Skip to main content
Select Source:

Travis, Randy

Randy Travis

Singer, songwriter

Randy Travis was among the first performers of his generation to find a mainstream audience for traditional country music. By 1986 Travis, who grew up listening to his father's recordings of past country greats, had parlayed his down-home good looks, distinctive voice, and intelligent choice of material into country stardom. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry at the age of 28 and was the first country artist ever to have a debut album sell over one million copies. As Jay Cocks put it in Time magazine, Travis had "not redefined country so much as reminded everyone of its truest instincts." His career was a remarkably durable one, marked by several successful comebacks after his first stretch at the top of the charts in the late 1980s.

Travis was discovered in Nashville just as public taste began to reacquaint itself with conventional country music. His songs of love, heartache, and the realities of blue collar life endeared him—and thus, country music itself—to a generation of listeners raised on rock and roll. In 1991 Pulse! contributor Robert Gordon equated Travis with country music's return to basics, explaining how the singer "rode the crest of the New Traditionalist movement which began halfway through the last decade, establishing an expansive audience that Nashville never knew existed."

Whether writing his own songs or choosing others to record, Travis steered clear of material that was even slightly pop- or rock-oriented. He has sung duos with such country music standard-bearers as George Jones, Roy Rogers, and Tammy Wynette. Travis's heartfelt dedication to pure country forms indeed proved the catalyst for his success; as Pulse! contributor Gordon suggested, he was in the right place at the right time, with a powerful strain of conviction in his performance. "You will know the voice right away, even if you have never heard it," Cocks reported. "A backcountry baritone canters along a line of swaying melody, taking it easy, taking everything easy. The prides, the miseries, the dalliances and departures that are the mother lode of country music, all are delved into and delivered up with the sidling grace of an unordained preacher taking the back door to honky-tonk heaven."

"I do try to sing with as much feeling as I can," Travis told the New York Times Magazine. "I lived a lot. I did a lot. I got started early, doin' a lot of things. That's some of what I learned from Hank [Williams Sr.] and [Merle Haggard] and [George] Jones—because when you listen to them sing a song, they can just make you believe everything about it. They just sing to you like it really happened to them. And to me, that's what singin's all about."

Travis was born Randy Traywick on May 4, 1959, in Marshville, North Carolina, as one of five children. Both of his parents worked full-time—his father owned a construction company and his mother worked in a textile mill. The Traywicks owned a farm, too, and Randy helped raise turkeys and cattle. Harold Traywick, however, had other ambitions for his son. The elder Traywick was a fan of old-time country music, especially the works of Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, Ernest Tubb, Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers. Young Randy grew up listening to recordings from another era, and despite the pull of rock and roll, he fell in love with the country sound. "My brothers and sisters, people I went to school with—I mean, all of them—were definitely into rock 'n' roll," Travis told Time. "But it never really appealed to me that much."

What did appeal to Travis was country music, especially the George Jones and Merle Haggard songs of the late 1960s and early 1970s. When Travis was only ten, his father bought him a Gibson guitar for Christmas. A brother, Ricky, received a set of drums. With their parents' enthusiastic approval, the two began performing as "The Traywick Brothers" at local functions. Randy was still in grade school. "My folks pushed me to do it," Travis told People magazine. "It has always been in Daddy's mind especially." Travis absolutely hated school, dropping out before finishing the ninth grade. For a while he worked on his father's turkey farm and in the construction business, but he seemed more bent on getting into trouble than making a living.

He continued to perform—now as a solo singer—in tough venues where acts would be protected from the audience by chain link fence. Soon Travis was drinking excessively and using drugs. He has been brutally candid about his troubled teen years, telling Newsweek that he began drinking at 12 and using drugs at 14. "Sometimes a lot harder drugs, but at least marijuana every day," he admitted. "I think all that was part of why I got into so much trouble."

As it was, Travis nearly ruined his health and almost landed in prison before his eighteenth birthday. "I can't count the times I've been in jail," he toldTime. Once he was arrested for leading police on a high speed chase. Another time the charge was breaking and entering. Travis was saved, literally, by his voice. During one of his stable periods he had won a talent contest at Country City U.S.A., a nightclub in Charlotte, North Carolina. The club's owner, Lib Hatcher, was bowled over by his sincere delivery and shy presence on stage. Hatcher gave Travis the second chance he needed to stay out of jail and reconstruct his life. She told him he could be a big star and that she could help him get to the top. He believed her. "The main reason I eventually got straightened out was that I met my manager, Lib Hatcher," Travis told Stereo Review. "She gives great advice, and finally I found someone I could talk to. … For the first time I took the music business seriously. It gave me something actually to do."

For the Record …

Born Randy Bruce Traywick on May 4, 1959, in Marshville, NC; son of Harold (owner of a construction company and farmer) and Bobbie (a textile worker) Traywick; married Lib Hatcher (his manager), May 31, 1991.

Began performing with brother Ricky as "The Traywick Brothers," c. 1969; began solo career, c. 1973; performed at Country City U.S.A., Charlotte, NC, 1976-81, and the Nashville Palace, Nashville, TN, 1981-85; signed with Warner Bros. records and released first single, "On the Other Hand," 1985; became member of Grand Ole Opry, 1987; toured America, Canada, and Europe; performed at President George Bush's inaugural ball, 1989; signed to DreamWorks label, 1997; released You and You Alone, 1998; signed to Word label, 2003; recorded and performed gospel as well as country music, early 2000s-; appeared in films, including The Visitation, 2006.

Awards: Academy of Country Music, Top New Male Vocalist Award, 1985; Country Music Association Horizon Award and Academy of Country Music, Top Male Vocalist Award, Album of the Year Award, for Storms of Life, and Best Single Award, for "On the Other Hand," all 1986; Country Music Association, Male Vocalist of the Year Award, Album of the Year award, for Always and Forever, and Single of the Year Award, for "Forever and Ever, Amen," all 1987; Grammy Awards for Best Country Vocal Performance/Male, 1987, 1988, and 1993; American Music Award for Favorite Male Vocalist/Country, 1989, 1990; Grammy Award, Best Country Collaboration with Vocals (with Marty Stuart and Emmylou Harris), for "Same Old Train," 1998; Dove Awards for Bluegrass Album of the Year, for Inspirational Journey, 2001; Country Music Association Song of the Year Award, for "Three Wooden Crosses," 2003; Grammy Awards, for Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album, for Rise and Shine, 2004; for Worship & Faith, 2005; and for Glory Train, 2007.

