Georgia music producer who discovered Toby Keith remembers country star

BREMEN, Ga. — Funeral plans are in place for country star, Toby Keith.

On Monday, February 4th, country star Toby Keith passed away at 62 from stomach cancer.

“This was the first song on the tape,” Harold Shedd said as he listened to the song “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.”

Shedd, a former multi-platinum music producer, said he first heard the song on a demo tape and knew it was a hit.

Shedd said he signed Keith to Mercury Records in Nashville Tennessee, in the early 1990s.

“That song as of two weeks ago has been played over 7 million times,” Shedd added.

Shedd, who has worked with Shania Twain, Billy Ray Cyrus, and the group Alabama, said Keith always stood out.

“Toby was exceptional. He could write, sing, and perform. He was so talented,” Shedd explained from his Bremen, Georgia home on Wednesday.

Shedd said what made Toby Keith special was his ability to connect with everyday people.

“They loved him and he loved them and he wrote songs - nobody wrote songs like that,” explained Shedd.

“I mean he wrote a song about a red Solo cup,” he added.

Shedd remembered his last conversation with the country star just two weeks ago.

“He knew he was running out of time, but he didn’t dwell on it. We talked and laughed about the good times we had and the records we made,” Shedd said.

“We became really great friends and he was certainly one of the greatest artists that I’ve signed,” he added.

Keith’s funeral will be held in Oklahoma on Monday, Feb. 12.

WSB-TV’s Audrey Washington contributed to this story.

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