The 15th anniversary of country mainstay Toby Keith’s Honkytonk University album will be marked on Friday (15) with a fan listening party. It starts at 12 pm PDT/2pm CDT/3pm EDT, and fans will be invited to share their favourite songs, lyrics, and memories of the album by tuning in here.
Honkytonk University was released on 17 May 2005 as the ninth studio album of Keith’s stellar career. The 12-song set, produced by the star with James Stroud, contained ‘As Good As I Once Was,’ which topped the country chart for six weeks. Keith also had top ten success with the title track and ‘Big Blue Note.’ The album topped the country chart, reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum by the RIAA.
Keith, who went on to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015, co-wrote every track on Honkytonk University, chiefly with Scotty Emerick but also with Dean Dillon and Chuck Cannon. ‘She Ain’t Hooked on Me No More’ was a duet with the great Merle Haggard.
“We got done with it and I said, man this sounds like Haggard,” Keith said at the time of the album. “I’d always wanted to do a duet with Willie and I’ve always wanted to do a duet with Merle Haggard. I got my duet with Willie, several times, but never with Merle. I thought, let’s see if he’ll do it. He loved the song when he heard it and said let’s get it on…I don’t know if it’s a radio song, but I know the fans are going to love it.”
Of ‘Big Blue Note,’ Keith said: “I’ve never written anything quite like it. It’s just one of those things that happens to you as a songwriter. You’re going to write enough of them that one’s going to end up psychedelic…I like to say on those that we happened to be the only writers up that night when that one floated by.”
The platinum-certified ‘As Good As I Once Was’ was named BMI Song of the Year and has amassed more than four million performances since its release. The song’s video became Video of the Year and has more than 82 million views on YouTube alone. Across all platforms, that total is in excess of 400 million plays.
Honkytonk University can be bought here.