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Randy Travis

Like the Beatles in rock, Randy Travis marks a generational shift in country music. When his Storms of Life came out in 1986, country music was still wallowing in the post-urban cowboy recession, chasing elusive crossover dreams. Travis brought the music back to its basics, sounding like nothing so much as a perfect blend of George Jones and Merle Haggard. He became the dominant male voice in country until the rise of "hat acts" like Garth Brooks and Clint Black, releasing seven consecutive number one singles during one stretch. He won the CMA's Horizon Award in 1986 and was the association's Male Vocalist of the Year in 1987 and 1988.

Travis (born Randy Bruce Traywick in 1959) was born and raised in North Carolina, in a small town outside of Charlotte. His father encouraged his children to pursue their musical inclinations, as he was a fan of honky tonkers like Hank Williams, George Jones, and Lefty Frizzell. Randy began playing guitar at the age of eight, and within two years, he and his brother Ricky formed a duo called the Traywick Brothers. The duo played in local clubs and talent contests. Both of the brothers had a wild streak, which resulted in Ricky going to jail after a car chase and Randy running away to Charlotte at the age of 16. While he was in Charlotte, he won a talent contest at Country City U.S.A., a bar owned by Lib Hatcher. Hatcher was impressed by Travis and offered him a regular gig at her bar, as well as a job as a cook.

For several years, he sang and worked at Country City. He still had trouble with the law in his late teens. After his last run-in with the police, the judge told him if he saw Travis again he should be prepared to go to jail for a long time. Travis was released into the care of Hatcher. In a short time, Hatcher became Travis' manager, and the pair began to concentrate on his career. Joe Stampley helped Travis land a contract with Paula Records in 1978. The following year, Travis released two singles under his given name; one of them, "She's My Woman," scraped the bottom of the country charts. In 1982, Travis and Hatcher moved to Nashville, where she managed the Nashville Palace nightclub while he sang and cooked. Within a couple of years, the pair independently released his debut album under the name Randy Ray; the record was called Randy Ray Live and sold primarily in the Nashville Palace.

Thanks to Hatcher's persistent efforts and the Randy Ray Live album, Warner Bros. signed Travis in 1985 and suggested that he change his performing name to Randy Travis. "On the Other Hand," his first single for the label, was released in the summer of that year and climbed to number 67. Despite its lackluster performance, radio programmers were enthusiastic for Travis, as evidenced by the number six placing of "1982," which was released late in the year. "1982" was followed by a re-release of "On the Other Hand" in the spring of 1986. This time, the song hit number one.

Storms of Life, Travis' full-fledged debut album, was released in the summer of 1986 and became a huge success, eventually selling over three million copies. Travis was the first country artist to go multi-platinum; before his success, most country artists had difficulty achieving gold status. With his mass appeal, he set the stage for country music's crossover success in the early '90s. However, Travis dominated the late '80s. The last two singles from Storms of Life, "Diggin' Up Bones" and "No Place Like Home," hit number one and two, respectively. "Forever and Ever, Amen" -- the first single from his second album, 1987's Always & Forever -- began a streak of seven straight number one singles that ran through 1989. Always & Forever was more successful than his debut, reaching number 19 on the pop charts and going quadruple platinum; it also earned him the CMA's award for Male Vocalist of the Year. Old 8x10 (1988) and No Holdin' Back (1989) weren't quite as successful as their predecessors, but they still spawned number one singles and both went platinum.

Travis was still at the top of his form in the beginning of the '90s, starting the decade with his biggest hit, "Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart." However, his hold at the top of the charts began to slip after Clint Black and, in particular, Garth Brooks. Nevertheless, Travis never fell away completely -- his albums continued to gold and he usually could crack the Top Ten. Wind in the Wire, a soundtrack to his television special released in 1992, marked his first unsuccessful album -- none of the singles broke the Top 40. This Is Me, released in 1994, was a successful comeback to the top of the charts, featuring "Whisper My Name," his first number one hit in two years. In August 1996, Travis released Full Circle, his last album for Warner Bros. He left the label in 1997, signing with the fledgling "super" label DreamWorks. His first album for the label, You and You Alone, was released in the spring of 1998; Man Ain't Made of Stone followed a year later.

