I Told You So
American country music singer Randy Travis rose to fame with the No. 1 country hit album “Storms of Life” (1986), his debut with Warner Brothers. He gained even more success with the Grammy winning multiple platinum album “Always & Forever” (1987). Travis went on to score No. 1 hit albums with “Old 8×10” (1988), “No Holdin' Back” (1989) and “Heroes & Friends” (1990) before experiencing a setback in the mid 1990s. He eventually parted ways with Warner Bros. Records in 1997 and then recorded two albums with DreamWorks, including the Top 10 country album “You and You Alone” (1998). Travis then switched to gospel music and released the gospel albums “Inspirational Journey” (2000), “Rise and Shine” (2000), “Worship & Faith” (2003), “Passing Through” (2004) and “Glory Train: Songs of Faith, Worship, and Praise” (2005). “Rise and Shine” marked his first Top 10 hit on the U.S. Country chart since “You and You Alone.” The album also produced “Three Wooden Crosses” (2002), his sixteenth No. 1 single and his first since 1994's “Whisper My Name.” Other No. 1 hit singles he has released include “On the Other Hand,” “Diggin' Up Bones,” “Forever and Ever, Amen,” “I Won't Need You Anymore (Always and Forever),” “Too Gone Too Long,” “Deeper Than the Holler,” “Honky Tonk Moon,” “Is It Still Over,” “It's Just a Matter of Time,” “Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart,” “Forever Together,” “If I Didn't Have You” and “Look Heart, No Hands.” From “I Told You So,” which was covered by Carry Underwood and re-released as a duet with Travis in 2009, he shared a 2010 Grammy for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. Travis is also an occasional actor. His acting credits include “Dead Man's Revenge” (1994, TV), “The Shooter” (1997), “The White River Kid (1999), “The Cactus Kid” (2000), “The Visitation” (2006) and “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” (2007).
Travis is an inductee on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Adding to his Grammy awards, Travis has also won American Music Awards, Country Music Association Awards and Academy of Country Music Awards.
Childhood and Family:
Randy Travis was born Randy Bruce Traywick on May 4, 1959, in Marshville, North Carolina, to Bobbie, a textile factory worker, and Harold Traywick, a horse breeder, turkey farmer, substitute school teacher and construction business owner. The second child of six, he grew up on his family’s small farm. During this time, young Randy became a fan of legendary country music artists Hank Williams, Gene Autry and Lefty Frizzell. He began playing guitar at age 8 and had performed in a duo with his brother by age 10. He dropped out of school when he was in the ninth grade and briefly landed a job as a construction worker. Randy, who experimented with alcohol and drugs as a teen, became a juvenile delinquent and was arrested for a series of misdemeanors, including stealing a car and burglary. His scrapes with the law continued even after he won a talent contest at a bar and worked there as a performer and cook. His life began to turn around when he almost went to jail. He straightened up his life and married Elizabeth Hatcher on May 31, 1991.
Randy officially changed his last name from Traywick to Travis in 1985 when he signed with Warner Brothers. He chose the name in honor of his musical idol, Merle Travis. Travis is a born again Christian.
Always & Forever
Randy Travis launched his music career at age 10 when he and his brother Ricky began a duo called the Traywick Brothers. They performed in local clubs and talent contests before Ricky was incarcerated for a car chase and Travis escaped to Charlotte, North Carolina, at age 16. It was while in Charlotte that Randy won a talent contest at Country City U.S.A., where he met his future manager and wife Lib Hatcher. Realizing his potential, Hatcher landed him a regular gig at Country City and eventually managed Travis' career.
In 1978, at age 19, Travis signed a recording contract with Paula Records and the following year, under his birth name Randy Traywick, released the singles “Dreamin” and “She's My Woman.” In 1982, Travis and his manager moved to Nashville, where he sang and cooked at the Nashville Palace nightclub, which was managed by Hatcher. The following year, they independently released Travis' album “Live at the Nashville Palace” under the name Randy Ray. The album, which Travis also wrote, was sold at the club's store and finally garnered the singer a record deal with Warner Brothers Records in 1985.
Officially using the name Randy Travis, the former juvenile delinquent released his major label debut album, “Storms of Life,” on June 6, 1986. It rose to No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart in 1987 and sold over three million copies, giving Travis his first multi platinum release. It also charted on the Billboard 200 at No. 85 and in Canada at No. 61. In its first release, in June 1985, the single “On the Other Hand,” first recorded by Keith Whitley on his 1985 album “L.A. to Miami,” peaked at No. 67 on the country charts and went on to become his first No.1 country hit when it was re-released in April 1986. The second single, “1982,” rose to No. 6 on the Hot Country Songs tracks and No. 5 in Canada. He scored another No. 1 country hit with the single “Diggin' Up Bones,” which topped the country charts in the United States and Canada. The last single, “No Place Like Home,” peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and marked his third consecutive No. 1 hit on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart.
