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Toby Keith receives Golf Digest's Arnie Award, announces 2020 dates for 'Country Comes To Town Tour'

Toby Keith [Andrew Southam photo]
Toby Keith [Andrew Southam photo]

Oklahoma singer, songwriter and entertainer Toby Keith played at last week's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament, where he was awarded Golf Digest's Arnie Award. 

The honor comes as he announces the initial slate for his 2020 tour, titled "Country Comes To Town," and as music icon Willie Nelson has covered the Norman resident's song "Don't Let The Old Man In," featured in Clint Eastwood's 2018 film "The Mule," according to a news release. 

Presented to "golfers who give back," the Arnie - named for the legendary Arnold Palmer - was bestowed this year on Keith, tour pro Jordan Spieth and NFL Hall of Famer Steve Young. Golf has been central to Keith's charity efforts, as his annual Toby Keith & Friends golf scramble and gala has raised $13.7 million dollars for his OK Kids Korral, a home-away-from-home for Oklahoma pediatric cancer patients and their families. He discusses his love of golf and heart for giving in Golf Digest here.

As previously reported, while playing a round of golf with Eastwood in 2018, Keith was inspired to write "Don't Let The Old Man In" after Eastwood uttered the title phrase in response to a question about his career longevity. The acclaimed actor and director liked the song so much, he incorporated it into the closing scenes and end credits of his critically praised film "The Mule." 

This year, Nelson will include his performance of the song on his as yet unannounced album, according to the news release.

Celebrating his successes of this past decade, Nielsen (which fuels the Billboard charts) ranks Keith as No. 7 on their Top 10 Artists - Airplay Audience for the past 10 years. NPR notes, "Nielsen's report in particular sheds light on the artists who dominated the past decade. Drake, Eminem and Taylor Swift were the only three artists to rank in the top 10 for the most album sales and streams last decade - country stars [including] Toby Keith lead the radio airplay charts over the same time period." 

After a historic 2019, Keith, who was born in Clinton and grew up in Moore, is lining up for an even more impressive 2020, starting with the "Country Comes To Town Tour" running from May to September. Notable among the more than two dozen dates already set are the launch at Hertz Arena in Estero, Florida, on May 1; two Canada stops in late July; and a return on July 11 to Sparks, Nevada, where Keith set the Nugget Event Center attendance record last year. 

The tour is named for his smash, "Country Comes to Town," and marks the 20th anniversary March 22 of the song's release as a single. The 2015 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee put it back in the set list during his 2019 "That's Country Bro Tour!" to an immediate crowd response. Over the course of the year, it occurred to him the song title was a logical tour name, according to the news release. 

Like so many of his hits, "Country Comes To Town" was written solely by Keith. And its lyrics hit at the party on tap for tour attendees: "You better be ready when the sun goes down, that's when country comes to town." 

This year's trek includes a new stage, set and video production. Select dates will offer access to the exclusive Diamond Bar area in the middle of a diamond-shaped stage thrust. Staffed by a bartender, VIP ticketholders will be in the middle of the action mere steps from the stage.

Last year, Keith commemorated the 2005 establishment of his own label and assumption of total creative control with the release of "Toby Keith Greatest Hits: The Show Dog Years," which debuted "Don't Let The Old Man In" as well as his new song "That's Country Bro."

Toby Keith's "Country Comes To Town Tour"

(more dates will be added soon)

May 1              Hertz Arena                                         Estero, FL

May 2              Suwannee River Jam                          Live Oak, FL

June 4              Adirondack Bank Center                    Utica, NY

June 5              Summer Stage at Tag's                       Big Flats, NY

June 6              Northwell Health at Jones Beach       Wantagh NY

June 19            MetraPark First Interstate Arena        Billings, MT

June 20            Budweiser Events Center                   Loveland, CO

June 21            Country Jam Colorado                        Grand Junction, CO

June 25            Country USA                                      Oshkosh, WI

June 26            Heartland Stampede                           Topeka, KS 

June 27            NebraskaLand Days                           North Platte, NE 

July 10            Salinas Sports Complex                     Salinas, CA

July 11            Nugget Event Center                          Sparks, NV

July 16            LaPorte County Fair                           LaPorte, IN

July 18            Freedom Fest                                      Fort Polk, LA

July 23            Bismarck Event Center                       Bismarck, ND

July 24            Bell MTS Place                                  Winnipeg, MB

July 25            Country on the Bay                             Thunder Bay, ON

August 8         Ashley for the Arts                             Arcadia, WI

August 9         Jackson County Fair                           Jackson, MI

August 16       Illinois State Fair                                Springfield, IL

September 3    Allentown Fair                                    Allentown, PA

September 4    Bank of NH Pavilion                          Gilford, NH

September 5    Mohegan Sun Arena                           Uncasville, CT

September 6    Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena          Atlantic City, NJ


Related Photos
Toby Keith [Andrew Southam photo]

Toby Keith [Andrew Southam photo]

<figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Toby Keith [Andrew Southam photo]" title="Toby Keith [Andrew Southam photo]"><figcaption>Toby Keith [Andrew Southam photo]</figcaption></figure>
Brandy McDonnell

Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1... Read more ›