RANDY TRAVIS Biography - Musicians


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Name: Randy Travis                                                                     
Birth name: Randy Bruce Traywick                                                       
Born: 4 May 1959 Marshville, North Carolina, USA                                       
Randy Bruce Traywick (born May 4, 1959), better known by his stage name, Randy         
Travis, is an American multiple Grammy Award-winning American country singer.           
Travis was born in Marshville, North Carolina, the second child six of Bobbie, a       
textile factory worker, and Harold Traywick, a horse breeder, turkey farmer, and       
construction business owner. While growing up, Travis was forced to take               
guitar lessons by his father and began performing at the age of eight with his         
brother, Ricky. Travis began drinking at the age of 12, and by 14 was a regular         
marijuana user, who ocassionally dabbled in harder drugs. He often fought with         
his father and soon dropped out of high school. He became a juvenile                   
delinquent and was arrested for various offenses, including auto theft and             
Harold Traywick entered Randy and Ricky in a talent contest at a nightclub             
called "Country City, USA" in Charlotte, North Carolina. In the meantime, Ricky,       
who also had brushes with the law, was sentenced to jail and Randy had to               
complete the contest alone, but he won anyway. The club's manager, Elizabeth "Lib"     
Hatcher, took an interest in Travis and gave him a job singing at the club.             
Travis began focusing on music. He first recorded for Paula Records and released       
two unsuccessful singles "She's My Woman" and "Dreamin'". Travis' legal                 
troubles continued and he was due in court for probation violations. Hatcher           
pleaded with the judge and Travis was released in her custody with the warning         
that if the judge ever saw him again "he'd better bring his toothbrush, because         
he would be going to jail for a very long time."                                       
Travis moved in with Hatcher. This put further strain on her already fragile           
marriage. She eventually left her husband and, in 1982, she and Travis moved to         
Nashville, Tennessee. Travis was soon turned down by every record label in town.       
His early demo tapes were criticized by Nashville record executives as being "too       
country." Hatcher took a job as manager of a nightclub, "The Nashville Palace"         
and hired Travis as a cook and singer. It was during this time that an                 
unlikely romance began to form between the two; Travis said "I think we                 
discovered how much we needed each other."                                             
In 1982, Travis recorded an independent album Randy Ray Live and Lib Hatcher           
used it to secure a deal with Warner Bros. Records. However, the label said they       
had to keep their romnce a secret, so as not to turn away fans, and changed his         
stage name from Randy Ray to Randy Travis. In 1985, Warner Brothers released           
Travis' single, "On the Other Hand," which topped out at 67 on the country             
charts. His next single, "1982", became a Top 10 hit followed by the re-release         
of "On the Other Hand" in 1986. The re-release became Travis' first number one         
His debut album, Storms of Life, went on to sell more than 4 million copies. In         
the late 1980s, he had a string of hits, including "No Place Like Home" and "Diggin'   
Up Bones." Another song from that album, "Forever and Ever, Amen" arguably             
launched the neo-traditionalist country era, boosting the popularity of country         
music beyond its traditional fan base. For two years in a row, Travis won the           
Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance, for the albums Always &           
Forever in 1988, and for Old 8x10 in 1989. Off the success of his first two             
albums, Old 8X10 shipped platinum. Always and Forever was number one for 43             
Travis and Hatcher married in 1991. That year Travis took part in Voices That           
Care, a multi-artist project that featured other top names in music for a one-off       
single to raise money for the allied troops in the Gulf War. The project               
included fellow singers Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers and Kathy Mattea. By 1992,           
Travis was no longer charting high, as Brooks, Clint Black and others had taken         
over Nashville. He took a break from music to concentrate on acting and landed         
roles in several Western-genre films. He returned to recording with the 1994           
album This Is Me and the hit single "Whisper My Name."                                 
In 1997, Travis parted ways with Warner Brothers. He moved to DreamWorks               
Nashville and recorded You and You Alone, which produced the top 10 hits "Out of       
My Bones" and "Spirit of a Boy, Wisdom of a Man." These were followed by 2000's         
albums Inspirational Journey, 2002's Rise and Shine and 2003's Worship and Faith.       
The single "Three Wooden Crosses" from the Rise and Shine album reached No. 1           
and won the CMA song of the year in 2003. That same year, Travis ranked #13 on         
CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music. Travis continues to act in film and             
television. His second most recent album, Passing Through, was released in             
November of 2004. It combines the country music of his earlier years, with a           
little gospel mixed in from more recent albums.