Twenty-seven years ago country music star Toby Keith released his song, “Who’s That Man.”
After the success of his debut album, Should’ve Been a Cowboy, in 1993, Toby Beith released his second studio album, Boomtown, in 1994. The album was eventually certified platinum by RIAA for selling over one million copies. It also produced four hit singles on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart. “Big Ol Truck” landed in the 15th spot, “Upstairs Downtown” help the 10th spot, and “You Ain’t Much Fun” landed in the second spot on the chart. But today we’re talking about the most successful single from the album, “Who’s That Man.”
The song is about a man driving through the neighborhood where he used to live. As he drives, he pulls up to the house that used to be where the woman, who used to be his wife, lives. He sees his kids playing in the backyard with the man who has replaced him in the life he used to lead. During the song, Toby Keith sings, “That’s my house and that’s my car. That’s my dog in my backyard. There’s the window to the room. Where she lays her pretty head. I planted that tree out by the fence. Not long after we moved in. That’s my kids and that’s my wife. Who’s that man, runnin’ my life.”
The sad yet relatable song obviously resonated with fans because it spent 11 weeks on the chart and landed in the number one spot on the charts shortly after its debut. Toby Keith also included the song on his Greatest Hits Volume One album, his 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection: The Best of Toby Keith and his 35 Biggest Hits album.
Toby Keith Said He Used to Have to Write 50 Songs to Get One Good One
With 32 number one hit singles and over 40 million albums sold, Toby Keith knows how to write quality songs. However, there was a time when his aim wasn’t quite as on point. During an interview in 2003, Toby Keith opened up about his development as a songwriter.
“Looking back on that time period, I can see where I would write 50 songs and I’d get one good one,” said Keith. “Then maybe I’d write 40 songs and write a good one. Then it would only be 30 songs with a good one, and the gap just kept getting closer and closer and finally got to where anything you wrote was a pretty decent song. It took about six to eight years to get to that point.”
Toby Keith added that writing his own songs is important to him.
“When someone writes their own things, to me they release their character in their music and that character shines through in all their songs,” said Keith. “…When somebody just sings a song, they can’t bring that to the table.”