Toby Keith follows up the poignant ballad “Don’t Let the Old Man In” with a raucous blast of country-music pride. “That’s Country Bro” is a classic list song, but instead of the usual run-through of rural imagery (trucks, bonfires and coolers), Keith ticks off a Hall of Fame-worthy roster of country singers.
Jimmie Rodgers, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Roy Acuff, Johnny Horton, Bill Monroe, Woody Guthrie and Bob Wills all get shout-outs in the first 18 seconds, followed by Kitty Wells, Jimmy Dean, Hank Snow and even Spade Cooley. (Listen to the Cocaine & Rhinestones episode about Cooley to learn why that’s shocking.)
Emmylou Harris, Conway Twitty, Crystal Gayle, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings also get their due, along with a whole verse dedicated to rural TV and movies: The Dukes of Hazzard, Smokey and the Bandit, Glen Campbell’s Goodtime Hour, Gunsmoke and Bonanza.
“If you’re gonna be country, you oughta know a little bit of something about the roots and the boots and the rhinestone suits that started this rodeo,” sings Keith in the chorus, offering a slice of advice to up-and-comers.
Keith wrote the song with Bobby Pinson and it doubles as the name of Keith’s upcoming summer tour, which kicks off May 26th in Forest City, Iowa. Last year, the Oklahoma native celebrated the 25th anniversary of his debut country single “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.”