From his debut No. 1 single “Should’ve Been A Cowboy” to the smash “As Good As I Once Was,” many of singer, songwriter and entertainer Toby Keith’s biggest hits have been inspired by casual conversations and accidental one-liners. But only one of Keith’s songs is born of a chat with Clint Eastwood.
Keith’s December 7 single release “Don’t Let The Old Man In” isn’t just another fortuitous exercise in turning life into music, however. The song will also be featured during the end scene and closing credits of Eastwood’s upcoming film “The Mule.” The story of an older man who becomes an unwitting drug courier, the movie is the first Eastwood will star in and direct since 2009’s acclaimed “Gran Torino.”
The connection began in May when Keith attended Eastwood’s golf tournament in Carmel, CA, and the two shared a cart. Toby asked Clint what he was doing next, to which Clint replied, “Funny you should ask, I am leaving tomorrow to shoot a movie for three months called The Mule.” Clint told him the storyline and Toby asked, “How do you do it, man?” Clint said, “I just don’t let the old man in.” With the movie in mind and the line Eastwood told him, Keith wrote the song and sent it to Clint, who loved it and decided to roll credits with it.
Written solely by Keith, “Don’t Let The Old Man In” is a wearily resolute rebuke to Father Time:
When he rides up on his horse
And you feel that cold bitter wind
Look out your window and smile
Don’t let the old man in
Recorded at Nashville’s Ocean Way Studio, the song will be available at all digital retailers on Dec. 7.
About Toby Keith:
The recent release of Toby Keith – Should’ve Been A Cowboy [25th Anniversary Edition] celebrates the debut album of arguably the most successful self-directed artist of his era – songwriter, vocalist, musician, producer, entertainer. Featuring re-mastered audio from the original analog tapes, commemorative packaging, three additional vault tracks from his personal archives, a series of re-mastered music videos and a new music video, the collection spawned four hit singles including his No. 1 debut “Should’ve Been A Cowboy.” As solo writer on the song, Keith began a career that would eventually see him standing shoulder-to-shoulder as a writer/artist with the likes of Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Van Morrison and Gordon Lightfoot as a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
About “The Mule”:
From Warner Bros. Pictures, Imperative Entertainment and BRON Creative comes Clint Eastwood’s newest feature film, the drama “The Mule.” In addition to directing, the veteran actor steps in front of the lens again, alongside fellow stars Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishbourne, Michael Peña, Dianne Wiest and Andy Garcia.
Eastwood stars as Earl Stone, a man in his 80s who is broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. Easy enough, but, unbeknownst to Earl, he’s just signed on as a drug courier for the cartel. He does well-so well, in fact, that his cargo increases exponentially, and Earl is assigned a handler. But he isn’t the only one keeping tabs on Earl, who has also hit the radar of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates. And even as his money problems become a thing of the past, Earl’s past mistakes start to weigh heavily on him, and it’s uncertain if he’ll have time to right those wrongs before law enforcement, or the cartel’s enforcers, catch up to him.
Eastwood directed from a screenplay by Nick Schenk, inspired by the New York Times Magazine article “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule” by Sam Dolnick. Eastwood also produced the film under his Malpaso banner, along with Tim Moore, Kristina Rivera and Jessica Meier, and Imperative Entertainment’s Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas. The film’s executive producers are Dave Bernad, Ruben Fleischer, Todd Hoffman and Aaron L. Gilbert.
A Malpaso Production, “The Mule” will be in U.S. theaters December 14, 2018, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film is rated R for language throughout and brief sexuality/nudity.