In the year 1959 Randy Travis was born as the second of six children in Marshville, North Carolina. His father was a horse breeder named Harold Traywick and his mother, a stay at home mom named Bobbie. It became clear at an early age that both he and his brother had their own music talents, and their father encouraged them to pursue them. Having been a fan of Hank Williams, George Jones, and Lefty Frizzel, their father was obviously excited at the prospect of having musicians in the family. Randy Travis, at the age of eight, started to play guitar and sing in church. Two years after that, he, along with his brother, started to perform at local clubs and talent shows under the name: The Traywick Brothers. Randy, often at odds with his father, ended up dropping out of high school and became somewhat of a juvenile delinquent. There were multiple arrests for auto theft and burglary, but in 1975, Randy placed first in a talent show hosted at Country Club USA, a nightclub. The owner, Elizabeth Hatcher hired him on as a cook and allowed him regular singing jobs at the establishment. Randy Travis, at least for the moment, would have one more encounter with the law, and the judge overseeing the case, while lenient, promised a much harsher sentence should Travis return to the court. Travis was then released to Hatcher who would become his manager, and from there, Randy Travis would begin focusing on his career. It was in 1978 that Randy would release his first self-titled album for Paula records, but his following two singles are less than successful. Travis was forced to move in with Hatcher which destroyed her marriage, and she moved with Travis to Nashville TN in 1982. Randy and Hatcher eventually formed a romantic relationship, being married at a private ceremony in 1991.
Most Known For
Unfortunately, while Randy Travis was an incredible influence on the Country music genre, he is most known for an arrest in 2012 when he was found parked outside of a church wielding an open wine bottle. Of course, if that were all there were to it, it wouldn’t be so noteworthy. The date was August 7, 2012, and State Troopers in Grayson County were called to address a report of an unclothed man lying in the road. That man was Randy Travis, and he had apparently crashed his car in a construction zone, and threatened to kill the state troopers that tried to apprehend him. This DUI arrest had been preceded by Randy walking naked into a Tiger Mart convenience store and demanding cigarettes from the cashier. In 2013, Travis pleaded guilty to the incident, receiving two years probation, a hefty fine, and a 180 day suspended jail sentence.
Where Are They Now
There is little chance that Randy Travis will record another album, but he did show up at the 2015 ACM awards, and to the delight of his fans, he did Mary his fiancée, Mary Davis on March 21. At the moment, it is unclear as to whether or not Travis is actually able to speak or play guitar, but he is still a considerable influence in the Country Music world. Image Credit: istockphoto.com
It would be a lie to say that Randy Travis experienced instant success and it would actually be a bit of a disservice to the struggles he overcame to become the country music icon that he did in later years. In the early 1980’s, Randy Travis managed to be rejected by every major record label in Nashville. Most record executives called his style ‘too country’, and Hatcher was forced to take a job as a nightclub manager to support herself and Randy’s sinking career. Randy himself was forced to take on a job at The Nashville Palace where he worked as both a cook and a singer. It was in 1982 that Randy Travis would record his independent album: Live at the Nashville Palace, which Hatcher would use to land a deal with Warner Bros. Records. The label executives asked Randy to change his stage name to Randy Travis, and in 1985, Randy finally released “On the other Hand” a single which sat at 67 on the country charts. His next single was called 1982, and it would go on to become a top 10 hit single. Randy’s single, in 1986, finally became a number one hit when Warner Brothers released it, and later, he released his ‘debut’ album, Storms of Life, which sold more than four million copies. In 1986, Warner Bros. re-released "On the Other Hand", which became Travis' first number-one hit. He also covered some songs, e.g. of Randy Travis. Randy managed to win the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his albums Always & Forever, and Old 8x10. In addition to that he won Best Country Newcomer in 1986. His album Old 8x10 was the first of his to achieve platinum status. When 1992 rolled around, Randy Travis made what was perhaps an unpopular choice to take a break from his music, and instead concentrated on acting. He starred in a number of westerns, and finally returned to recording in 1994. In 1997 Travis ended his relationship with Warner Brothers and signed a contract with DreamWorks Nashville. His next hits would prove to be great hits, and he recorded the song “Tonight I’m Playin’ Possum” after his good friend George Jones passed away. Randy Travis did not stick with country music exclusively. In fact, he chose to delve into Gospel music for a time and released a number of different albums, including a Christmas album titled: Songs of the Season. Finally, in the year 2009, he released his greatest hits album: I Told You So: The Ultimate Hits of Randy Travis. His final released album was Influence Vol. 1: The Man I am. Randy Travis has had a lucrative career that spanned decades, but some things are simply destined to change.