Keith Hinton arrived in Nashville, Tennessee in 1984. After years of playing guitar and fronting bar bands in the American Midwest, he had decided to focus more on the songwriting aspects of a music career, and had signed on as a staff writer for the Pride Music Group. Over the next five years he learned perseverance and patience as he honed his songwriting craft in the publishing company writer rooms of Music Row, and in his own home studio. In 1989, he caught the attention of publisher Russ Zavitson, who with top producer/executive Harold Shedd, signed Keith to a position at the legendary Music Mill on Nashville's "Music Row". Known for producing a long string of hits for top country band Alabama, among others, Shedd presided over a small circle of writers who went to work every day to write the next country smash. During his tenure at "the Mill", Keith helped organize Billy Ray Cyrus’ studio band and played guitar for Billy Ray’s debut record, “Some Gave All”, contributing the “Achy Breaky Heart” guitar riffs which helped to sell some 13 million plus records. Soon after, a song penned by Keith and Jimmy Stewart, “A Little Less Talk (and a Lot More Action), became Toby Keith’s second number one song and a staple to close his live shows. The song won an ASCAP “Most Popular Song” Award and has become one of the most requested and programmed recurrent songs in country music, with over 5 million airplays to date. It was featured on a Toby Keith Super Bowl Party with Toby Keith, Willie Nelson, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Sammy Hagar, Ted Nugent, and others jamming on an extended version of the song.
In 1992, Keith signed on at Warner Chappell Music, where he wrote “In the Heart of a Woman” with Brett Cartwright. This song became the first single on Billy Ray Cyrus’ second album “It Won’t Be the Last” and his second Number one song. Keith played acoustic and electric guitars on the song, and contributed the acoustic and much of the electric guitars on the rest of this and the following album, “Storm in the Heartland”.
While at Warner Chappell, the song “Girl Thang”, written by Keith, Judy Rodman, and Michele Laybourn, was recorded as a duet by Tammy Wynette and Wynona. It appeared on Tammy’s last record.
In 1996, a song written by Keith and Judy Rodman, “One Way Ticket (Because I Can)” became LeAnn Rimes’ first Number one song. It won an ASCAP “Most Popular Song” Award and helped to propel her debut album, “Blue”, to seven plus million in sales, and set the standard for the new wave of young female artists in Nashville. This song has since become a classic recurrent, according to BMI, and continues to be one of country radio’s most requested songs. It is also featured in the 1997 Christmas movie "Holiday in Your Heart" that LeAnn starred in.
During his tenure as a Music Row staff writer, Keith wrote songs in many different styles, in and out of mainstream country genres. This CD features a sample of previously uncut songs from his 20 year career. Recorded at his Frontier Studio on the edge of Nashville, these grooves are both unique and interconnected.
Currently, Keith is building a new catalog of songs for his “Sure Feel Music” publishing company and is working with some old friends and some new talent as writer/producer/musician.