Toby Keith: Bringing his country sound to Summer Fun Fest

August 17, 2000

Toby Keith: Bringing his country sound to Summer Fun Fest

By Meg H. Partington / Staff Writer
Summer Fun Fest info

  • featuring Toby Keith, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Steve Holy and Clay Davidson
  • Sunday, Aug. 20
  • Gates open at 8 a.m. Music begins at 10 a.m.
  • Red Run Park

    Pa. 16

    Rouzerville, Pa.

  • Free

Chambersburg Transit Authority will provide free shuttle bus service from Waynesboro Area Senior High School and Summitview Elementary School parking lots in Waynesboro, Pa., to Red Run Park starting at 8 a.m. Buses will run appoximately every 15 minutes. The only entrance for concert traffic to park inside the park will be off Skiway Road.

Bring lawn chairs and blankets.

For information, call Mendy Obitts, 1-800-758-0838 or go to on the Web.

In his hit "How Do You Like Me Now?!" Toby Keith sings about proving himself to the girl who laughed at his dreams of being a star.

There were a few naysayers in his earlier days, but Keith said the song doesn't represent anyone in particular.


"They just don't understand the passion," Keith said, adding that he doesn't hold anything against those who thought his goals were too lofty.

"I never had that doubt," said Keith in a deep, confident voice during a telephone interview from Hartford, Conn. "One day I said, 'This is what I do best.' "

When his 1993 debut single "Should've Been a Cowboy" hit No. 1, he knew he'd make it.

Six of Keith's songs have been No. 1 country hits, and he's been nominated for Grammy, Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association awards.

Since the release of his self-titled album in 1993, Keith has produced an album a year: "Boomtown," "Christmas To Christmas," "Blue Moon," "Dream Walkin,' " Greatest Hits: Volume 1" and "How Do You Like Me Now?!"

Keith said he doesn't have another album in the works now. There's no need, he said, because he'd just be competing with himself for a spot on the charts.

Rising to the top means lots of time on the road. That's time away from wife, Tricia, and children, Shelley, Krystal and Stelen.

"I drop in and out every seven or eight days," Keith said of his home in Oklahoma. He also takes a break from touring from December through March.

From Hartford, he was heading to Dublin, Va. One of his stops this summer is at WAYZ's 20th Annual Summer Fun Fest Sunday, Aug. 20, at Red Run Park in Rouzerville, Pa. He's expected to perform between 5 and 6 p.m.

Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Steve Holy and Clay Davidson are also on the concert schedule.

Just a blur

With a dizzying schedule, concerts seem to blur together for Keith.

"They're like horses. From behind, they all look the same," said Keith, 39.

He made a point of saying, however, that volume does not affect the quality of his performances.

"I want to make sure we're doing the best we can do," Keith said.

Keith doesn't like to categorize his music.

"I try to be as original and creative each time as I can," said Keith, who not only sings and writes music, but plays guitar and mandolin.

While fans like his gritty, in-your-face style, they also appreciate his softer side.

For instance, he wrote "Heart to Heart (Stelen's Song)" for his 3-year-old son. The lyrics reflect his son's ramblings at the kitchen table.

He hasn't devoted entire songs to his other loved ones, but "They're in there in places."

Among his influences, Keith cites Billy Joel and Jimmy Buffett.

"They just make American music. They were so creative as writers," he said.

Mickey Mantle, in his later years, also proved to be an inspiration.

"I watched him turn into a beautiful guy at the end," Keith said. "He's an icon."

In some people's eyes, so is Keith.

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