20 studio albums. 50+ Billboard singles. 25+ million records, seven Grammys, and one spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame. This is the life and legacy of Randy Travis, a country music legend in our time.
Travis grew up in a family where he was encouraged to pursue musical talents. His career got a kick start in 1975 when he won a talent contest at a nightclub in Charlotte, NC. The club owner, Elizabeth Hatcher, gave Travis regular singing jobs at the club, and the two began to focus on Travis’s career. In 1978, the singer began recording for Paula Records, but only released a couple singles, none of which made it far up on the charts.
The pair moved to Nashville in the early 1980s, but Travis was rejected by every major record label in the city. Luckily, his luck turned around when Warner Bros. Records heard an album of Travis’s live performances and signed him. Under this record label, Travis was able to release his first No. 1 single, “On the Other Hand.” Soon afterwards Travis released his first album, “Storms of Life,” which was certified triple-platinum in 1992, with 3 million copies sold.
Next, Travis released “Always & Forever,” his second album with the record label. This album skyrocketed him to fame and won Travis his first Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. After this, he released his third album, “Old 8x10”, which had three singles that all reached a No. 1 spot on the charts.
Throughout the 1990’s, Travis’s career continued to grow as he created multiple more studio albums under Warner Bros records, multiple of which hit No. 1 on the charts. Later in 1996, Travis signed to DreamWorks Records, issuing another two albums, “You and You Alone” and “A Man Ain’t Made of Stone.”
In the 2000s, Travis switched roads and focused on Christian country music, starting with his first album in the genre, “Inspirational Journey”. With the song “Three Wooden Crosses,” he took another No. 1 single spot on the charts, and soon afterwards Travis earned his fourth and fifth Grammys.
In 2013, Travis suffered a devastating stroke that ended his career as a singer, but not as a musician. Travis announced his return to touring in 2019, as a band member with James Dupré as the lead vocalist singing his discography.
There’s just something about Randy Travis’s voice and discography that stands the test of time, even almost a decade after we’ve heard him sing new material for the last time. From songs like “On the Other Hand” that started it all, to some new releases featuring old demos and material from the days when Travis could still record to the fullest, his career and talent is unlike any other.
Written by Zoe Wynns