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TOBY PAID HIS DUES

Everybody has to start somewhere - and AMA Male Vocalist Toby Keith clearly started at the bottom, playing "complete dumps" in Oklahoma while he was working his way up to stardom. Toby tells CMT.com that the clubs had "little, old, puke, whiskey-stained carpets...just dumps." "I think we got $25 a night and some beer, per man," he says. "We would play weekends, so we would get like 50 bucks and a six-pack each of cold beer. You'd just get up there and you'd jam. We played Seger, Creedence, the Eagles, Hank, Merle, Willie, just everything... Just get up there and jam, drink cold beer, and people in the audience would buy you shots once in a while. No bouncer in the house, just a big ol' full bunch of rednecks. If a fight broke out, you were just on your own." Toby adds that once they went regional, for about three or four years, they traveled 51 weeks a year and played four or five nights a week.

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