Addresses: Office—P.O. Box 121137, Nashville, TN 37212.

At 17, facing five years in prison for the breaking and entering charge, Travis was spared the sentence when Hatcher appeared in court on his behalf; she told the judge she would employ Travis full-time and take responsibility for him. She was granted custody, and Travis was warned that the next time he appeared in court, he had better bring his toothbrush. Thus, in 1976 a partnership began that would bring stardom to Travis and a millionaire lifestyle to the woman who believed in him. Travis moved in with Hatcher and her husband and began to sing regularly at Country City U.S.A. Hatcher's marriage ended shortly thereafter, and she devoted more and more of her energy to advancing Travis's career. She moved her club into a new building with more seats, and scraped together $10,000 to record two singles on a tiny Louisiana record label.

Faith alone propelled the pair through some lean years. Travis told Country America: "Lib and I have seen numerous Christmases together, and sometimes we didn't feel like we had very much to celebrate. Before we moved to Nashville, there were some pretty hard times in North Carolina. … There was hardly any money changing hands."

In 1980 Hatcher sold her Charlotte club and moved with Travis to Nashville. There they rented a bungalow on 16th Avenue in the famed Music Row area, and sought work where Travis would be most visible. Hatcher found a position managing the Nashville Palace, one of the many restaurants featuring live music located within a stone's throw of the Opryland complex. Travis went to work at the Palace as a short-order cook and singer. Billed as "Randy Ray," he would cook, wash dishes, sing, and then wash more dishes. He often worked from dawn until two a.m. "I don't know why I didn't get discouraged," he told People. "Lack of sense or something." Almost every record company in Nashville turned down "Randy Ray" at least once; Warner Bros. passed him over twice. Still Hatcher persisted, inviting Grand Ole Opry stars in to sing at the Palace and to hear her young protege.

Then the times caught up with Travis's style. The early 1980s saw the emergence of George Strait, Ricky Skaggs, and Reba McEntire, all performers with pure country orientation, as opposed to pop, or "countrypolitan," as the 1970s trend toward pop-influenced country was called. Though Nashville executives still preferred artists with crossover potential, pointing to the success of the Charlie Daniels Band and Alabama among teens, Warner Bros. senior vice president Martha Sharp nevertheless went to the Palace to hear "Randy Ray" perform in 1985 and offered him a contract on the spot. "I loved his voice," she told the Los Angeles Times. "But I knew I was going to get a lot of guff. The prevailing opinion at that time was that he was too country, nothing that country would work. Still, my gut told me to go ahead."

The first thing Sharp did was change Randy Traywick's stage name to Randy Travis. Then she encouraged him to focus on his strengths—especially his robust but edgy voice and the vein of irony that helped temper his more sentimental songs. Travis's first album, Storms of Life, was released by Warner Bros. in June of 1986 with anticipated sales of 20,000 units. By the end of the year it had sold more than a million copies and yielded four hit singles: "1982," "On the Other Hand," "Diggin' Up Bones," and "Reasons I Cheat." Travis left his anonymity behind, to become the winner of the Country Music Association's coveted Horizon Award—the equivalent of a "rookie of the year" honor.

During his years of struggle Travis and his band had journeyed to concerts in a converted bread truck; equipment was hauled in a van and horse trailer. By the beginning of 1987, the Travis entourage—still ably managed by Hatcher—traveled in the comfort of a $500,000 bus. Hatcher also found Travis a publicist, who signed the engaging young singer to some unlikely television appearances, including one on the rock-oriented Saturday Night Live. Through shrewd management and sheer hard work, Travis soon eclipsed many of the other so-called New Traditionalists. His second album, Always and Forever, sold well over three million copies and remained at the number one position on the country charts for a record 43 weeks. The release's most popular hit single, "Forever and Ever, Amen," was named favorite country single of 1987 by both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.

In 1988 the former cook at the Nashville Palace found himself performing at London's Royal Albert Hall, with Rolling Stone Mick Jagger in the audience. By that time Travis had amassed three platinum albums and scores of fans, many of whom had never before given country music a second glance. As Bob Millard put it in Country Music magazine, Travis's popularity had grown to the point where he could "sell a million copies of anything with his voice on it." Still, Travis was not the type to rest on his laurels. As a member of the Grand Ole Opry, he could have settled in and comfortably churned out his trademark hits year after year as other singers came and went. Instead, the singer stretched his musical skills by writing more of his own material and tinkering with his style, without abandoning the pure country sound that made him famous. His 1991 album High Lonesome yielded two hits he co-wrote with country up-and-comer Alan Jackson, "Better Class of Losers" and "Forever Together." The latter, a heartfelt ballad of devotion to a loved one, crested the charts just as Travis married Lib Hatcher in May of 1991.

Through it all Travis remained modest about his success and grateful that he had made his mark without compromising to fit markets beyond country. "I have a voice that sounds like a country singer, and there's no way around that," he told Stereo Review. "Plus, I don't want to do anything else. I love country music." Country Music contributor Michael Bane called Travis "your basic lightning rod," adding, "With his successes, the floodgates opened, and, as it always has, country music changed, evolved. Within a few years, the business belonged to the ‘men with hats,’ traditional male vocalists." Some of these "hat acts," in fact—most notably country phenomenon and pop music fan Garth Brooks—outshone Travis in the early 1990s. As Alanna Nash concluded in Entertainment Weekly, "Travis's success opened the door to all those guys … and they owe him more than a wave as they pass him by on the charts."

What they also owed Travis was respect for his tenacity and his integrity as a country musician first and a crossover artist second. The singer who listed his own personal favorites as George Jones and Merle Haggard told Pulse!, "Country music has changed some, but it still addresses the things that everyday people go through in everyday life. To me that's what country music is about."

