Toby Keith Talks Song Choices for ‘Support the Troops’ TV Special

Marine Lt. Col. Mike Corrado (L) and Toby Keith perform onstage during ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops (Ethan Miller/Getty Images for ACM)

Marine Lt. Col. Mike Corrado (L) and Toby Keith perform onstage during ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute To The Troops (Ethan Miller/Getty Images for ACM)

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When Toby Keith was asked to perform during tonight’s television special ACM Presents: An All-Star Salute to the Troops, the producers wanted him to pull out something unique. So he turned not to his catalog of hits, but to a collection of songs he’d been performing for the armed forces during his many years of USO tours.

“I have a bunch of material that I’d written over the last 11 years that I only perform for the troops,” Keith explained in an interview this morning (May 20) with CBS Chicago’s US99.5. “They’re little funny songs, but some of them are kinda dirty, and some of them are locker room. And I didn’t really have any venue to play them at over here [on U.S. shores].”

Keith said that the producers already knew they wanted him to perform his hit “American Soldier” with members of the military. But, he said, they told him that they also wanted him to bring out one of the songs from his USO tours.

“I got a song called ‘Call a Marine.’ It’s kinda dirty, but…they said, ‘if you clean it up just a little bit, we’ll let you do it, and we want you to do it with this Marine.'” The Marine in question turned out to be Lt. Col. Mike Corrado.

Read more on Radio.com.