Travis was handed a Grammy for Best Newcomer in 1986 and the Horizon Award from the Country Music Association Awards. He also collected Academy of Country Music Awards in the categories of Top New Male Vocalist, Top Male Vocalist (both 1985), Single of the Year (“On The Other Hand”) and Album of the Year (“Storms of Life,” both 1986). On April 4, 1987, Travis resurfaced with his sophomore album “Always & Forever,” which stayed at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for 43 weeks, No. 19 on the Billboard 200 and No. 8 on the Canadian Albums chart. It spawned the hit singles “Forever and Ever, Amen,” “I Won't Need You Anymore (Always and Forever),” “Too Gone Too Long” and “I Told You So.” The album was eventually certified five times multi platinum in the U.S. and Canada. “Always & Forever” won several awards and Travis took home a 1988 Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his work on the album. He also won Country Music Association awards for Male Vocalist of the Year in 1987 and 1988 and American Music awards for Favorite Country Male Artist in 1988 and 1989. The single “Forever and Ever, Amen” won a 1987 Grammy for Best Country & Western Song, an Academy of Country Music for Single of the Year and a Country Music Association in the same category, and a American Music for Favorite Country Single, while “I Told You So” won a 1989 American Music for Favorite Country Single.
“Old 8×10” (released on July 12, 1988), his third album with Warner Brothers, topped the Billboard Top Country Albums chart from August 27 to October 22, 1988. It brought the singer his second Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance and three American Musics in the categories of favorite Country Album, Favorite Country Male Artist, and Favorite Country Single, for the No. 1 country hit single “Deeper Than the Holler.” Other singles released from the album were “Honky Tonk Moon” and “Is It Still Over” (both also #1) and “Promises” (#17). “Old 8×10” eventually achieved double platinum in the U.S.
Travis launched the album “No Holdin' Back” on September 26, 1989. The album went to No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, No. 33 on the Billboard 200 and No. 55 on the Canadian Albums chart. It produced the No. 1 country hit singles “It's Just a Matter of Time” and “Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart” and the No. 2 single “He Walked on Water.” “No Holdin' Back” became his second double platinum album in the U.S. The next year, he released “Heroes & Friends,” in which he sang duets with Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, B.B. King and Kris Kristofferson, among other recording artists. The album rose to No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart and generated two singles with the title track, which peaked at No. 3 and No. 1 in Canada, and “A Few Ole Country Boys” (with George Jones), which was a No. 8 country hit. “Heroes & Friend” was certified platinum in the U.S. and Canada.
On August 27, 1991, Travis released the album “High Lonesome,” which went to No. 3 on the Top Country Albums chart and received platinum status in the U.S. It released the singles “Point of Light” (#3), which he co-wrote with Alan Jackson, “Forever Together” (#1), “Better Class of Losers” (#2) and “I'd Surrender All” (#20). He and Jackson were reunited to co-write Jackson single “She's Got the Rhythm (And I Got the Blues)” (1992), which rose to No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks.
Travis released the compilation albums “Greatest Hits, Volume 1” and “Greatest Hits, Volume 2” on September 15, 1992. The albums spawned the No. 1 country hit singles “If I Didn't Have You” and “Look Heart, No Hands” and the first also generated a No. 21 single with “An Old Pair of Shoes.” Both of the albums were certified platinum in America. On August 17, 1993, he released the album “Wind in the Wire,” which was made to accompany a television movie of the same title. The album produced two minor country hit singles with “Cowboy Boogie” (#46) and “Wind in the Wire” (#65). “Wind in the Wire” became the first album of Travis' career not to produce any top 40 hits in the U.S. Despite the disappointment, he recorded two move albums with Warner Brothers, “This is Me” (1994) and “Full Circle” (1996), both of which were Top 10 hits on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. “This is Me” was certified gold by RIAA. The album also scored a No.1 country hit single, “Whisper My Name,” and three Top 10 singles with “Before You Kill Us All” (#2), “This Is Me” (#5) and “The Box” (#7). “Full Circle” generated two Top 40 country hits with “Are We in Trouble Now” (#24) and “Would I” (#25).
After leaving Warner Bros. in 1997, Travis signed with DreamWorks Nashville. His first album with DreamWorks, “You and You Alone,” was released on April 21, 1998, and co-produced by Travis, Byron Gallimore and James Stroud. It rose to No. 7 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and No. 49 on the Billboard 200.The album spawned three Top 10 country singles with “Out of My Bones” (#2) “The Hole” (#9) and “Spirit of a Boy, Wisdom of a Man” (#2) and a top 20 hit, “Stranger in My Mirror” (16). It was followed by “A Man Ain't Made of Stone” on September 21, 1999. It marked his second and final album for DreamWorks. Four songs from the album were released as singles.