Indeed, Travis need not have worried that his brand of pure country music would go out of fashion as country swung toward arena rock styles in the 1990s with the music of Garth Brooks and his various competitors. Travis took a break from touring after his marriage but returned to the stage, where he remained a consistent draw as a live act well into the 2000s. His Warner Bros. releases of the 1990s, such as Wind in the Wire, This Is Me, and Full Circle, all rose to the upper reaches of Billboard magazine's country albums chart, and in 1997 he was signed to the well-capitalized new DreamWorks label.

That decision brought the new label its first chart-topping country single with "Out of My Bones," taken from Travis's DreamWorks debut album You and You Alone. By the turn of the millennium, Travis's total recording sales were reported to be in excess of 13 million copies. His easygoing manner and classic good looks translated into screen success. He appeared on Matlock, Touched by an Angel, and Texas, and his cinema credits have included White River Kid, Texas Rangers, and The Visitation.

The 2000s decade saw yet another resurgence in Travis's commercial fortunes, this one the result of a new creative direction. Working with longtime producer Kyle Lehning, he returned to Warner's Atlantic imprint for his first religiously oriented album, Inspirational Journey, in 2001. The album garnered two Dove Awards from the Christian music industry as Travis added sacred music listeners to his audience with single releases such as "Baptism" and "Three Wooden Crosses." The latter song, from Travis's 2003 album Rise and Shine on the Word label, gave him another number one country hit and became the first release on a Christian label ever to attain that chart position. As of the mid-2000s Travis had a heavy touring schedule that included both religious and secular concerts. He released the religious album Glory Train in 2006 and took home a Grammy—his third of the 2000s—for Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album the following spring.

Selected discography

Storms of Life, Warner Bros., 1986.

Always & Forever, Warner Bros., 1987.

Old 8×10, Warner Bros., 1988.

An Old Time Christmas, Warner Bros., 1989.

Heroes and Friends, Warner Bros., 1990.

High Lonesome, Warner Bros., 1991.

Wind in the Wire, Warner Bros., 1992.

This Is Me, Warner Bros., 1994.

Full Circle, Warner Bros., 1996.

You and You Alone, DreamWorks, 1998.

A Man Ain't Made of Stone, DreamWorks, 1999.

Inspirational Journey, Warner Bros., 2000.

Live: It Was Just a Matter of Time, Warner Bros., 2001.

Rise and Shine, Warner Bros., 2002.

Worship & Faith, Word, 2003.

Passing Through, Word, 2004.

The Very Best of Randy Travis, Rhino, 2004.

Glory Train, Word, 2005.

Greatest Hits, Rhino, 2007.

Sources

Books

Newsmakers 1988, Gale, 1989.

Vaughan, Andrew, Who's Who in New Country Music, St. Martin's, 1989.

Periodicals

Billboard, November 6, 2004, p. 38.

Chicago Tribune, November 13, 1986; February 22, 1987.

Country America, January 1992.

Country Music, January/February 1991; March/April 1991; November/December 1991; January/February 1992; July/August 1992.

Entertainment Weekly, March 20, 1992.

Los Angeles Times, March 6, 1988.

Newsweek, October 27, 1986; October 16, 1989; October 22, 1990.

New York Times Magazine, June 25, 1989.

People, November 10, 1986; June 24, 1991.

Pulse!, November 1991.

Stereo Review, September 1987; June 1989.

Time, June 22, 1987; July 25, 1988.

Washington Post, February 15, 1987.

Online

"Biography," Randy Travis Official Website, http://www.randytravis.com/ (March 30, 2007).

"Randy Travis," All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com/ (March 30, 2007).

Other

Additional information for this profile was obtained from Warner Bros. media information, 1992.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Travis, Randy." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Travis, Randy." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/travis-randy-0

"Travis, Randy." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/travis-randy-0

Travis, Randy

Randy Travis

Singer, songwriter

Learned From Williams, Haggard, and Jones

Father Encouraged Performing Career

Rescued by Lib Hatcher

Signed With Warner Bros

Developed Talents

Selected discography

Sources

Randy Travis was among the first performers of his generation to find a mainstream audience for traditional country music. By 1986, Travis, who grew up listening to his fathers recordings of past country greats, had parlayed his down-home good looks, distinctive voice, and intelligent choice of material into country stardom. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry at the age of 28 and was the first country artist ever to have a debut album sell over one million copies. As Jay Cocks put it in Time magazine, Travis had not redefined country so much as reminded everyone of its truest instincts.

Travis was discovered in Nashville just as public taste began to reacquaint itself with conventional country music. His songs of love, heartache, and the realities of blue-collar life endeared himand thus, country music itselfto a generation of listeners raised on rock and roll. In 1991 Pulse! contributor Robert Gordon equated Travis with country musics return to basics, explaining how the singer rode the crest of the New Traditionalist movement which began halfway through the last decade, establishing an expansive audience that Nashville never knew existed.

Whether writing his own songs or choosing others to record, Travis steered clear of material even slightly pop- or rock-oriented. He has sung duos with such country music standard-bearers as George Jones, Roy Rogers, and Tammy Wynette. Traviss heartfelt dedication to pure country forms indeed proved the catalyst to his success; as Pulse! contributor Gordon suggested, he was in the right place at the right time, with a powerful strain of conviction in his performance. You will know the voice right away, even if you have never heard it, Cocks reported. A backcountry baritone canters along a line of swaying melody, taking it easy, taking everything easy. The prides, the miseries, the dalliances and departures that are the mother lode of country music, all are delved into an delivered up with the sidling grace of an unordained preacher taking the back door to honky-tonk heaven.

Learned From Williams, Haggard, and Jones

I do try to sing with as much feeling as I can, Travis told the New York Times Magazine. I lived a lot. I did a lot. I got started early, doin a lot of things. Thats some of what I learned from Hank [Williams Sr.] and [Merle Haggard] and [George] Jonesbecause when you listen to them sing a song, they can just make you

For the Record

Born Randy Traywick, May 4, 1959, in Marshville, NC; son of Harold (owner of a construction company and farmer) and Bobbie (a textile worker) Traywick; married Lib Hatcher (his manager), May 31, 1991.

