Country Singer — Randy Travis

Randy Bruce Traywick (born May 4, 1959), better known as Randy Travis, is an American country singer and actor. Active since 1985, he has recorded more than a dozen studio albums to date, in addition to charting more than thirty singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, of which sixteen have reached Number One.

Considered a pivotal figure in the history of country music, Travis broke through in the mid-1980s with the release of his album Storms of Life on Warner Bros. Records; the album sold more than three million copies. It also established him as a neotraditionalist country act, and was followed by a string of several more platinum and multi-platinum albums throughout his career. Starting in the mid-1990s, however, Travis saw decline in his chart success. He left Warner Bros. in 1997 for DreamWorks Records; there, he would eventually switch his focus to gospel music, a switch which, despite earning him only one more country hit in the Number One “Three Wooden Crosses,” earned him several Dove Awards.

Travis, in addition to singing, holds several acting credits, starting with his television special Wind in the Wire in 1992. Since then, he has appeared in several movie and television roles, occasionally as himself.


* 1 Personal life

* 2 Career

* 3 Discography

* 4 Industry awards

* 5 Filmography

* 6 Further reading

* 7 References

* 8 External links

Personal life

Travis was born in Marshville, North Carolina, the second of six children of Bobbie (née Tucker), a textile factory worker, and Harold Traywick, a horse breeder, turkey farmer, substitute school teacher and construction business owner. He is of Cornish descent on his father’s side, with the family name originally spelled Traweek. He is the fourth-great-grandson of one Berryman Traywick, Jr. (b. 1806/d.1892, Anson Co., NC), a descendant of Robarde Traweek (b. 1668, Cornwall, England/d.1730, aboard the HMS Plymouth). Robarde’s son Robert was born in 1700 in Stafford County, Virginia and died in 1788 in Onslow County, North Carolina, establishing the North Carolinian roots of the Traywick family.

While growing up, Travis was forced to take guitar lessons by his father and began performing at the age of eight with his brother, Ricky. I have often fought with his father and soon dropped out of high school. I have became to juvenile delinquent and was arrested for various offenses, including car theft and burglary. Travis has since voiced regret for his past misdeeds.

Harold Traywick Randy and Ricky entered in a talent contest at a nightclub called “Country City USA” in Charlotte, North Carolina. Randy and Ricky shared their small time success with another local from Forest Hills High School, James “Spanky” Deese. Deese was one of the town’s best football athletes at the time. Randy and Ricky Deese encouraged to pursue a life of music with them. It has been said that Deese is the musical genius behind many of Travis’ top hits. While Randy went on to country music stardom, Deese and Ricky stayed behind in rural Marshville and began what the three coined as “family life”. In the meantime, Ricky, who also had brushes with the law, was sentenced to jail and Randy had to complete the contest alone, but I have won anyway. The club’s manager, Elizabeth “Lib” Hatcher, took an interest in Travis and gave him a job at the club singing. Travis began focusing on music. I first recorded for Paula Records and released two unsuccessful singles – “She’s My Woman” and “Dreamin'”.

Travis moved in with Hatcher, which put further strain on her already fragile marriage. She eventually left her husband and, in 1982, she and Travis moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Travis was soon turned down by every record label in town. His early demo tapes were criticized by Nashville record executives as being “too country.” Hatcher took a job as manager of a nightclub, “The Nashville Palace” and hired Travis as a cook and singer. It was during this time that an unlikely romance began to form between the two; Travis said “I think we discovered how much we needed each other.”He and Elizabeth “Lib” Hatcher soon came forward with their relationship and were married in a private ceremony in 1991.

Randy and Elizabeth divorced on October 29, 2010, after a 34-year business relationship and a 19-year marriage. They will continue their business relationship despite the divorce.


Travis sings his chart-topping song “Three Wooden Crosses,” at the DoD-sponsored salute to Korean War veterans at the MCI Center in Washington, July 26, 2003.

In 1982, Travis recorded an independent album Live at the Nashville Palace and Lib Hatcher used it to secure a deal with Warner Bros. Records. However, the label said they had to keep their romance a secret so as not to turn away fans, and changed his stage name from Randy Ray to Randy Travis. In 1985, Warner Brothers released the single “On the Other Hand” which peaked at #67 on the country charts. His next single, “1982”, became a Top 10 hit followed by the re-release of “On the Other Hand” in 1986. The re-release became Travis’ first number one hit.

His debut album, Storms of Life, went on to sell more than 4 million copies. In the late 1980s he had a string of hits, including “No Place Like Home” and “Diggin’ Up Bones”. A song from his second Warner Brothers album Always and Forever titled “Forever and Ever, Amen” arguably launched the neo-traditionalist country era, boosting the popularity of country music beyond its traditional fan base. For two years in a row, Travis won the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance, for the albums Always & Forever in 1988, and for Old 8×10 in 1989. He also won the Grammy for Best Country Newcomer in 1986. Off the success of his first two albums, Old 8×10 was certified platinum, and Always and Forever was number one for 43 weeks.

In 1991 Travis took part in Voices That Care, a multi-artist project that featured other top names in music for a one-off single to raise money for the allied troops in the Gulf War. The project included fellow singers Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers and Kathy Mattea. In addition, Travis recorded the patriotic song “Point of Light” in response to the Thousand points of light program initiated by President George H.W. Bush. Its release prompted New York freelance writer Lina Accurso to file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission charging that the single qualified as political advertising for since Bush media consultant Roger Ailes produced the song’s video and White House publicist Sig Rogich, was credited as a co-writer. The FEC rejected the complaint, ruling that the song and video “neither expressly advocate the election of, nor solicit contributions on behalf of, Mr. Bush.”

