Today in Country Music, August 8, featuring Toby Keith
Today in Country Music, August 1.
On this day in 2011, Dolly Parton apologized to the woman who was forced to turn her pro-gay marriage t-shirt inside out in order to enter Dollywood's Splash Country. Parton said, "Dollywood is a family park and all families are welcome. I am very sorry it happened at all."
Today in 2002, Gary Allan’s Alright Guy was certfied gold selling over 500,000 copies.
Fueled by the patriotic hit, "Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)," Toby Keith's cd Unleashed sold more than 300,000 copies in its first week in 2003.
And on this day in 1958, Johnny Cash put pen to paper when he signed a deal with Columbia records.
"Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American) was written and recorded by Toby Keith. The song was written in late 2001, and was inspired by Keith's father's death in March 2001, as well as the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States later that year. It was released in May 2002 as the lead single from the album, Unleashed." The song topped the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and reached number 25 on the Hot 100 chart becoming his biggest solo hit on that chart.
ABC invited Keith to sing "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" on a patriotic special it was producing in 2002; however, the host of the show, Canadian-born newsman Peter Jennings, requested Keith soften the lyrics of the song or choose another song to sing. Keith refused both requests and did not appear on the special. The rift gave the song a considerable amount of publicity, which led to many national interviews and public performances of the song. During an interview with 60 Minutes, Keith spoke about his public comments about Jennings, saying "I thought it was hilarious. My statement was, ‘Isn't he Canadian?’ to a bunch of press. They laughed and then I said, ‘Well, I bet Dan Rather wouldn't kick me off his show,’" says Keith." Responding to criticisms of the network decision, a representative for ABC stated that because Keith was performing in Utah when the show would broadcast, Keith could be on the program only as the opening act, and that the song was "angry" and "not the kind of tone the producers wanted to use to begin this three-hour celebration."
Keith had a public feud with the Dixie Chicks over both the song and comments they made about President George W. Bush. The lead singer of the Dixie Chicks, Natalie Maines, publicly stated that the song was "ignorant, and it makes country music sound ignorant." Keith responded by belittling Maines' songwriting skills, and by displaying a backdrop at his concerts showing a doctored photo of Maines with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. On May 21, 2003, Maines wore a T-shirt with the letters FUTK on the front at the Academy of Country Music Awards. While a spokesperson for the Dixie Chicks said that the acronym stood for "Friends United in Truth and Kindness", many, including host Vince Gill, took it to be an obscene shot at Keith." In August 2003, Keith publicly declared he was done feuding with Maines "because he's realized there are far more important things to concentrate on."
In the 2006 film Shut Up and Sing, Maines admitted that the FUTK shirt was, in fact, a shot at Keith.