While Toby Keith undeniably showcased unparalleled skills in delivering captivating performances, his true mastery lay in the art of songwriting—a craft he honed over many years of dedicated practice.
The late Toby Keith recently shared a nostalgic glimpse into his early songwriting days, recounting the creation of his very first song at the age of 14 or 15, titled “If You’re Handing Out A Heartache.” In a heartfelt video posted on his social media, Keith reflected on the humble beginnings of his songwriting journey.
“It wasn’t bad. It was structured right, but it wasn’t very good either. But the people around here, when I played it, they were like ‘Wow, that’s a great song.’ It’s just a song. That was 5,000 songs ago,” he fondly recalled.
Beyond his early compositions, Toby Keith offered valuable insights for aspiring songwriters, drawing from his extensive experience in the country music scene. His secret to lyrical magic? Crafting emotionally resonant and universally relatable lyrics that encapsulate the highs and lows of life.
“Most advice I have for songwriters would be to just toll away every day. Most of my catalog was written at a time when I was writing at least four or five days a week. You got to have volume, you got to have practice, you got to keep your chops up, and you got to stay in the middle of the game.”
Toby Keith recently shared the untold story behind his hit “Should’ve Been A Cowboy.”
Exploring one of his most renowned creations, “Should’ve Been A Cowboy,” Toby Keith delved into the song’s inception in a behind-the-scenes video shared on his social media platforms. The song, released as his debut single in 1993, swiftly climbed the charts, securing the number one spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
The song’s nostalgic lyrics and catchy melody struck a chord with audiences, becoming a timeless staple in country music. The theme of yearning for the cowboy lifestyle resonated deeply, contributing to its enduring popularity.
Toby Keith recently disclosed the untold story behind the creation of this enduring hit in a video promoting his latest music release, “100% Songwriter.” This album showcases a selection of his most cherished songs, all penned by Keith himself.
Sharing the behind-the-scenes tale, Keith recounted a hunting trip in Dodge City, Kansas, where the ambiance of the Old West town lingered with him as he finished his debut album. Observing a failed attempt at wooing a cowgirl in a steakhouse bar, a friend’s jest, “John, you should’ve been a cowboy,” became the catalyst for inspiration.
“I thought, ‘I’m going to write that.’ I took my guitar, sat on the side of the motel tub, and shut the door so no one could hear me,” revealed Keith.
In just 20 minutes, Toby Keith created one of his standout hits, highlighting the spontaneous creativity that defined his distinguished songwriting career.