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Clint Eastwood and Toby Keith “Don’t Let the Old Man In”

Aside from being an Academy Award winning actor, director and producer, Clint Eastwood has harbored a strong passion for music all his life, particularly jazz and country and has written the score for many of his own films including Unforgiven, Mystic River, Flags of Our Fathers, Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino. So it should come as no surprise that Eastwood would have a longstanding friendship with, and a deep respect for one of the most successful songwriters of any genre and member of the Songwriting Hall of Fame, Toby Keith.


It was while sharing a golf cart at Eastwood’s charity tournament in Pebble Beach last year that a casual comment by Clint inspired Toby to write the beautifully haunting song that lingers at the end of The Mule, the latest film directed by and starring Eastwood based on the true story of a WWII veteran who takes a job as a courier for the Mexican Drug Cartel.


Out on the green, Eastwood shared with Toby that he would be starting work on “The Mule” in 2 days…which also happened to be his 88th birthday. Struck by Eastwood’s relentless energy at an age when many are content to sit and reflect. Keith asked how he keeps going. He said, “I just get up in the morning. I go out… and I don’t let the old man in”, Keith Recounts. “And I thought, I’m writing that”.


Toby did, as only Toby can, and the song appears not only in “The Mule” but also in Keith’s soon to be released, Greatest Hits - The Show Dog Years a collection of songs representing the era of creative control that the advent of Toby’s own “Show Dog” label ushered in, a professional milestone that actor, director, producer Eastwood would most certainly appreciate.


Toby’s acoustic guitar is no point of compromise either. A Takamine player his entire career, his signature model EF250TK, released in 2012 was based on the EF250SMCSB (currently the P6JC-BSB) he had been playing prior and outfitted with the simple personal touches of a silhouette headstock medallion and small signature on the heel cap. Almost any existing photo of Toby and his EF250TK speaks to not only his loyalty to the brand…but to that particular guitar.


Check out this video to Don't Let the Old Man In for a taste of still another great Clint Eastwood film and Toby Keith song.

Clint Eastwood and Toby Keith

Toby Keith playing on stage

Toby Keith art cover