Began performing with brother Ricky as The Traywick Brothers, c. 1969; began solo career, c. 1973; performed at Country City U.S.A., Charlotte, NC, 1976-81, and the Nashville Palace, Nashville, TN, 1981-85; signed with Warner Bros. records and released first single, On the Other Hand, 1985; became member of Grand Ole Opry, 1987; has toured America, Canada, and Europe; performed at President George Bushs inaugural ball, 1989.

Selected awards: Academy of Country Music top new male vocalist award, 1985; Country Music Association Horizon Award and Academy of Country Music top male vocalist award, album of the year award, for Storms of Life, and best single award, for On the Other Hand, all 1986; Country Music Association male vocalist of the year award, album of the year award, for Always and Forever, and single of the year award, for Forever and Ever, Amen, all 1987; Grammy Awards for best country vocal performance/male, 1987, 1988, and 1993; American Music Award for favorite male vocalist/country, 1989, 1990.

Addresses: Management The Lib Hatcher Agency, P.O. Box 121137, 1610 16th Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37212.

believe everything about it. They just sing to you like it really happened to them. And to me, thats what singins all about.

Travis was born Randy Traywick in Marshville, North Carolina, on May 4, 1959, one of five children. Both of his parents worked full-timehis father owned a construction company and his mother worked in a textile mill. The Traywicks owned a farm, too, and Randy helped raise turkeys and cattle. Harold Traywick, however, had other ambitions for his son. The elder Traywick was a fan of old-time country music, especially the works of Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, Ernest Tubb, Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers. Young Randy grew up listening to recordings from another era and despite the pull of rock and roll, fell in love with the country sound. My brothers and sisters, people I went to school withI mean, all of themwere definitely into rock n roll, Travis told Time. Sure, I heard it. I mean, if I was riding in a car with them, I didnt have a lot of choice. But it never really appealed to me that much.

Father Encouraged Performing Career

What did appeal to Travis was country music, especially the George Jones and Merle Haggard songs of the late 1960s and early 1970s. When Travis was only ten, his father bought him a Gibson guitar for Christmas. A brother, Ricky, received a set of drums. With their parents enthusiastic approval, the two began performing as The Traywick Brothers at local functions. Randy was still in grade school. My folks pushed me to do it, Travis told People magazine. It has always been in Daddys mind especially. Travis absolutely hated school, dropping out before finishing the ninth grade. For a while he worked on his fathers turkey farm and in the construction business, but he seemed more bent on getting into trouble than making a living.

He continued to performnow as a solo singerin tough venues where acts would be protected from the audience by chain link fence. Soon Travis was drinking excessively and using drugs. He has been brutally candid about his troubled teen years, telling Newsweek that he began drinking at 12 and using drugs at 14. Sometimes a lot harder drugs, but at least marijuana every day, he admitted. I think all that was part of why I got into so much trouble. Because I drank so much and did so many drugs that it was like it wasnt me. It was like another person was in control. Nobody can handle that kind of abuse. You go crazy, youre not mentally in control. Im just thankful that cocaine wasnt around when I was going through my bad time. Id have probably died. Id have probably killed myself with it.

As it was, Travis nearly ruined his health and almost landed in prison before his eighteenth birthday. I cant count the times Ive been in jail, he told Time. Once he was arrested for leading police on a high-speed chase. Another time the charge was breaking and entering. Travis was saved, literally, by his voice. During one of his stable periods he had won a talent contest at Country City U.S.A., a nightclub in Charlotte, North Carolina. The clubs owner, Lib Hatcher, was bowled over by his sincere delivery and shy presence on stage. Hatcher gave Travis the second chance he needed to stay out of jail and reconstruct his life. She told him he could be a big star and that she could help him get to the top. He believed her. The main reason I eventually got straightened out was that I met my manager, Lib Hatcher, Travis told Stereo Review in 1989. She gives great advice, and finally I found someone I could talk to. I never had that before. It was really a combination of her and my music. For the first time I took the music business seriously. It gave me something actually to do.

Rescued by Lib Hatcher

At 17, facing five years in prison for the breaking and entering charge, Travis was spared prison when Hatcher appeared in court on his behalf; she told the judge she would employ Travis full-time and take responsibility for him. She was granted custody, and Travis was warned that the next time he appeared in court, he had better bring his toothbrush. Thus, in 1976, a partnership began that would bring stardom to Travis and a millionaire lifestyle to the woman who believed in him. Travis moved in with Hatcher and her husband and began to sing regularly at Country City U.S.A. Hatchers marriage ended shortly thereafter, and she devoted more and more of her energy to advancing Traviss career. She moved her club into a new building with more seats and scraped together $10,000 to record two singles on a tiny Louisiana record label.

Faith alone propelled the pair through some lean years. Travis told Country America magazine: Lib and I have seen numerous Christmases together, and sometimes we didnt feel like we had very much to celebrate. Before we moved to Nashville, there were some pretty hard times in North Carolina.... For several years there, neither of us could really afford to buy much of anything for anybody. I was working at the nightclub in Charlotte that Lib owned, and it wasnt doing too well. There was hardly any money changing hands.

In 1980 Hatcher sold her Charlotte club and moved with Travis to Nashville. There they rented a bungalow on 16th Avenue, in the famed Music Row area, and sought work in which Travis would be most visible. Hatcher found a position managing the Nashville Palace, one of the many restaurants featuring live music located within a stones throw of the Opryland complex. Travis went to work at the Palace as a short-order cook and singer. Billed as Randy Ray, he would cook, wash dishes, sing, and then wash more dishes. He often worked from dawn until two a.m. I dont know why I didnt get discouraged, he told People. Lack of sense or something. Almost every record company in Nashville turned down Randy Ray at least once; Warner Bros. passed him over twice. Still Hatcher persisted, inviting Grand Ole Opry stars in to sing at the Palace and to hear her young protege.

