Randy Traywick, also known as Randy Travis, was born in Marshville, North Carolina on May 4, 1959. He was the second of six children.
Randy had their farm as his backyard. By the age of 6, Randy has already been exposed to different tasks on the farm like training horses and working cattle. The works and music produced by legendary country artists Hank Williams, Lefty Frizell, and Gene Autry captured the ear of the young Randy. When he was 10, Randy learned to play the guitar.
Randy faced several issues as a teenager. His love for country music found a new rival in Randy’s life. Drugs and Alcohol were the major driving forces that led Randy to go astray from country music. Thus, Randy and his family had a deteriorating relationship. He dropped out of school and shortly held a job as a construction worker. Randy’s records would read several cases for assault, breaking and entering, as well as other criminal charges.
With all the charges that Randy was facing early in his life, he was bound to be imprisoned at the age of 18. If it was not through Elizabeth Hatcher, Randy could have spent time in prison at a very young age. Elizabeth Hatcher and Randy met at a night club. Elizabeth was the manager and Randy was once performer in the said night club.
Hatcher realized the potential that the music Randy was producing. With that being said, Elizabeth convinced the judges that she would become his legal guardian. Hatcher spent the next few years honing Randy’s talents. Randy had regular appearances to perform at Elizabeth’s country clubs.
Randy experienced success with a minor recording in 1981 with an independent label. Both Hatcher and Randy moved on the same year to Nashville, Tennessee. Hatcher found a job at the Nashville Palace, a club near the Grand Ole Opry as a manager while Randy worked as a short-order cook.
Path to Stardom
Success didn’t come quickly for Randy. It was until Randy signed with Warner Bros. Records in 1985. Randy released his first single “On The Other Hand.” Unfortunately, the song didn’t attract much. With a disappointing debut single, Warner Bros. decided to release Randy’s second solo, “1982,” which managed to crack into the top 10 of the charts.
With the groundbreaking success of “1982”, the label decided to release yet another song. “On The Other Hand” immediately after its release blasted its way to the top of the country music charts. In 1986, Travis released his album “Storms Of Life,” which held on to the top spot for eight weeks and sold over five million copies.
After the success that Travis has experienced for the past years, it was not a surprise to see the Awards and Accolades that he would be receiving. In 1986, Travis would be invited to become a part of the members of the prestigious Grand Ole Opry. The following year, Randy Travis received a Grammy Award and a Country Music Association Award as the Male Vocalist of the Year.
Travis released three more albums namely, Old 8 X 10 (1988), No Holdin’ Back (1989) and Heroes And Friends (1990), that featured duets with George Jones, Tammy Wynette, B.B. King and Roy Rogers that also sold millions of copies.
Travis did concentrate on an acting career. As the 1990s progressed, he starred in several roles in the made-for-TV movies such as Dead Man’s Revenge (1994) and Steel Chariots (1997); and was seen on some of the televisions’ most popular series, including Touched By an Angel, Fraiser and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
Travis gained several supporting roles in films, “The Rainmaker” (1997), “T.N.T.”(1998) and “The Million Dollar Kid” (1999). With his success in his acting career, Travis’ music career thrived as well. He released “Full Circle” (1996), “You and You Alone”(1998) and “A Man Ain’t Made out of Stone” (1999).
With the contributions that Travis made, he was able to pave the way for young artists who sought to return to go back to the traditional sound of country music. The artist that produced this new innovative sound was later called as the “New Traditionalist.” Travis was looked up by the future country stars Garth Brooks, Clint Black, and Travis Tritt.
Travis and his longtime manager would, later on, get married in 1991. The ceremony was held on a private island of Maui. The couple would be together until 2010.
A 53-year-old Travis was arrested for drunk driving in Texas in August 2012. ABC News released a statement regarding the accident that the call was made by another driver. Travis was seen shirtless and was said to be taking a nap on the side of the road.
Travis was also charged for retaliation and obstruction for threatening to shoot and kill at the scene. The singer was under the custody of the officers and was said to be naked. The following day, Travis was released after paying $21,500.
After a year of his arrest, Travis made the headlines again. Not for another case but for having a complication related to a heart condition. This caused the singer to be admitted to a Texas hospital. With a finding of congestive heart failure, he underwent treatment but suffered a stroke during the process that left him in critical condition.
Kirt Webster, Travis’ promoter, said that Travis underwent surgery to relieve pressure on his brain following his stroke. Webster also emphasized the need for prayers and support for the country star. The stroke held Travis to be under rehabilitation. As a result, Travis lost his ability to speak and had difficulty walking. But in the years since, he has made progress and started to re-learn to play the guitar and sing.
Three years past after his stroke and heart complications, Travis amazed fans as he rendered an emotional version of “Amazing Grace” at the 2016 induction ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Travis continues to recover up until today. Yet, his speech and mobility continue to slowly improve.
B.B. King, Clint Black, Garth Brooks, Gene Autry, George Jones, Lefty frizell, Randy Travis, Roy Rogers, Tammy Wynette, Travis Tritt
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