March 28, 2009
As his recent stint as an American Idol mentor proves, Randy Travis is one of the most widely recognized and respected traditional country artists of the past three decades. After selling millions of albums in the eighties, Travis remained a force on the country charts throughout the nineties. This decade, he has won several Grammy awards for his Christian albums, and even returned to the top of the country charts with “Three Wooden Crosses”, a selection from one of those albums.
A Starter Kit for an artist like Randy Travis can only skim the surface. Those looking to dig deeper should check out Leeann’s Favorite Songs by Favorite Artists: Randy Travis feature, along with his recent collaboration with Carrie Underwood on “I Told You So”, which resulted in his first-ever top ten pop hit, a full thirty years after he made his first appearance on the country charts with “She’s My Woman” under his real name, Randy Traywick.
“On the Other Hand” from the 1986 album Storms of Life
His first hit single was an instant classic about the consequences of infidelity.
“Diggin’ Up Bones” from the 1986 album Storms of Life
He’ll forever have coolness for scoring a #1 hit with “exhuming” in the chorus.
“Forever and Ever, Amen” from the 1987 album Always & Forever
This instant wedding classic powered his second album to quintuple platinum status.
“I Told You So” from the 1987 album Always & Forever
The original version is mandatory listening for fans of Carrie Underwood and contemporary country music.
“Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart” from the 1989 album No Holdin’ Back
The production was startlingly innovative for the time, and Travis deserves kudos for convincing listeners that it’s the woman who was cheated on who is being unreasonable.
“Look Heart, No Hands” from the 1992 album Greatest Hits Volume Two
When Travis released two hits collections simultaneously, he scattered new tracks among both sets. This was the best among a strong crop of new material.
“Before You Kill Us All” from the 1994 album This is Me
Proof positive that Travis can be quite funny.
“Out of My Bones” from the 1998 album You and You Alone
His Dreamworks debut was his best single in years, with killer fiddle and one of his strongest vocals.
“Three Wooden Crosses” from the 2002 album Rise and Shine
Arguably his finest work since the classic hits of his first two albums, it returned him to #1 on the country charts for the first time in eight years.
“Dig Two Graves” from the 2008 album Around the Bend
A poignant bookend to “Forever and Ever, Amen”, where the promise has been kept but time is running short.