Signed With Warner Bros

Then Traviss style caught up with the times. The early 1980s saw the emergence of George Strait, Ricky Skaggs, and Reba McEntire, all performers with pure countryrather than pop, or countrypolitan, as the 1970s trend toward watered-down country was calledorientation. Though Nashville executives still preferred artists with crossover potential, pointing to the success of the Charlie Daniels Band and Alabama among teens, Warner Bros. senior vice president Martha Sharp nevertheless went to the Palace to hear Randy Ray perform in 1985 and offered him a contract on the spot. I loved his voice, she told the Los Angeles Times. But I knew I was going to get a lot of guff. The prevailing opinion at that time was that he was too country, nothing that country would work. Still, my gut told me to go ahead.

The first thing Sharp did was change Randy Traywicks stage name to Randy Travis. Then she encouraged him to focus on his strengthsespecially his robust but edgy voice and the vein of irony that helped temper his more sentimental songs. Traviss first album, Storms of Life, was released by Warner Bros. in June of 1986 with anticipated sales of 20,000 units. By the end of the year it had sold more than a million copies and yielded four hit singles: 1982, On the Other Hand, Diggin Up Bones, and Reasons I Cheat. Storms catapulted Travis from anonymity to becoming the winner of the Country Music Associations coveted Horizon Awardthe equivalent of a rookie of the year honor.

During his years of struggle Travis and his band had journeyed to concerts in a converted bread truck; equipment was hauled in a van and horse trailer. By the beginning of 1987, the Travis entouragestill ably managed by Hatchertraveled in the comfort of a $500,000 bus. Hatcher also found Travis a publicist, who signed the engaging young singer to some unlikely television appearances, including one on the rock-oriented Saturday Night Live. Through shrewd management and sheer hard work, Travis soon eclipsed many of the other New Traditionalists. His second album, Always and Forever, sold well over three million copies and remained at the Number One position on the country charts for a record 43 weeks. The releases most popular hit single, Forever and Ever, Amen was named favorite country single of 1987 by both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.

Developed Talents

In 1988 the former cook at the Nashville Palace found himself performing at Londons Royal Albert Hall, with Rolling Stone Mick Jagger in the audience. By that time Travis had massed three platinum albums and scores of fans, many of whom had never before given country music a second glance. As Bob Millard put it in Country Music magazine, Traviss popularity had grown to the point that he can sell a million copies of anything with his voice on it. Still, Travis is not the type to rest on his laurels. As a member of the Grand Ole Opry, he could have settled in and comfortably churned out his trademark hits year after year as other singers came and went. Instead, the singer stretched his musical skills by writing more of his own material and tinkering with his stylewithout abandoning the pure country sound that made him famous. His 1991 album, High Lonesome, yielded two hits he co-wrote with country up-and-comer Alan Jackson, Better Class of Losers and Forever Together. The latter, a heartfelt ballad of devotion to a loved one, crested the charts just as Travis married Lib Hatcher, in May of 1991.

Through it all Travis has remained modest about his success and grateful that he has made his mark without compromising to fit markets beyond country. I have a voice that sounds like a country singer, and theres no way around that, he told Stereo Review. Plus, I dont want to do anything else. I love country music. Country Music contributor Michael Bane called Travis your basic lightning rod, adding, With his successes, the floodgates opened, and, as it always has, country music changed, evolved. Within a few years, the business belonged to the men with hats, traditional male vocalists. Some of these hat acts, in factmost notably country phenomenon and pop music fan Garth Brooksoutshined Travis in the early 1990s. As Alanna Nash concluded in Entertainment Weekly, Traviss success opened the door to all those guys... and they owe him more than a wave as they pass him by on the charts.

What they also owe Travis is respect for his tenacity and his integrity as a country musician first and a crossover artist second. The singer who lists his own personal favorites as George Jones and Merle Haggard told Pulse!, Country music has changed some, but it still addresses the things that everyday people go through in everyday life. To me thats what country music is about.

Selected discography

On Warner Bros. Records, except where noted

Storms of Life (includes 1982, On the Other Hand, Diggin Up Bones, and Reasons I Cheat), 1986.

Always and Forever, 1987.

Old 8 × 10, 1988.

An Old Time Christmas, 1989.

No Holdin Back, 1989.

Heroes and Friends, 1990.

High Lonesome (includes Better Class of Losers and Forever Together), 1991.

Greatest Hits (2 volumes), 1992.

(Contributor)Barcelona Gold, 1992.

(Contributor)A Very Special Christmas II, A&M, 1992.

Soundtrack, 1993.

Sources

Books

Newsmakers 1988, Gale, 1989.

Vaughan, Andrew, Whos Who in New Country Music, St. Martins, 1989.

Periodicals

Chicago Tribune, November 13, 1986; February 22, 1987.

Country America, January 1992.

Country Music, January/February 1991; March/April 1991; November/December 1991; January/February 1992; July/August 1992.

Entertainment Weekly, March 20, 1992.

Los Angeles Times, March 6, 1988.

Newsweek, October 27, 1986; October 16, 1989; October 22, 1990.

New York Times Magazine, June 25, 1989.

People, November 10, 1986; June 24, 1991.

Pulse!, November 1991.

Stereo Review, September 1987; June 1989.

Time, June 22, 1987; July 25, 1988.

Washington Post, February 15, 1987.

Additional information for this profile was obtained from Warner Bros, media information, 1992.

Anne Janette Johnson

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Travis, Randy." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Travis, Randy." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/travis-randy

"Travis, Randy." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/travis-randy

Travis, Randy 1959–

TRAVIS, Randy 1959–

PERSONAL

Original name, Randy Bruce Traywick; born May 4, 1959, in Marshville, NC; son of Harold (a construction business owner, horse breeder, and turkey farmer) and Bobbie (a textile factory worker) Traywick; married Elizabeth "Lib" Hatcher (his manager), May 31, 1991.

Addresses: Agent—William Morris Agency, One William Morris Place, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Office—c/o PO Box 121137, Nashville, TN 37212.

Career: Singer, songwriter, and actor. Began playing guitar at age eight, and at ten formed a duo with brother Ricky called the Traywick Brothers; also performed in local clubs and talent shows at a young age; signed record deal with Paula Records, 1978; had record deal with Warner Bros., 1985–97; signed record deal with DreamWorks, 1997. Previously worked as a cook, Country City, U.S.A., Charlotte, NC.

