Randy Travis Biography
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Born on May 4, 1959, Randy Bruce Traywick was the second of six children. His father Harold, raised turkeys, bred horses, and ran a construction business, and his mother Bobbie, worked in a textile plant. Randy's father always wanted him to become a country singer, filling the house with the sounds of Hank Williams and Stonewall Jackson albums. Harold bought his four sons western outfits and guitars, and promoted them locally as the Traywick Brothers. By the time Randy was ten years old, he and his brother, Ricky, had their own duo, playing throughout the South at fiddler's conventions, private parties, VFW halls and anywhere and everywhere they could draw a crowd. Even at his young age Randy's voice startled people with its resonance. He dropped out of school in the ninth grade, and after that-fast cars, drinking and drugs lead to a series of scrapes with the law.
At age 16, Randy entered a talent show hosted by Country City USA as a soloist. After winning the competition hands down, he was invited by the club owner, Lib Hatcher, to play regularly at the famed night spot. He then relocated to Charlotte. It was a stint that lasted the better part of five years with Randy first performing on week-ends and eventually full-time. Hatcher took over management of the fledgling singer and in the late 70's Randy recorded two singles for Paula Records, "Dreamin? and "She's My Woman" with Joe Stampley producing.
In 1981 Randy made the move to Nashville, commuting regularly to Charlotte to perform at Country City, USA. He spent most of his time writing songs and getting acquainted with the Nashville scene.
Eventually Hatcher began management of another club, The Nashville Palace, where Randy worked cooking catfish and washing dishes, as well as singing on stage. It wasn't long before he had developed a following there as well, changing his stage name to Randy Ray. The exposure lead to appearances on Nashville Now and Nashville After Hours. His Nashville popularity grew by increasing word-of-mouth as people touted him as an outstanding newcomer. In 1983 while performing at the club, Randy recorded his first album independently and called it, "Randy Ray-Live at the Nashville Palace." The album was mostly sold at the club between shows and is now a collector's item and out of circulation.
Turned down by nearly every record label in Nashville, often more than once, Randy was finally signed to Warner Brothers Records in 1985. Record company executives changed his name to Travis, and Randy's first recorded effort for his new label was "Prairie Rose," on the soundtrack to the film, "Rustler's Rhapsody." It was followed by the release of the album, "Storms of Life" in 1986, and the rest is country music history. The first single, "On the Other Hand," was a perfect slice of Randy's authentic country talent. "1982" followed, and with that hit, Randy established himself as a singer and performer in the grand tradition of George Jones, Lefty Frizell, Merle Haggard and a handful of others. The success of both singles led to wide-spread demand for live shows, and Randy next set out on an extensive and ongoing tour, taking him across the United States and Canada before record-setting crowds.
Soon it seemed every award in the music business had Randy's name on it. A string of country chart-toppers ensued, and by the end of the decade, Randy's record sales topped 13 million copies. During a break from touring in 1991, Randy married his longtime manager and friend, Lib Hatcher in a quiet ceremony on the island of Maui, Hawaii.
In September, 1997, after twelve albums with Warner Brothers, Randy was the first artist to sign with the newly formed DreamWorks Records label in Nashville. When "Out of My Bones," the first single from the new label's debut album, "You and You Alone" was released in 1998, he delivered the label its first number one country hit. "A Man Ain't Made of Stone," Randy's second album for DreamWorks, continues his journey as one of the biggest selling, and most distinctive artists in country music.
Randy balances a full-time music career with a full-time acting career. In addition to guest appearances on TV's Matlock, Touched By An Angel, and Texas, his film credits include The Rainmaker (starring Jon Voight, Matt Damon, and Danny DeVito), Frank and Jessie (Bill Paxton and Rob Lowe), Black Dog (Patrick Swayze), and Fire Down Below (Steven Seagal). He's also featured with Antonio Banderas, Ellen Barkin, Lily Tomlin, and Bob Hoskins in the upcoming White River Kid. Randy recently completed filming in a starring role in the upcoming Miramax/Dimension film Texas Rangers with James Van Der Beek, Dylan McDermott and Usher. He also finished work on Major Remo, an independent film documentary featuring legendary film actor Charlton Heston. Randy's future film work includes the independent film, John-John In the Sky.
In the late 1980's, Randy opened the floodgates for the new traditionalist movement in country music. Randy is secured enough with his talent to realize that he does not have to choose between music and film and each can help the other. In the final analysis, Randy is the rare lucky man who has been able to make all of his dreams come true.
