Toby Keith Embraces 70s Country With Charlie Rich’s “I’ll Wake You Up When I Get Home”

Toby Keith / YouTube

Toby Keith was stuck down in Mexico for a while, and had plenty of time on his hands. So he posted a bunch of videos of himself singing some of his favorite old-school country tunes.

He dug up a few gems in the process, going for decades-old songs such as Eddy Raven’s “Joe Knows How to Live” and Jamie O’Neal’s  “There Is No Arizona.”

Keith also used his covers to pay tribute to his personal idols. For example, he sang Merle Haggard‘s “Sing Me Back Home” for one video, and revealed it was the last song he ever performed with “The Hag” before his passing in 2016.

“Sing Me Back Home” was originally released in 1967, making it one of the oldest songs Keith covered in Mexico. Another old tune he visited was a 70s country track, and was recorded by Charlie Rich.

Titled “I’ll Wake You Up When I Get Home,” the song is not as well-known as some of Rich’s other releases, such as “The Most Beautiful Girl” and “Behind Closed Doors.”

Even though “I’ll Wake You Up When I Get Home” wasn’t popular on a commercial scale, the song stood out to Keith. Before he delivered his cover, he said, “It’s about as good as it ever got right here.”

You’ll immediately be impressed with Keith’s rendition of the song. For some context, he left his guitar behind in the U.S., so the guitar he’s playing in this video is one he picked up at a furniture store in Mexico. That makes his performance even more remarkable.

Check out Keith’s rendition of “I’ll Wake You Up When I Get Home” below. He has shown with these videos that you don’t need a lot of flair and over-the-top production to put together a quality performance.