Member: Grand Ole Opry.

Awards, Honors: Horizon Award, Country Music Association, 1986; Grammy Award, best country vocal—male, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, American Music Award, best country album, Country Music Award, best album, Country Music Association, 1987, all for Always and Forever; American Music Awards, best country single, and best country video, Country Music Award, best single, Country Music Association, 1987, all for "Forever and Ever, Amen"; American Music Award, country male artist of the year, 1987; Academy of Country Music, top male vocalist, 1987; Music City News, male vocalist of the year, and star of tomorrow, 1987; Country Music Award, male vocalist of the year, Country Music Association, 1987; Grammy Award, best country vocal-male, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, 1988, for Old 8 × 10; American Music Award, country single of the year, 1988, for "I Told You So"; Music City News, entertainer of the year, and male artist of the year, 1988; Nashville Network Viewers Choice Awards, favorite entertainer, 1988; Country Music Award, best male vocalist, Country Music Association, 1988; American Music Award, best country male artist, 1988; American Music Award, best country single, 1989, for "Deeper Than the Holler"; People's Choice Award, favorite male musical performer, 1989; American Music Award, country male artist, 1989; Billboard Music Award, male country artist, 1990; People's Choice Award, favorite male country musical performer, 1990; Golden Angel Award, 1990; Grammy Award (with others), best country collaboration with vocals, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, 1999, for "Same Old Train"; Dove Award, country/bluegrass album of the year, Gospel Music Association, 2001, for Inspirational Journey; Dove Award, country recorded song of the year, Gospel Music Association, 2001, for "Baptism"; Mainstream Country Artist of the Year, Christian Country Music Association, 2003; Dove Award, Gospel Music Association, 2003, Grammy Award, best Southern, country, or bluegrass gospel album, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, 2004, both for Rise and Shine; Country Music Award, song of the year, Country Music Association, Christian Country Music Association Award, song of the year, 2003, Academy of Country Music Award, song of the year, Dove Award, country recorded song of the year, Gospel Music Association Award, 2004, all for "Three Wooden Crosses"; Dove Award, country album of the year, Gospel Music Association, 2004, Grammy Award, best Southern, country or bluegrass, gospel album, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, 2005, for Worship & Faith; Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, 2004.

CREDITS

Film Appearances:

Ring member, Young Guns, Fox, 1988.

The Legend of O. B. Taggart (also known as The Outlaws: Legend of O. B. Taggart), 1994.

Ellison, At Risk, 1994.

Narrator/Billy (adult), Annabelle's Wish, 1997.

Ken Adams, Fire Down Below, Columbia, 1997.

Billy Porter, The Rainmaker (also known as John Grisham's "The Rainmaker"), Paramount, 1997.

Earl, Black Dog, MCA/Universal, 1998.

Lloyd Clauswell, Boys Will Be Boys, A-Pix Entertainment, 1998.

Storm of the Heart, 1998.

Control room technician, Baby Geniuses, Columbia TriStar, 1999.

Sheriff Becker, The White River Kid (also known as White River), 1999.

Businessman, The Million Dollar Kid, A-Pix Entertainment, 2000.

John Claiborne, John John in the Sky (also known as I'll Wave Back), Monarch Home Video, 2000.

Pecos Jim (evil video game gunslinger), The Cactus Kid, 2000.

Frank Bones, Texas Rangers, Miramax, 2001.

Jack Fowler/Jack Cole, The Long Ride Home, Lions Gate Films, 2003.

Narrator, Apple Jack (also known as The Legend of Apple Jack), 2003.

Kyle Sherman, The Visitation, Twentieth Century-Fox, 2006.

Television Appearances; Series:

Wayne, Touched by an Angel, CBS, 1994–2003.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Captain Sam Garner, Texas (also known as James A. Michener's "Texas"), ABC, 1995.

Television Appearances; Movies:

U.S. Marshall Harriman, Dead Man's Revenge, USA Network, 1994.

Clay Traynor, A Holiday to Remember, CBS, 1995.

Cole Younger, Frank and Jesse, HBO, 1995.

Pony Cobb, Edie & Pen (also known as Desert Gamble), HBO, 1996.

Revvin' Reverend Wally Jones, Steel Chariots, Fox, 1997.

Jim, TNT, HBO, 1998.

Kyle, The Shooter (also known as Desert Shooter), 1999.

Charlie Burden, Jr., The Trial of Old Drum, Animal Planet, 2000.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Country Music Legends, PBS, 1987.

The Music Makers: An ASCAP Celebration of American Music at Wolf Trap, PBS, 1987.

A Country Music Celebration: The 30th Anniversary of the Country Music Association, CBS, 1988.

A Very Special Christmas Party, ABC, 1988.

Country Music Crossroads, PBS, 1988.

Opryland Celebrates 200 Years of America's Music, syndicated, 1988.

Ooh-La-La—It's Bob Hope's Fun Birthday Spectacular From Paris' Bicentennial, NBC, 1989.

Thanks, Troubadour, Thanks (documentary), TNN, 1989.

The Presidential Inaugural Gala, CBS, 1989.

The Valvoline National Driving Test, CBS, 1989.

Fairs and Festivals: Fan Fair/Nashville, TNN, 1990.

Funny Business with Charlie Chase III, TNN, 1990.

In the Hank Williams Tradition, TNN, 1990.

Late Night with David Letterman Eighth Anniversary Special, NBC, 1990.

TNN's All-Star Salute to Country Music, TNN, 1990.

Tribute to John Lennon, syndicated, 1990.

Celebration of Country, ABC, 1991.

A Festival at Ford's, ABC, 1991.

Influences: George Jones and Randy Travis, TNN, 1991.

Randy Travis-Happy Trails, TNN, 1991.

Ray Charles: 50 Years in Music, Uh-Huh! (also known as Ray Charles: 50 Years in Music), Fox, 1991.

The All-Star Salute to Our Troops, CBS, 1991.

Victory & Valor: A Special Olympics All-Star Celebration, ABC, 1991.

Voices That Care, Fox, 1991.

Burt Reynolds' Conversations With …, TNN, 1992.