Travis began branching out to acting in the early 1990s. He landed a two episode role in the television series “Matlock” (1992-1993) and starred in the TV special “Wind in the Wire” (1993). He then appeared in roles in “At Risk” (1994), “Dead Man's Revenge” (1994), “Texas” (1994), “A Holiday to Remember” (1995), “Frank & Jesse” (1995), “Edie & Pen” (1996), “Fire Down Below” (1997), “Steel Chariots” (1997), “T.N.T.” (1997), “The Shooter” (1997), “The Rainmaker” (1997), “Black Dog” (1998), “Baby Geniuses” (1999) and “The White River Kid (1999). He also made guest appearances in “Frasier” (1 episode, 1996), “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” (1 episode, 1996) and “Hey Arnold” (1 episode, 1998). He began his recurring role as Wayne in “Touched by an Angel” in 1994.
Entering the new millennium, Travis released his first gospel album, “Inspirational Journey,” which marked his reunion with Warner Bros. through Word Records and producer Kyle Lehning. Released on October 21, 2000, the album went to No. 34 on the Top Country Albums chart and scored a single with “Baptism,” which peaked at No. 75. 2000 also found Travis acting in the movies “The Million Dollar Kid,” “I'll Wave Back” and “The Cactus Kid” and the television film “The Trial of Old Drum.”
On October 15, 2002, Travis launched his next gospel album, “Rise and Shine,” which returned him to the Top 10 of the Billboard Top Country Albums chart when it went to No. 8. The album also rose to No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Christian Albums chart and produced the No. 1 single “Three Wooden Crosses.” The song peaked at No. 31 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Rise and Shine” was eventually certified gold in America. Another gospel gold album, “Worship & Faith,” followed on November 11, 2003. It went to No. 9 on the Billboard Top Country Albums and No. 4 on the Christian Albums charts. The same year, his voice could be heard as the narrator for the award winning short film “Apple Jack,” by Mark Whiting.
Travis' fourth gospel album, “Passing Through,” hit the music stores on November 9, 2004. It was a No. 6 album on the Billboard Christian Albums chart and entered the country albums chart at No. 23. It produced two singles on the Billboard country charts with “Four Walls” (#46) and “Angels” (#48). The fifth gospel album, “Glory Train: Songs of Faith, Worship, and Praise,” followed on October 25, 2005. No singles were released from the album.
Travis made his return to mainstream country music albums with “Around the Bend,” which was released on July 15, 2008, with Warner Bros. It went to No. 3 on the Top Country Albums chart and No. 14 on the Billboard 200. The singles “Faith in You,” “Dig Two Graves” and “Turn It Around” were released from the album but none of the songs charted. “Around the Bend” was nominated for a 2009 Grammy for Best Country Album and the track “Dig Two Graves” was nominated for Best Country Song.
Recently, in 2010, Travis shared a Grammy for Best Country Collaboration with vocals for “I Told You So.” The song was covered by Carry Underwood in 2007 for her album “Carnival Ride.” Her version was released in February 2009 and peaked at No.2 on the Billboard Top Country Singles chart. It was re-released as a duet with Travis in March 2009 and eventually led to the Grammy win.
On the acting front, Travis played Kyle Sherman in the 2006 film “The Visitation” and Michael Steele in 2007's “The Wager.” He also appeared in the box office hit “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” (2007). He will play Jack Thompson in the upcoming movie “Jerusalem Countdown” (2010).
Grammy: Best Country Collaboration with Vocals, “I Told You So” (Carrie Underwood & Randy Travis), 2010
American Music: Favorite Country Album, “Old 8x10,” 1990
American Music: Favorite Country Male Artist, 1990
American Music: Favorite Country Single, “Deeper Than the Holler,” 1990
Grammy: Best Male Country Vocal Performance, “Old 8x10,” 1989
American Music: Favorite Country Album, “Always & Forever,” 1989
American Music: Favorite Country Male Artist, 1989
American Music: Favorite Country Single, “I Told You So,” 1989
Grammy: Best Male Country Vocal Performance, “Always & Forever,” 1988
Country Music Association: Male Vocalist of the Year, 1988
American Music: Favorite Country Album, “Always & Forever,” 1988
American Music: Favorite Country Male Artist, 1988
American Music: Favorite Country Single, “Forever and Ever, Amen,” 1988
Country Music Association: Album of the Year, “Always & Forever,” 1987
Country Music Association: Male Vocalist of the Year, 1987
Country Music Association: Single of the Year, “Forever and Ever, Amen,” 1987
Academy of Country Music: Single of the Year, “Forever and Ever, Amen,” 1987
Grammy: Best Country Newcomer, 1986
Country Music Association: Horizon Award, 1986
Academy of Country Music: Album of the Year, “Storms of Life,” 1986
Academy of Country Music: Single of the Year, “On The Other Hand,” 1986
Academy of Country Music: Top Male Vocalist, 1986
Academy of Country Music: Top New Male Vocalist, 1985