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Toby Keith Stands and Delivers

Toby Keith Stands and Delivers

This year marks the 30th Anniversary since Toby Keith introduced himself with Should Have Been a Cowboy, his first of 68 singles, 32 number ones leading to 40 million albums sold, 100+ million BMI Broadcasts and 10 billion streams – so far.

Recently the People’s Choice Country Awards honored Toby with their first ever Country Icon Award, after which the mighty Oklahoman strapped on his well-worn EF250TK stepped up to the mic for the first time since waging battle with stomach cancer and performed Don't Let the Old Man In, a song about embracing life in the face of death, penned just prior to his diagnosis.

The heart -wrenchingly poignant ballad, delivered in Toby’s still booming baritone left little doubt that we were witnessing a timeless performance by one of America’s preeminent musical artists, and how stunningly transcendent a 3-minute song can still be as created and delivered by one of the greats.

Toby, who considers himself first-and-foremost a songwriter, has indeed been inducted into both the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the all-inclusive Songwriter's Hall of Fame in New York City.

In similar crossover fashion, Don’t Let the Old Man In swept to the top of not only the ITunes Country Chart but to #3 on the ITunes All Genre Chart shortly after the performance.

Takamine’s own history with Toby Keith dates back the full 30 years and beyond given his preference for the brand dating back to his Oklahoma club days. So when “Should Have Been a Cowboy” put Toby on the road, longtime manager TK Kimbrell, also an old friend of Takamine, knew just who to introduce him to. Toby would begin his Nashville years with an EF341SC.

The black dreadnought cutaway would be Toby’s go-to for the next 12 years until Michael Markure, then Takamine product manager surprised him with an EF250SMCSB (similar to current P6JC) before a show in Hartford CT. Toby immediately took to the sunburst jumbo cutaway that would eventually serve as basis  for his EF250TK Signature Model introduced in 2012. The EF250TK has become so associated with Toby that one is seldom seen on stage without the other. In fact, it is one of those first prototypes that Toby is playing during the Don't Let the Old Man In performance.

Looking back over these past 30 years, we acknowledge not only the celebrated musical artist, but also the less familiar husband of 40 years, devoted father of 3, veteran of 13 USO tours and founder of the Toby Keith Foundation which provides no-cost comfortable housing for pediatric cancer patients.

Takamine Guitars is deeply honored to be associated in any way with the life-and-times of the great Toby Keith. May his light shine on.