Country Music Hall of Fame 25, TNN, 1992.

Loretta Lynn: The Seasons of My Life, TNN, 1992.

The Best of Country '92: Countdown at the Neon Armadillo, TNN, 1992.

The Academy of Country Music's Greatest Hits, NBC, 1993.

The Andy Griffith Show Reunion, CBS, 1993.

Wind in the Wire, ABC, 1993.

An Evening with Randy Travis and Special Guests, TNN, 1994.

Merle Haggard: An American Story (documentary), TNN, 1994.

Grand Ole Opry 70th Anniversary, CBS, 1996.

Interviewee, Ralph Emery: On the Record with Randy Travis, TNN, 1996.

71st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, NBC, 1997.

Countryfest '97, CBS, 1997.

Country Honors "The Prince of Egypt," TNN, 1998.

More True Stories from "Touched by an Angel," CBS, 1999.

Tammy Wynette Remembered, TNN, 1999.

Voice of James Madison, Founding Fathers (documentary), History Channel, 2000.

Academy of Country Music Pre-Show, CMT, 2004.

CMT 100 Greatest Love Songs of Country Music, CMT, 2004.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

The 21st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, NBC, 1986.

The 21st Annual Country Music Association Awards, CBS, 1987.

The 21st Annual Music City News Country Awards, syndicated, 1987.

The 22nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, NBC, 1987.

The 29th Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 1987.

The American Music Awards, ABC, 1987.

The 22nd Annual Country Music Association Awards, CBS, 1988.

The 23rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, NBC, 1988.

The 30th Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 1988.

The American Music Awards, ABC, 1988.

The 23rd Annual Country Music Association Awards, CBS, 1989.

The 23rd Annual Music City News Country Awards, syndicated, 1989.

The 24th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, NBC, 1989.

The 31st Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 1989.

The American Music Awards, ABC, 1989.

The 24th Annual Music City News Country Awards, TNN, 1990.

The 24th Annual Country Music Association Awards, 1990.

The 25th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, NBC, 1990.

The 32nd Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 1990.

The American Music Awards, ABC, 1990.

Music City News Country Songwriters Awards, TNN, 1991.

The 25th Annual Music City News Country Awards, TNN, 1991.

The 33rd Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 1991.

The 26th Annual Country Music Association Awards, CBS, 1992.

Presenter, The 27th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, NBC, 1992.

Music City News Country Songwriters Awards, TNN, 1993.

The 28th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, NBC, 1993.

The 29th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, NBC, 1994.

Music City News Country Songwriters Awards, 1994.

Presenter, The American Music Awards, ABC, 1995.

The 30th Annual Country Music Association Awards, CBS, 1996.

Host, TNN Music City News Country Awards, TNN, 1997.

Presenter, The 23rd Annual People's Choice Awards, CBS, 1997.

Presenter, The 32nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, NBC, 1997.

The 32nd Annual Country Music Association Awards, CBS, 1998.

The 33rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, CBS, 1998.

Presenter, The 26th Annual American Music Awards, ABC, 1998.

The 34th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, CBS, 1999.

Performer, American Veteran Awards, History Channel, 2002.

The 35th Annual GMA Music Awards, UPN, 2004.

Presenter, The 39th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, CBS, 2004.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Super Dave, Showtime, 1987.

Saturday Night Live, NBC, 1988.

Guest, Late Night with David Letterman, NBC, 1989.

This Is VH1 Country, VH1, 1989.

Himself, "Strange Bedfellows," Down Home, 1991.

Opry Backstage, TNN, 1991.

Billy Wheeler, "The Big Payoff," Matlock, 1992.

Billy Wheeler, "The Mark," Matlock, 1993.

The Road, TNN, 1994.

Guest caller Steve, "A Word to the Wiseguy," Frasier, NBC, 1996.

Guest, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, 1996, 1997, 1998.

Ideal man, "The True Adventures of Rudy Kazootie," Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, 1996.

Voice of My Hyunh and Travis Randall, "Dangerous Lumber/Mr. Hyunh Goes Country," Hey Arnold! (animated), Nickelodeon, 1998.

Voice, "Peggy's Fan Fair," King of the Hill (animated), 2000.

John Hagee, TBN, 2000.

Blue's Clues, Nickelodeon, 2002.

Himself, Big Time, The WB, 2004.

RECORDINGS

Albums:

Too Gone Too Long, 1983.

Storms of Life, Warner Bros., 1986.

Always and Forever, Warner Bros., 1987.

Old 8×10, Warner Bros., 1988.

No Holdin' Back, Warner Bros., 1989.

An Old-Time Christmas, Warner Bros., 1989.

Heroes and Friends, Warner Bros., 1990.

High Lonesome, Warner Bros., 1991.

Wind in the Wire, Warner Bros., 1992.

Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, Warner Bros., 1992.

This Is Me, Warner Bros., 1994.

Forever and Ever … The Best of, Warner Bros., 1995.

Full Circle, Warner Bros., 1996.

You and You Alone, DreamWorks, 1998.

Greatest #1 Hits, Warner Bros., 1998.

A Man Ain't Made of Stone, DreamWorks, 1999.

Super Hits Vol. 1, Warner Bros., 2000.

Inspirational Journey, Warner Bros., 2000.

Live: It Was Just a Matter of Time, Image Entertainment, 2001.

Trail of Memories: The Randy Travis Anthology, Rhino Records, 2002.

Rise and Shine, Warner Bros., 2002.

The Essential Randy Travis, Warner, 2003.

Worship & Faith, Word Entertainment, 2003.

The Very Best of Randy Travis, Warner Bros./Rhino, 2004.

Passing Through, Word Entertainment, 2004.

Glory Train, Word Entertainment, 2005.

Video:

Forever & Ever, 1981.

This Is Me, Warner Bros., 1994.

Live: It was Just a Matter of Time, 2001.

Randy Travis: Worship & Faith, Word Entertainment, 2003.

WRITINGS

Film Music:

The Legend of O. B. Taggart (also known as The Outlaws: Legend of O. B. Taggart), 1994.

