Tributes have already begun pouring in for Toby from the country music world and beyond, celebrating the life of a country music legend who racked up 20 #1 hits over his long career.
It’s a huge loss for the country music community and music world in general, and in the spirit of all the great music Keith left behind for us, I want to take a look back on his cinematic masterpiece with Willie Nelson, which is their “Beer For My Horses” music video.
The song was written by Keith and Scotty Emerick and included on Keith’s 2002 seventh studio album Unleashed. Released as the album’s fourth and final single from that record, “Beer” peaked at #1 on the U.S. Hot Country Songs chart and #22 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In addition, at the time the song went #1, it also made Willie Nelson the oldest artist to top the country charts at age 70. The single has been certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA, and remains a fan-favorite in his catalog.
The music video, though… it’s an all-American treasure.
We have Keith and Nelson playing father and son, and Willie the crime-fighting cowboy ultimately saves the day. He also leaves this sage bit of wisdom for his on-screen son after he gets the job done, when Keith tells him he could’ve done it himself if he had a little bit more time:
“Yeah, if a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his ass.”
Amen to that…
I honestly hadn’t watched it in years until today, and safe to say, they just don’t make videos like this anymore. And now that Toby’s gone, it’s all the more special and important to preserve this ART.
Somebody get these two an Oscar, because they did a helluva job with their acting here and while maybe a tad cheesy, they lean into that and make it so damn fun.