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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

Report as inappropriate
llmmgoetz
have listened to his music since high school - early 80's.. danced a thousand miles to his music, danced to one of his songs at my wedding reception, had one of his songs on walkman when in labor with first child. When they showed him in the audience at the ACM awards in Cowboys stadium., i just lost it and cried. He has been thru Hell and back. Still think hes the greatest , George is a close 2nd.
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One of the best country singers in my opinion *****
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Love this singer
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I told you so!!!!!
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GREAT SINGER
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He didn't die
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I agree Aubreystadle r ! !
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aubreystadle r
You really can't get better than Randy!
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He's still alive and apparently still in physical therapy after his accident. Unfortunatel y we will probably never this kind of phenomenal music again. I listened to this with my mom.
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@elizabethla r s o n 7 2 . . . I don think he died! I read something about his health and it said nothing about him dying. But I'm not for sure!! I dont wanna jump to conclusions!
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Did Randy Travis pass?He was so good when he entered the scene. Truly liked his music!
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He died from a brain infection if I'm right I thank so
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Amazing voice
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CARRIE DOES A GREAT JOB WITH THIS SONG!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
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cindymgonzal e s 1 6
:(
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Randy Travis
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Whisper my name
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Has good songs
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hoornaert42
forever and ever amen
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kellyledford 1 9 8 2
Love is forever.
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Sad, one of my favorite. Still love to listen.
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Cool


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pattydhs69
Randy, you'll ALWAYS BE NUMBER ONE.KEEP ON THE ROAD BACK. KEEP WRITING YOUR MUSIC. LOVE Y'ALL.
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Love your songs keep it up your the beat
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Got a minute ? There's a church that was built and they need monetary donations to help cover expenses , the church is Saint Patrick church - 1046 E. 34 th street Los Angeles California 90011 - (323) 232- 8756 ( 323) 234- 5963 - Pastor Rev. Timothy Dyer - Jesus is God :)
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You are a good singerI love country songs
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sahweise
ON THE OTHER HAND!!
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Nice
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Another legend In the making will join the Hank Williams Clan of Western American.,.. , . , . .
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You look so good in love
��
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Best all time but if I had a choice out Keith Whitley and randy travis I'll pick Keith Whitley
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Alanmorgan
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Three wooden crosses, got chills. WOW!!! Still works!!!! Love me some R. T.
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I love him to I'm in a re Ladin sip and bout to get mared
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I thought he walked on water
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X3 x3 x3 x3 x3
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I love this song my grandpa sang it to me when I was younger miss ya grandpa dan ríp Dan gallup
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I LOVE THIS SONG!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
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we love u mr travis get well rick
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!ove to here from u message me
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john-hammond 6
You are the best singer Randy Travis!
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Love this song !!!
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One of the best singers
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Great artist, great music
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Kiss your left hand
Say your crushes name
Close your hand
Pick a school day
Say your name
Post this on 15 different songs and the day you chose your crush will ask you out
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I feel like my life is getting short you'll my not no I got something else going on I'm going to have my test done I feel like is almost ready for me
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Did he really died and nobody told me the truth and my family couldn't tell me that really sad that my family couldn't tell me the truth
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http://youtu . b e / 2 T 6 O x Z X 6 Z Y U
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Sang the s**t out of this, back in my drinking days.
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I LOVE THIS SONG SOOO MUCH: I TOLD YOU SO!!! ❤️❤️❤️MY DAD LISTENED TO RANDY TRAVIS ALL THE TIME! I MISS MY DAD!! ❤️❤️❤️
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