Casper's Haunted Christmas (animated; also known as Le noel hante de Casper), MCA/Universal, 2000.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

Contemporary Musicians, Volume 9, Gale Research, 1993.

Cusic, Don, Randy Travis: The King of the New Country Traditionalists, St. Martin's Press, 1990.

Periodicals:

In Style, April 1, 2000, pp. 520.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Travis, Randy 1959–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Travis, Randy 1959–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/travis-randy-1959

"Travis, Randy 1959–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/travis-randy-1959

Travis, Randy

RANDY TRAVIS

Born: Randy Traywick; Marshville, North Carolina, 4 May 1959

Genre: Country

Best-selling album since 1990: Heroes and Friends (1990)

Hit songs since 1990: "Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart," "Forever Together," "Whisper My Name"


During the late 1980s and early 1990s Randy Travis was one of country music's most commercially successful singers, writing and recording hits that, with their sparse instrumentation, recalled the "classic country" sound of the 1960s. Critics and fans agree that Travis imbues his songs with honesty and sincerity, radiating a down-home goodness that rarely cloys. His most remarkable asset, however, is his voice: Rich and creamy, ranging from a lustrous bass to a keening baritone, it is distinctive and recognizable. Unlike contemporary country singers such as George Strait and Alan Jackson, who possess strong if not brilliant voices, Travis's voice bears an inbred emotional pull, a special vocal catch that stamps each of his recordings with charm and personality.

Travis's humble, self-effacing public personality belies the roughness of his early life in rural North Carolina. His father, a country music fan, encouraged Randy and his brother Ricky to play guitar at an early age. Although the two performed locally as the Traywick Brothers, Travis spent the larger portion of his youth dealing with an array of legal misdemeanors. Fueled by alcohol and drugs, he was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon in 1975 and of breaking and entering twice in 1976. During the mid-1970s he moved to the nearby city of Charlotte, North Carolina, where he began performing at a club, Country City U.S.A. The club's owner, Lib Hatcher, was so impressed with Travis's voice and talents that she became his manager, leaving her husband and moving with Travis to Nashville in 1982. Together the pair, who married in 1991, slowly made inroads into the country music industry.

1980s Neo-traditionalist

During the early 1980s country music still bore the effects of the "countrypolitan" sound of the 1970s, a style that often buried singers in pop-oriented, string-laden arrangements. In this ornate musical climate, Travis's stripped-down performance style was rejected by several record labels as sounding too country. Eventually Hatcher arranged for Travis to be signed to Warner Bros. Records, for whom he released his debut album, Storms of Life, in 1986. Along with the contemporaneous work of Strait and others, Storms of Life heralded a back-to-basics approach in country, employing traditional instruments such as steel pedal guitar. Drawing strength from its refreshing, pared-down sound and Travis's compelling voice, the album sold 3 million copies.

Travis soon embarked on a string of hits that embodied old-fashioned ideals of romantic constancy and humility while retaining a winning sense of humor. On hits such as the catchy "Forever and Ever, Amen" (1987) he conveys an infectious, easygoing charm: "As long as old men sit and talk about the weather . . . I'm gonna love you forever and ever." Travis's affable demeanor and good looks enhanced his popularity; tall and lanky, he radiated a boyish quality that contrasted with the gravelly maturity of his voice.


1990s Maturity

Travis's hit-making streak slowed down somewhat in the early 1990s, superseded by the work of artists such as Garth Brooks, who found success by incorporating hard rock elements into his music. Still, Travis hit the country charts with regularity, recording fine albums that display his vocal richness. Rarely does Travis's voice rise to more than a mild push; in fact, critics observe that if his singing has a weakness it is that it sometimes sounds overly mellow or sleepy. On "That's Where I Draw the Line," a song from This Is Me (1994), he gives an indication of how much he holds in reserve by belting the line, "I won't let you break my mind," with full vocal power. Coming suddenly during an otherwise restrained performance, it is cited by critics as a moment that demands attention. Tasteful and intelligent, Travis uses his upper range sparingly, as a means of giving the lyrics special emphasis.

On one of his finest albums, Full Circle (1996), he demonstrates how his art lies in subtleties of vocal shading and texture. "Future Mister Me," a self-penned ballad featuring a great country themeTravis comes face to face with his ex-wife's fiancéeis punctuated by his dips into a smoky bass register, almost spectral in its quiet intensity. Midway through the song Travis shifts the narrative focus to the ex-wife, attesting that, "if I can see you're in good hands / maybe I can make it without you." The line, arresting in its selflessness, reveals the humanitarian core lying beneath Travis's art, saving even the most timeworn material from sounding clichéd.

In 2000, after a gradual religious conversion inspired by his wife, Travis released Inspirational Journey, an album of contemporary gospel songs. While it addresses themes of sin and salvation, the album is similar in sound to Travis's secular work, sparsely produced and instrumentally restrained. Vocally Travis sounds invigorated, however, imparting to "Doctor Jesus" an aching quality that evinces genuine emotion. On the engaging, spirited "Feet on the Rock," he opens with a spoken intro bearing the charisma of an old-time country preacher, then quickly shifts the song into an up-tempo swing number. With its rocking, good-time feel, Inspirational Journey proves that, even when aiming for a higher purpose, gospel music can appeal to the body as well as the soul. In 2002 Travis released a follow-up gospel album, Rise and Shine.

Travis stands as one of the few modern country singers to approach the vocal artistry of 1960s legends such as George Jones, a singer with whom he shares a similar aching vocal quality. In the late 1980s Travis found success through eschewing pop influences for a return to country's roots, then lost his commercial footing as the industry shifted back to pop in the 1990s. Through it all he has retained his distinctive, oak-mellowed voice, continuing to record music that is tasteful and inspiring.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Storms of Life (Warner Bros., 1986); Old 8x10 (Warner Bros, 1988); Heroes and Friends (Warner Bros., 1990); This Is Me (Warner Bros., 1994); Full Circle (Warner Bros., 1996); Inspirational Journey (Warner Bros., 2000); Rise and Shine (Warner Bros., 2002).

david freeland

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Travis, Randy." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Travis, Randy." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/travis-randy

"Travis, Randy." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/travis-randy