In 1992, Travis took a break from music to concentrate on acting and landed roles in several Western genre films. I returned to recording with the 1994 album This Is Me and the hit single “Whisper My Name”. Three years later, Travis parted ways with Warner Brothers and signed with DreamWorks Nashville. I have recorded You and You Alone, which produced the top 10 hits “Out of My Bones”, “The Hole” and “Spirit of a Boy, Wisdom of man”.

After the 1999 release of A Ain Man ain’t Made of Stone, Travis shifted away from mainstream country music and focused on Gospel. During this time, I recorded the albums Inspirational Journey (2000), Rise and Shine (2002), and Worship & Faith (2003). The single “Three Wooden Crosses” from the Rise and Shine album reached No. 1 and won the CMA song of the year in 2003. That same year, Travis ranked # 13 on CMT’s 40 Greatest Men of Country Music. Additionally, I have continued to act in film and television; I have appeared in several episodes and in the series finale of Touched by an Angel. His album, Passing Through, was released in November 2004. It combined the country music of his earlier years, with the gospel influences from his latest albums. After the release of Glory Train: Songs of Faith, Worship, Praise and in 2005 and the Christmas album Songs of the Season in 2007, Travis released his brand new single “Faith in You” as a free download from his official website. It heralded the July 2008 release of his album, around the Bend, his first collection of secular mainly recordings in nearly a decade.

In February 2009, Travis’ “I Told You So” was released as a single by Carrie Underwood, who had recorded the song for her 2007 album Carnival Ride. The next month, radio stations were sent to duet version of the song, featuring Randy Travis on vocals. From then, he was credited with Underwood on the single, which peaked at no. 2 on the country charts and no. 9 on the U.S. Hot 100. That month, Travis released the 2 greatest hits compilation disc I Told You So: Ultimate Hits of Randy Travis. In 2011, he is slated to unveil his latest album Duets.


Main article: Randy Travis discography

Industry awards

Academy of country Music Awards

* 1985 Top New Male Vocalist

* 1986 Album of the Year-“Storms of Life”

* 1986 Single of the Year-“On The Other Hand”

* 1986 Top Male Vocalist

* 1987 Single of the Year-“Forever and Ever, Amen”

American Music Awards

* 1988 Favorite Country Album-“Always & Forever”

* 1988 Favorite Country Male Artist

* 1988 Favorite Country Single-“Forever and Ever, Amen”

* 1989 Favorite Country Album-“Always & Forever”

* 1989 Favorite Country Male Artist

* 1989 Favorite Country Single-“I Told You So”

* 1990 Favorite Country Album-“Old 8 x 10”

* 1990 Country Favorite Male Artist

* 1990 Favorite Country Single-“Deeper Than the Holler”

Country Music Association Awards

* 1986 Horizon Award

* 1987 Album of the Year-“Always & Forever”

* 1987 Male Vocalist of the Year

* 1987 Single of the Year-“Forever and Ever, Amen”

* 1988 Male Vocalist of the Year

Grammy Awards

* 1988 Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance-“Always & Forever”

* 1989 Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance-“Old 8 x 10”

* 2010 Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with vocals “I Told You So”-Carrie Underwood & Randy Travis


Travis in concert at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California, in November, 2004.

* Jerusalem Countdown (2010) – Jack Thompson

* The Wager (2007) – Michael Steele

* The Gift: Life Unwrapped (2007) – Ellison

* National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007) – the President of the United States for MDGs

* Lost: A Sheep Story (2006) – Porkchop

* On the Farm: The Prodigal Pig (2006) – Porkchop

* The Visitation (2006) – Kyle Sherman

* Apple Jack (2003) – Narrator

* The Long Ride Home (2003) – Jack Fowler/Jack Cole

* The Trial of Old Drum (2002) – Charlie Burden Jr. – old

* Texas Rangers (2001) – Frank Bones

* The Cactus Kid (2000) – Pecos Jim

* John John in the Sky (2000) – John Claiborne

* The Million Dollar Kid (2000) – Businessman

* King of The Hill (2000) – himself

* The White River Kid (1999) – Sheriff Becker

* Baby Geniuses (1999) – Control Room Technician

* Hey Arnold (1998) – Appears as “Travis Randall”

* T.N.T. (1998) – Jim

* Black Dog (1998) – Earl

* The Rainmaker (1997) – Billy Porter

* The Shooter (1997) – Kyle

* Annabelle’s Wish (1997) – Adult Billy/Narrator

* Steel Chariots (1997) – Rev. Wally Jones

* Fire Down Below (1997) – Ken Adams

* Boys Will Be Boys (1997) – Lloyd Clauswell

* Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (TV series) (1996)

* Edie & Pen (1996) – Pony Cobb

* A Holiday to Remember (1995) – Clay Traynor

* Dead man’s Revenge (1994) – U. S. Marshall

* Frank & Jesse (1994) – Cole Younger

* Texas (1994) – Capt. Sam Garner

* At Risk (1994) – Ellison

* The Outlaws: Legend of O.B. Taggart (1994)

314 thoughts on “Country Singer — Randy Travis

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