This bit of news came as quite the surprise to me & many others; "Toby Keith To Play The Ryman." Mr. Keith has been labled a "Rebel" of sorts & does not easily conform with the "Ways of the Nashville" music industry. Feels it is too political & not about the music. So when I found this information I was very surprised. http://search2.opry.com/?view=events Toby has often said he does have the utmost respect for the Grand Ole Opry, but could not commit to making a number of appearances.
Keith's first & only appearance on the Opry was December 14, 2002. As I look over the list of those in attendance that day, there is one common denominator to that & the upcoming January 29th performance: Trace Adkins. As we all know Trace is now on the Toby's Show Dog/Universal lable, so do you surmise there was some coaxing there on Akdins part to get Toby to perform? Or did the Opry extend the invite & Toby found the time to accept? Many in Toby's large very loyal fan base surmise there could be an induction invite in the wings & that is the reason for this appearance.
Whatever the reasoning behind Keith's appearance, if there really is any big theory, this is another kudo to his long range career that does not appear to be on the way out anytime soon. It will be a great night for the Opry & Toby fans alike.