Toby Keith's new song "That's Country, Bro" is the musical equivalent of a "listicle." The country star rattles off dozens of his favorite legendary singers and television characters in a celebration of country music's roots and cultural reach.

Read on to learn a little about Keith's reference points, from the genre's earliest influencers to cultural icons from the singer's childhood.

  • Jimmie Rodgers

    “The Singing Brakeman” normalized the idea of solo country stars in his short (1927-1933) yet prolific career, spanning from the famed Bristol Sessions -- that also introduced the Carter Family -- to his untimely death at age 35.

  • Patsy Cline

    The singer of “Crazy” and “Walkin’ After Midnight” needs no introduction for any fan accustomed to classic country playlists or Nashville’s music tourism destinations.

  • Hank Williams

    It’s not a name-dropping song without ol' Hank, and you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you needed a 20-word summary of the greatest country singer of all time.

  • Roy Acuff

    As an early face and voice of the Grand Ole Opry, Acuff captivated audiences with performances that often left the singer in tears.

  • Johnny Horton

    The “Battle of New Orleans” singer innovated country music and rockabilly throughout a career cut short in a 1960 traffic accident.

  • Bill Monroe

    Monroe earned his “Father of Bluegrass” moniker by innovating and popularizing a roots music offshoot, later taken to new heights by Flatt & Scruggs.

  • Woody Guthrie

    Yes, he’s folk and not country, but Guthrie’s love of regional songs and his radio show accomplished immeasurable good for Keith’s genre of choice.

  • Bob Wills

    Wills’ name and skill as a fiddler remain synonymous with the jazz-influenced Western swing style that spread from the Lone Star State’s dance halls to California.

  • Spade Cooley

    Like Wills, Cooley contributed to the Western swing genre as an influential figure, and also served as an actor and television personality. Perhaps he shouldn’t be celebrated in song, however, considering the fact that he murdered his wife Ella Mae Evans in 1961.

  • Kitty Wells

    Country’s first long-term female star is best remembered for “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels,” a biting answer to Hank Thompson’s sympathy toward cheating husbands in “Wide Side of Life.”

  • Jimmy Dean

    The “Big Bad John” singer and sausage company namesake’s biggest contribution may have been a ‘60s television variety show that introduced country music and the Muppets (Rowlf the dog was Dean’s comedic sidekick) to a broader audience.

  • Hank Snow

    Before Shania Twain, the Singing Ranger’s run of hits, including the namedropping gold standard “I’ve Been Everywhere,” made him America’s biggest Canadian-born country music star.

  • Dolly Parton

    Like Hank, we know Dolly on a first-name basis. No intro necessary.

  • Johnny Cash

    You don’t have to like country music to love the Man in Black.

  • Porter Wagoner

    The Wagonmaster was more than Parton's duet partner. His impeccable fashion taste, bizarre album covers (look up The Bottom of the Bottle) and mighty voice make him an all-time great.

  • "The Hag"

    A nickname for Merle Haggard, who has been a clear influence on Keith's material long before he released this newest track.

  • Faron Young

    Young’s crooner-worthy voice suited country music’s move uptown in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

  • Lefty Frizzell

    This honky-tonk singer-songwriter defined how a country singer’s supposed to sound during a career that lasted from the early ‘40s until the mid-‘70s.

  • Roger Miller

    As an ace vocalist, lyricist and guitarist, Miller offered more to popular culture than several albums’ worth of well-aged novelty songs.

  • Loretta Lynn

    The “Coal Miner’s Daughter” singer is more than a living legend. She’s still a force on stage and in the studio.

  • Tammy Wynette

    Few knew how to make listeners feel the struggles and triumphs of the characters in their songs quite like Wynette.

  • Buck Owens and Don Rich

    If you think Owens is just some guy from Hee Haw, check out his Capitol Records output, featuring all-time-great sideman Don Rich.

  • Charley Pride

    Country music’s first long-term African-American star remains one of the genre’s greatest ambassadors.

  • Marty Robbins

    This NASCAR driver and country music legend introduced Hawaiian and Spanish influences to mainstream country while taking narrative-driven songs about the Old West to new heights.

  • George Jones

    "The Possum" is known for a lot of things, from dubious tales involving riding lawnmowers to that early ‘80s comeback that brought us some of the greatest songs of the past 40 years.

  • Emmylou Harris

    Before becoming the godmother of Americana, Harris brought a touch of class to the country charts through her explorations of bluegrass, country and singer-songwriter traditions.

  • Conway Twitty

    It’s easy through 21st century eyes to view Twitty as a guy with a perm and a closet full of sports coats, although he was a well-rounded artist who capably changed country music for the better.

  • Mel Tillis

    This songwriter to the stars turned chart-topper poked fun at his own speech impediment in a way that was more inspiring than insulting. Keith follows suit in this tribute, paying homage to "M-M-Mel Tillis."

  • Crystal Gayle

    Loretta Lynn’s sister became a crossover pop-country star in her time, introducing her ankle-length hair and gorgeous vocal delivery to a worldwide audience.

  • Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings

    Together, these two legends changed how country stars looked, sounded and carried themselves as the spokesmen of the outlaw movement.

  • David Allan Coe

    Coe’s ongoing, oddball career is probably best remembered for the singalong hits you’ll hear shouted at every fraternity house between Dallas and Atlanta.

  • Earl Thomas Conley

    This recently-deceased legend wrote some of the biggest hits of the ‘80s, a time when Keith played honky-tonks in Texas and Oklahoma with the band Easy Money.

  • Eddie Rabbitt

    As the writer of Elvis Presley’s “Kentucky Rain” and the singer of a lengthy list of country hits, Rabbitt deserves more credit as one of the best lyricists of his time.

  • Shenandoah

    Back when the likes of Alabama and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band ruled the charts, Shenandoah entered the country band fray, introducing us to its lead singer Marty Raybon.

  • Alabama

    Alabama’s Southern rock meets country tradition formula surely impacted quite a few creative decisions across Keith’s 25-year mainstream career.

  • George Strait

    The reign of country music’s undisputed king predates Keith’s mainstream career, and it shows no signs of slowing.

  • Randy Travis

    It’s easy now to lose sight of how different Travis’ traditional country formula sounded from his mainstream, pop-friendly peers. A stalwart traditionalist, he battened down the hatches of country's roots during a time when fashion was taking the genre in a much different direction.

  • Junior Samples

    While describing Hee Haw, Keith calls Samples, a comedian portrayed as a quirky redneck, the series’ true star.

  • Bo, Luke and Daisy Duke

    Although he’s referencing a better time for rural-based TV shows, Keith alludes to a talented country artist, Dukes of Hazzard co-star John Schneider.

  • Jerry Reed

    This actor, guitarist and singer transcended country music as one of the stars of the Smokey and the Bandit movies.

  • Jerry Clower

    “The Mouth of Mississippi” won over country audiences with his hilarious tales of rural living.

  • Glen Campbell

    To Keith’s generation, Campbell’s more than a country singer. He’s also a variety television regular and John Wayne’s co-star in the original True Grit.

  • Roy Rogers

    Despite being lumped in with Keith’s Western heroes, Rogers deserves a shout-out for a Country Music Hall of Fame career that blurred the line between film soundtracks and commercially-viable hits.

  • John Wayne, Marshall Dillon, Andy Griffith, Festus and the Cartwrights

    These big- and small-screen sheriffs and do-gooders point back to Keith’s first hit, “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.” Still, Ken “Festus” Curtis and Ben Cartwright actor Lorne Greene proved to be gifted country singers.

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