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20 years ago.... | Reviewer: Heather Miranda | 8/6/13
I was 21 years old and my best friend and i went to Houston Texas to see Randy in concert . I drove up from San Antonio Texas just to see this wonderful man.Not only did my heart melt but my dear friend Amys did too.His voice was like no other country artist out there.Im a true fan of you Randy ...no one will ever replace you in my book. My heart goes out to you in your time of need .You must believe that you are a true top notch counrty singer....Never forget you are loved!
the one and only randy | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/11/13
from ernie and myrna ball in christchurch new zealand,we love your music Randy and are preying for your speedy return to good health. To us you are the best country singer of modern times and play your recordings regularly.
ms. | Reviewer: waneta joyner | 7/11/13
i wanted to extend my heart felt prayers for randy and his family.
i have been a very big fan of his since he sang hs first song.
God has used him in so many ways with his gospel music.
i just pray He isn't finished with him yet.
may God be with him in his time of need
love , your fan
Rare voice of country music | Reviewer: Mima Mason | 2/24/13
I fell in love with his voice when I first heard his song"storms of lives".All his songs, both country and gospels, seem to be my favorite. Of course I would like him to turn around and change his life style ie stop taking alcohol and refrain from substance abuse. I am a great fan of Randy Travis, a great great fan indeed. Turn around Randy and make a greater finish for yourself.
HE IS THE GREATEST SINGER OF ALL TIMES AND ALWAYS WILL BE. | Reviewer: JOHNNIE ANN ADKINS | 2/12/13
I THINK RANDY IS A WONDERFUL SINGER AND WOULD LOVE TO SEE HIM IN PERSON. I FIND HIM TO BE AMAZING AND IS MISS UNDERSTOOD AND AS A ARTIST. I DON'T THINK ANYONE AS EVERY TAKEN THE TIME TO SEE AND TALK TO RANDY. I AM A COUNTRY MUSIC FAN AND HE WILL ALWAY BE THE BEST COUNTRY ENTERTAINER OF ALL TIMES. AS FOR HIS PROBLEMS THAT EVERYONE SEEMS TO WANT TO TALK ABOUT. I WOULD SAID THERE IS ONLY ONE MAN WITH HOLES IN HIS HANDS. SO,DON'T JUGDE WANT UP DP NO ABOUT OR UNDERSTAND. IT SHOULD BE A FULL TIME JOB KEEPING YOURSELF HAPPY WITHOUT TRYING TO RUN HIS LIFE. BACK OFF AND TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT YOURSELF BEFORE YOU JUDGE HIM. YOU WILL FINE THE GRASS MY LOOK GREENER, BUT THE WATER BILL IS HIGH. THANK YOU RANDY FOR JUST BEING YOU. JOHNNIEV ANN
You are a great singer and a great self made man Randy | Reviewer: Leonard J.J.Barroba | 7/30/11
This is Leonard J.J.Barroba from Pakistan,and I am a great fan of Randy's music could be country Or Gospel I am a great music lover of his songs,be blessed my friend Randy.
with love and blessings to you from self and my family from Pakistan
forever amen | Reviewer: donna brown | 12/22/10
in 1999 my husband and i went to see randy at a fair in Michigan some how i got up to the stage randy took my hand and sang 4 ever amen to me i melted i will never for get that day i love every song he has ever wrote we even named our last son Travis your a great man randy
AWESOME | Reviewer: Melinda Parshall | 2/4/08
Went to his concert on 2/2/08 in Las Vegas Nevada
Man it was awesome. His voice is enough to make the angels weep. I thoroughly enjoyed it and my husband who is a 60's music fan also enjoyed it. I am totally hooked.
THE KING OF COUNTRY AND GOSPEL! | Reviewer: shannon convey | 1/13/08
this man is truly the greatest country singer in the history of country music!Randy truly has a God-given gift for singing not only country music but gospel and acting!i picked up my first Randy Travis cd almost a year ago and now im a fan for life!
He's among the best singers | Reviewer: Paul | 5/7/07
There isn't any of Randy's songs that I don't like. I have all the songs he made and he has the old time songs I like. Would like to see more albums made. His acting is very good also. I haven't seen all the shows he has played in but the ones I've seen are great.
storms of life best of the best | Reviewer: phyl | 4/8/07
I saw Randy in concert in Edmonton Alberta just about 18 years ago.. Been to many concerts, but never heard a strong beautiful voice like that in my life.. am a fan forever.
The Best In The Business | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/12/06
My name is Connie Grounds and I think that Randy Travis is the best singer in Country Music or any other kind of music. His voice is pure and Beautiful. There is no one like him. He is marvelous.
Randy Travis' Deeper Than A Hollar | Reviewer: Brian | 9/23/04
Randy Travis is one of the best country singers known to man. His biggest hit "Deeper Than A Hollar" still to this day remains one of the best songs in country histroy.
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