CKRM Listeners share memories of Toby Keith

Photo from Toby Keith’s Facebook page

Like everyone else this morning, I too woke up shocked and saddened upon learning of the death of Toby Keith. The country superstar had been battling stomach cancer since 2022 and he fought it very bravely while maintaining an incredibly optimistic outlook. His updates seemed to be quite positive, and he was even gearing up to go back performing. In fact, he performed a few concerts in Las Vegas in early December and said he felt great after the three shows. Sadly, he lost his battle with cancer and passed away peacefully Monday evening at home at the age of 62.

Many CKRM listeners, including myself, have fond memories and stories of Toby Keith, including from Cindy Schneider on our Capital Auto Group text line.

“My memory of Toby Keith is: The night before the Country Music Awards in Las Vegas and going to Toby Keith’s Bar & Grill. Just so happened that he was there and performed 2 sets for about 150 of us… for a small intimate setting, we were quite a rowdy bunch!!! He also performed & presented at the award show the next night. What a memory.
RIP Toby Keith”

Brad from Moosomin gave us a call this morning to share his story of seeing Toby Keith at the Conexus Arts Centre many years ago in Regina.

One of my favourite stories of Toby Keith involved him and Merle Haggard in Las Vegas. Keith was a huge fan of Haggard and just happened to be in Vegas for one of Haggard’s concerts at a time when Haggard wasn’t doing well. He had to perform to pay the band, but wasn’t in the greatest of shape to be performing. Merle called Toby on to the stage to sing “Okie From Muskogee” along with eight other songs that night, allowing Haggard to walk off the stage with dignity. This would end up being one of Merle Haggard’s final shows before passing away in 2016 from pneumonia. While Keith be controversial at times, he had a big heart and looked for his friends and for kids as well. Every summer, Keith would host his annual OK Kids Corral Golf Tournament in his home state of Oklahoma, raising millions to help sick kids. In the past 19 years, the tournament raised over $15 million.

Thanks for the music and memories, Toby Keith. We’ll miss you.

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