Country heartthrob, Josh Turner, has been sharing some covers recently. He started a series on his YouTube channel called “Keepin’ It Country.” It’s Turner’s way of honoring his country-singing heroes.
In every installment, Turner takes the time to recognize an artist he considers to be on his “Mount Rushmore” of country music. And for his third “Keepin’ It Country” video, Turner added the great Randy Travis to the list and sang “Forever and Ever, Amen” in his honor.
Randy Travis, who has one of the most iconic voices in the world of country music, was more than just a role model and an inspiration to Turner. In fact, he was the reason why the young singer moved to Nashville.
“Continuing with my Mount Rushmore of Country Music I’m gonna focus on Randy Travis right now and what more can I say about Randy Travis other than he’s a living legend, and icon, one of my big heroes, he’s the reason I moved to Nashville. I’m indebted to him for all he’s taught and all he’s continuing to teach me,” Turner said before belting out his fantastic version.
A Country Classic Forever and Ever, Amen
One of the most romantic country ballads was born in 1987 when Randy Travis released “Forever and Ever, Amen.” The song was penned by Nashville luminaries, songwriters Don Schlitz and Paul Overstreet. The two have a long pedigree of domestic country hit.
The song was inspired by Schlitz’s son, who often tells his mother, “Mommy, I love you forever and ever, Amen,” after saying his nightly prayers. After Schlitz relayed the sentimental message to Overstreet, the two wrote the song within just a couple of hours. And the next day, they immediately recorded the demo version of the song. The material was then pitched to Randy Travis, and it was the best decision ever made.
When the song was released in March 1987, it debuted on Billboard’s country charts a month after. The song also peaked at No. 1 for three weeks. It was no longer a surprise when the romantic ballad was heavily lauded in the country community. “Forever and Ever, Amen” won a Grammy for Best Country & Western Song at the 30th Annual Grammy Awards in 1988. It also claimed Song of the Year awards from the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.
Forever and Ever, Amen Becoming Iconic
Just about three decades past its release, “Forever and Ever, Amen” was certified Gold by the RIAA. This makes it Travis’ first solo single to gain an RIAA certification. Back in 2006, Randy Travis teamed up with Josh Turner for an unreal duet of the iconic country ballad during CMT’s “Cross Country.” And it was pure and magical.
The country superstars traded off singing the romantic lyrics, and it surely melted the hearts of every woman in the audience. Their individual solos throughout the entire performance were absolutely captivating. But the best part is definitely when they intertwined their vocals for amazing harmonies.
Try as you may, but it’d be challenging to find any artist who can deliver a more pure, traditional country song better than Randy Travis or Josh Turner.