that troops overseas deserved his – and our – respect. Keith made numerous trips to the Middle East, starting in 2002, to perform for those serving in the U.S. military.

I don’t apologize for being patriotic. If there is something socially incorrect about being patriotic and supporting your troops, then they can kiss my ass on that, because I’m not going to budge on that at all.

And he never did.

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Remembering Toby Keith

Comments (22)

  1. Penny S Capron

    what a great tribute to an amazing man who accomplished so much!! He has left an amazing legacy to the world with his music, talent, patriotism and so much more – he has now joined so many before him who are singing with the angels.
    Like a tribute I saw … time to let the old man in … Rest in Peace Toby!

    Thank you Ray for taking the time to make an amazing musical tribute!!!

    Have a wonderful day!

    XXOO

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Penny, for a beautiful commentary. ❤
      His music touched me in so many ways, especially his unabashed patriotism.
      He is now at peace, free of the pain.
      XOXO

      Reply
  2. Jim

    He put so very many feelings that many of us have into music that we could relate to. A true gentleman and artist.

    Thank you, Ray, for putting the love into this tribute now.

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Jim. ❤
      He was true to himself and a patriot to the end.
      It was a labor of love for me.

      Reply
  3. Pat Kelley

    This sure brought back a lot of memories. He was an incredible performer, songwriter and patriot who lived true to himself and his family. Linda and I were fortunate to see him in concert 20 years ago this month at the Mullins Center at UMass Amherst. What a show he put on, with the new guy at the time, Blake Shelton opening! 20 years ago…wow.

    https://dailycollegian.com/2004/02/toby-keith-rocks-umass/

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thanks for the wonderful comments, Pat, and thanks for the very interesting link!

      Reply
  4. Rosa-Lee Gould

    Good Morning Ray, Ted & I are doing things a little differently this morning. He has the music playing on his computer & I’m writing our comments on mine. The memories are flowing. Ted & I saw Toby Keith with my son Charlie & his best friend Paul. It was a great concert in so many ways. We sat in reserved seats towards the front next to the aisle & bought a special booklet that Toby Keith signed with gold ink & there’s a funny story about a pink hat but I won’t go there. When Ted was playing with Footloose & they did several Toby Keith songs. My sister Bobbi-Jo liked the line “my name is… but it was changed to “my big sister Rosa-Lee.” If you’ve never seen the video it is worth watching. He was called “White Trash With Money” so he named his next album that & made more. We are going to have to watch the Beer for My Horses movie we have soon. How Do You Like Me Now can be answered when my favorite R&R DJ considers him his “favorite country singer.” Thank you for the beautiful tribute & the memories. 🙂 🙂

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Lee & Ted
      Lots of memories in that commentary!
      I am so glad you enjoyed Toby and I am very happy you enjoyed the medley! ❤❤

      Reply
  5. Donna Tillson-Bass

    Good morning, Ray. What a wonderful tribute to an amazing artist, gone way too soon. This one seems to have hit me hard. You put together such a heartfelt medley. I found myself cry through most of it. Country music has lost one of their greatest. Thank you, for putting this together. <3

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Donna ❤
      Your beautiful comments touched my heart.

      Reply
  6. Nancy Garbati

    Wow, what a great tribute. I was so sad yesterday when I read of his passing. I went on line and pulled up some of these very songs. Thanks so much for putting this together.

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Nancy, for your lovely comments! ❤

      Reply
  7. Fred

    Ray I am always sad when we lose a entertainer but for some reason this man brought me to tears!! This man was a true patriot! He was hell on wheels and he will always be as good as he ever was! The songs you have chosen remind me how much his songs had a great story!! I am going to miss this man!! He had it all l am sure he is hearing this tribute and smiling down on us! I am at a loss for words!! Thank you for this!!
    Love ya

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you for the beautiful tribute, Fred! ❤
      There had only been three musicians whose deaths brought me to tears: George Harrison, Rick Parfitt of Status Quo, and Rick Wright of Pink Floyd. I can now add a fourth name. Toby Keith. There were several times while putting this medley together that I found ears streaming down my cheeks.
      Love ya

      Reply
  8. Mary Helen Hawthorne

    A wonderful tribute
    Raising a red Solo cup
    RIP Toby

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Mary Helen ❤
      I was going to add ‘Red Solo Cup’ but I remembered a quote from Toby in which he said he regretted recording it. “It’s the stupidest song I ever heard in my life,” but if I do a Part 2 (if people want it), I would add it.

      Reply
  9. Pat Conant

    As Donna said above, “this one hit me hard”, I really thought he had whipped this disease. This was a wonderful tribute, Ray I made it all the way to the last song before I had to cry.

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Pat ❤
      It was a tough one for me to do. As I have said here several times, he was my favorite country singer, so putting this medley together was emotional for me. I’m very glad you enjoyed it.

      Reply
  10. Rose

    A beautiful, and well deserved tribute to a talented artist and a Good Man ~

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Rose, for those beautiful words. ❤

      Reply
  11. Evelyn

    Thank you Ray. I too found myself with tears when I learned of his passing. I immediately thought of his recent appearance at the CMA awards singing Don’t Let The Old Man In. So sad.

    Reply
    1. Ray (Post author)

      Thank you, Evelyn ❤
      He looked so gaunt at the CMA’s. I just knew it wasn’t going to be long.
      I take comfort in the fact that he is now at peace.

      Reply

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