Toby Keith’s ‘Don’t Let The Old Man In’ Is Finally Getting Its Due
Toby Keith says everything is “trending well” following his live performance of “Don’t Let The Old Man In” at the 2023 People’s Choice Country Awards in September. The country superstar, who had taken a hiatus due to a battle with stomach cancer, says he had a rough two years. However, he’s not allowing it to define his future.
He wrote “Don’t Let The Old Man In” back in 2018; the song has since taken on a whole new life. He said on Shawn Parr’s Backstage Country that “Don’t Let The Old Man In” featured in Clint Eastwood’s 2018 film, The Mule, “didn’t get its due” back then.
It all started on the golf course with a heartfelt conversation between Keith and Eastwood. The country hitmaker had one question for Eastwood, “What keeps you going?” Keith says of his response, “I try to get up every day and be productive my whole life and try not to let that old man get in.”
“It got out. It’s at the end of the movie, and I was honored for it to be in there,” Keith tells Shawn Parr. “I didn’t think it got its due. I thought it was words to live by. But little did I know that I was going to have to live those words in the next couple of years.”
Eastwood had asked Keith for a recording of the song. Keith provided one, but noted that when he laid the track down, he had been sick. The vocal on the recording was not intended to be the final version. Fast forward to when Eastwood confirmed to him it would be in the movie, Keith wanted to “put a good vocal on it.” Eastwood felt it was perfect as it was, saying, “Don’t mess with it.”
Eastwood’s instincts were on point. But even he probably didn’t anticipate that five years later, Keith’s heartfelt ballad, “Don’t Let The Old Man In,” would get a second wind on country radio.
Click below to listen to “Don’t Let The Old Man In,” and check back all week long to see more from Toby Keith on Shawn Parr’s Backstage Country.