Traveling the familiar country route, he released an album of traditional and contemporary religious songs, Inspirational Journey, which hit the stores in late 2000. The album went on to win two awards at the Gospel Music Association's 32nd Annual Dove Awards in 2001; Inspirational Journey took home honors for Country/Bluegrass Album of the Year and Country Recorded Song of the Year for "Baptism." Selected songs from the album also made their way into the two-part finale for Touched by an Angel, which featured Travis in character. Two years later, Travis continued with his gospel fare with the release of Rise and Shine, followed by the similarly reverent Worship & Faith, Passing Through, and Glory Train. Around the Bend appeared in 2008. In 2011, he released Anniversary Celebration, which featured Travis performing duets with Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Don Henley, Alan Jackson, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Carrie Underwood, and others, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his recording career.

Over the next couple years, Travis often appeared in the headlines as he battled a variety of personal problems and illnesses, recording a bunch of covers in 2012 that came out in 2013 and 2014 as Influence, Vol. 1: The Man I Am and Influence, Vol. 2: The Man I Am, respectively.

Travis' health took a serious turn for the worse on July 7, 2013 when he was admitted to a Dallas hospital for viral cardiomyopathy. On the 10th, Travis suffered a stroke. Five days later, he underwent successful brain surgery and afterward he entered physical therapy, but the stroke left him without the ability to speak or sing. ~ Brian Mansfield & Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Tonight I'm Playin' Possum (With Joe Nichols) (Single)

Comments

This is one of my favorite songs!
Am gonna love you forever and ever amen <3
So love you 4-ever! I'll be here for you forever& ever...A-MEN ! ! !
Nice jam
Prayers and God's Love to you hope you are doing better ....t...t... t . . . .
I love this song so much in love
Absolutely great voice. Can't help but love the voice he puts forward. He really must LOVE to sing because it really shows.
craigrapacki
If there was ever an artist that I would love to meet an have a sit down it would be this man!
wildcats0119
i would never say i told u so i would just open my heart to you and we would love forever but only one problem ur to afraid of something that i would never do to you , tragic lovestory that may never be but if gods will will prevail we will love again
Love this song so much
abbyamigo
To bad he can't talk anymore hope he gets better
"@"↙Kim c
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Great...Glor y !
Catherine hankins
Love you more than love means dad
Dam good song
I love this song and I love listen to randy Travis
Fellows, always think about the other hand, you might lose more than you want! ;-)
I love this song randy Travis is the best singer :-P
He is really old
Damn I remember when I first heard this guy I was in elementary school and my mother was listening to him and I just had to ask who it was that she was listening to because at the moment that I was with her, but I was living with my father because they had split up and then about 2 years later she had died from cancer and I never listen to country music until I was woken up from the coma I was in for a couple of months after I was in a really bad accident about 2 years ago and lost my ability to
My
Jam
Sarah
rherdman-Ran d i was one of my first loves and he always will rock
tyler loves this song
Before my granpa died, when he knew he was fatally ill, he was making funeral requests and he made sure that Randy Travis Forever and Ever Amen played for the family Love that song
Randy is still kicken it in my book
Randy Travis is a great musician.
porr man hes getting old but hes still going i love u randy travis
randy travis is the BEST
shiz_niz_36
Heyguysthisi s p r e t t y g o o d hfhfghg
Randy Travis....Al w a y s And Forever!
Kiss your hand
Say your crushes name
Closer your hand
Pick a school day
Say your name
Post this 15 other songs
Preacher farmer teacher died, hooker got saved and is his mom.
They been lke that since who knows?? Do you know??? How long ?? True!!
Killing time ,not anymore there not B-)
I love randy travis so much !!!!!!!!!!!
david.stonak e r 2
The first time we saw Randy was the night he won the CMA's Horizon award on 1986. Not really too aware of country music at the time, his voice and his music changed the way we listened to music Forever and Ever, Amen.
OK I will as my hand 5 times post on 2 songs
I love you Randy this is late I was listenin to your CD and I love your voice
What a good man
Twitty i made her that way
shirley_wint e r s
RANDY STILL PRAYING FOR YOU,
jcburrisii
Why is he on my Gordon Mote station? Randy Travis is not really not that good
petty0720
love his music and hope he stays well and keeps giving us great music
Love his music.
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