Toby Keith Was So Right When He Said, “Should’ve Been A Cowboy”

According to BMI, the most played Country song of the 1990s received three million spins.  Know what it was?  Toby Keith’s iconic Debut Single “Should’ve Been A Cowboy”.

Another claim to fame of “Should’ve Been A Cowboy,” that was written and recorded by the Clinton, Oklahoma-born Toby Keith, was the song being played after Oklahoma State University sporting events.

References to Old Westerns romanticized “Should’ve Been A Cowboy,” and the cowboy life style.  By incorporating the famous Western “Gunsmoke,” as well as the ending of the relationship between Marshall Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty, into the words of the song,  Keith created a bittersweet sensationalism of another dimension of cowboys always riding off into the sunset…alone.

Funny-named sidekicks, outlaws like Jesse James, riding with the Texas Rangers, and the famous quote “Go West, young man!” add more dimensions to the illusions painted by the lyrics of “Should’ve Been A Cowboy”.  Throw in cattle drives, six shooters, Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry, and the picture of the cowboy really comes to life.

Toby Keith’s first Number One Single on the Billboard chart, a position the song reached on  June 5, 1993, is also available as downloadable content on the music video game known as “Rock Band”.  Filmed in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the song became Keith’s first music video on CMT in March of 1993.  A second version of the video was later filmed, and featured clips of the 1992 Dallas Cowboys NFL team.

So, it took “Should’ve Been A Cowboy,” that peaked at the Number 93 position on the Billboard Hot 100, almost twenty years to be certified Gold by the RIAA.  An event that occurred on November 28, 2012.

What blue-blooded, All-American boy growing up, didn’t want to be a cowboy?

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The Nashville Freelancers

***Brett Matthew West is a Nashvillian and a long time Freelance Writer.  His myriad of feature articles have been published in a vast array of newspapers and magazines around the United States.  He also possesses an extensive online presence for his Short Stories.***


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