Toby Keith's Impact On Tulsa Music Scene

One of the last times Toby Keith played in Tulsa was the summer of 2016 at the BOK Center, but he's left a mark on Tulsa for decades.

Tuesday, February 6th 2024, 5:42 pm

By: Matt Rahn


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Toby Keith had 32 number-one songs and sold 40 million albums during his career, making him one of the most successful country music artists of all time. He also had a big impact on the Tulsa music scene. 

One of the last times Toby Keith played in Tulsa was the summer of 2016 at the BOK Center, but he's left a mark on Tulsa for decades.

Related Story: Exclusive Interview With Toby Keith: A Look At His Career From The Beginning

Toby Keith has millions of fans around the world, many from Tulsa, and what better place to hunt down his music than a record store?

"We got a couple of copies of the best of," said Makayla Bearpaw at Josey Records.

She knew as soon as people heard of Keith's death, they'd be looking to revisit his music.

"Just kind of pulling what we had in case people do come in looking for it. At least we can have something to offer for them and try and get them taken care of," said Bearpaw.

A lot of Toby Keith's music came out in the era of CDs, so nothing on vinyl here, but you can take home a little piece of country music for only 3 bucks.

"Should've been a cowboy or even beer for my horses; it was just one of those silly sing-along songs that we would sing in our dad's truck," says Bearpaw.

Many people across Tulsa were impacted by Keith's music, including Cain's Ballroom Co-Owner Chad Rogers, who said he couldn't remember him ever playing there but says, “Toby Keith was a legend, not only in Oklahoma, but everywhere he went." and that "He was a true country music icon and American patriot."

"You wouldn't have rock music or kind of singer-songwriter stuff if it wasn't for country," said Bearpaw.

It's no stretch to say Keith will continue to inspire musicians for years to come.

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