It’s been 30 years since country fans were first introduced to Toby Keith, the populist country singer from Oklahoma.
Toby Keith was released on April 20, 1993, via Mercury Records, and fans could get it on CD or cassette, since most were still asking, “What is the internet, anyway?”
There were signs that the singer would be a superstar, but it’s not likely anyone was betting on this cowboy. The cover of the album depicted Keith in an earnest manner, looking into the camera with his right hand grasping his left arm. He’s wearing a blue shirt and black jeans, and sports a massive mullet that’s practically a separate entity unto itself.
Four singles from Toby Keith landed inside the Top 5, including “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” his debut single that reached No. 1. “He Ain’t Worth Missing,” “A Little Less Talk and a Lot More Action” and “Wish I Didn’t Know Now” are other hits from his eponymous album. It’s since gone Platinum, with more than a million copies sold.
Early reviews of the album were positive, with mentions of Keith’s strong songwriting. He penned all but two songs for the project and showed the bravado that would come to define some of his biggest hits, as well as the sensitivity that would smooth out his ballads.
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50 Classic Country Artists Today’s Fans Should Know
Today’s country music stars owe a debt of gratitude to the legends who formed and cultivated the genre, starting in the early 20th century. These 50 classic country artists remain relevant today. Some developed a style that’s emulated on today’s country radio. Others set a bar for vocal talent or songwriting skill.