Toby Keith

The Best Singles of 1993, Part Four: #10-#1

July 28, 2015 // 6 Comments

The list comes to a close with ten classic records from some of the era’s most commercially and critically successful stars. It’s easy to be cynical about country radio these days, but unlike most of the songs on the lists we compile now, 1993’s best singles got a lot of airplay. All but one of our top ten entries reached the top five of the singles chart. If we could get a success rate today that was anywhere near that, it might be safe to turn on the radio again! Enjoy the end to this list, and us writers will enjoy that rare downtime that comes between finishing the publication of one of these lists and starting another one! #10 “Nothin’ But the Wheel” Patty Loveless Written by John Scott Sherrill Peak: #20 #3 – BF | #7 – KJC | #24 – SG Loveless’ brokenhearted narrator takes to the Read More

The Best Singles of 1993, Part Three: #20-#11

July 27, 2015 // 8 Comments

As we enter the top half of the list, signature hits by some of the era’s biggest stars rub elbows with a pair of breakthrough singles and an overlooked release by a future superstar. You’ll also find out, in case you’ve been wondering for the past 22 years, just what Dwight Yoakam sneers at the end of one of his classic records.   #20 “Soon” Tanya Tucker Written by Casey Kelly and Bob Regan Peak: #2 #13 – LW | #22 – JK | #28 – KJC | #30 – BF Cheating songs that successfully make us feel compassion for the other woman are a rarity, but “Soon” manages to make us root for the woman who finds herself in a losing cycle, one that she finally finds the strength to stop. Tanya Tucker’s sympathetic performance and the song’s soothing melody invite us to feel compassion for the woman in Read More

Daily Top Five: Favorite Debut Albums

April 26, 2015 // 32 Comments

As we’re prepping our 1993 lists, there have been many debut albums in consideration.   That year brought the first studio sets from big stars  like Tracy Byrd, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw,  Shania Twain, and Clay Walker.    Also, sentimental favorites of attentive listeners, like Brother Phelps. Shawn Camp, Bobbie Cryner, Lisa Stewart,  and Lari White also released their first discs. Debut albums aren’t always great. Sometimes the artistic voice just isn’t there yet.   But some new artists knock it out of the park the first time out. Today we ask:  What are your Top Five Debut Albums? Here’s my list: Kim Richey, Kim Richey Clint Black, Killin’ Time Randy Travis, Storms of Life Bobbie Cryner, Bobbie Cryner Emmylou Harris, Pieces of the Sky  

Daily Top Five: Toby Keith Songs

April 13, 2015 // 17 Comments

Today, we reviewed the latest single from Toby Keith, who has been on the mainstream country scene since 1993.   That’s long enough for any fan of country music to have at least five songs they dig by the guy. So today’s question is, what are your five favorite Toby Keith songs? Mine are: In a Couple of Days White Rose I’m Just Talking About Tonight As Good as I Once Was A Little too Late Yours?

Single Review: Toby Keith, “35 MPH Town”

April 13, 2015 // 9 Comments

“35 MPH Town” Toby Keith Written by Toby Keith and Bobby Pinson Toby Keith revisits one of his most successful ongoing themes – life in a dying small town. In this case, he lays the blames the pending death on a lack of religion and strict discipline in the lives of today’s youth. It’s a different approach for him, as usually he talks about the collapse of economic opportunity leading to the downfall of small town America.    That’s lingering under the surface, of course, but not his primary focus here.

The Best Singles of 2014, Part 1: #40-#21

December 29, 2014 // 11 Comments

Does failure to reach a consensus indicate a year that lacked quality, or a year that had enough interesting singles that subjective taste is enough to prevent a consensus? This was the dilemma faced by the Country Universe staff as we compiled our Best Singles of 2014 feature.   We followed our usual routine.  Each writer submitted their list of the twenty best singles of the year, and our numbers guru Jonathan Keefe used his time-test algorithm to produce a collective ranking. But this year, there was only one single that appeared on four out of five lists.  The rest: three or less.  Rather than shorten the list to showcase only those songs chosen by multiple writers, we decided to stick to the usual forty slots, and let quite a few songs embraced only by one writer to have their place in the sun. The result is probably the most diverse Read More

The Best Singles of 1994, Part 1: #40-#31

November 28, 2014 // 7 Comments

Our Best of 1994 Singles List kicks off today with the bottom quarter of our top forty. The list was compiled by weighing each individual writer’s choices, with preference given to songs that appeared on multiple lists. Each writer’s individual ranking is listed under the songwriter credits. Bonus retro fun: Check out those cassette singles covers! #40 “Livin’ on Love” Alan Jackson Written by Alan Jackson SG #14 | JK #23 | BF #37 Country music has, historically, given voice to those disenfranchised by poverty, validating and finding the value in the struggles of economic hardship. What elevates the appropriately bare-bones narrative of “Livin’ on Love” is the warmth and real sense of empathy in Jackson’s performance. – Jonathan Keefe

Single Review: Toby Keith, “Drunk Americans”

October 22, 2014 // 7 Comments

“Drunk Americans” Toby Keith Written by Brandy Clark, Bob DiPiero and Shane McAnally The most successful records Toby Keith has had lately have been about drinking or about being American.  It’s easy to see the title of “Drunk Americans” and assume that Keith is stitching the two themes together in an act of cynicism. That assumption would be wrong.  Shockingly wrong, actually.   I dare say that “Drunk Americans” manages to elevate both the drinking song and the patriotic song by bringing the two together.   It’s so sharply written that I planned to document all those great songs Toby Keith has written lately that never got sent to radio, but amazingly, he didn’t write this one.

100 Greatest Men: #3. Willie Nelson

August 15, 2014 // 1 Comment

100 Greatest Men: The Complete List He started out as an unconventional songwriter trying to be a conventional artist.  But when Willie Nelson let his hair down, he became a country legend for the ages. Nelson was raised by his grandparents in Texas, who encouraged him to play the guitar and to write songs.  When his sister Bonnie married fiddle player Buddy Fletcher, Nelson joined his band as the frontman, staying with him until he graduated high school and did a brief stint in the Air Force.

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