Influential Country Music
singer of the 1980s and 1990s. Born Randy Bruce Traywick, he didn't break into the scene instantly: a deal with Paula Records in 1978 produced only two dud singles. Three years later, he released a live album as Randy Ray, but it wasn't until 1985 that he signed a contract with Warner Bros. Records
, this time as Randy Travis. Even this wasn't an instant success, as his first Warner single, "On the Other Hand," stalled at #67 on the country charts. However, he had a Top 10 hit with "1982" only a year later, and then persuaded the label to re-release "On the Other Hand." Despite this unorthodox move, that song went on to become his first #1 hit. Of his next twelve singles, all but two went to #1 on the country charts.
Although Randy was a little more sporadic on the charts come the mid-1990s, he was still a consistent seller of albums. Even a switch from Warner Bros. to DreamWorks
Records in 1997 kept him going for a couple more years until 2000, when he switched from his traditional, hardcore, honky-tonk sound to country-gospel.
Tropes present in Randy Travis' work:
- Animated Music Video: "Before You Kill Us All" was one of the first in country music.
- Black Comedy: In "Before You Kill Us All", the narrator's dog and cat won't eat, the goldfish and plants have all died and the narrator himself is depressed. He pleads his lover to come back before she kills them all.
- Dual Meaning Chorus: "Spirit of a Boy, Wisdom of a Man" has the main character choosing between the two titular options in three different life scenarios: whether to consummate a teenage romance, whether to support the resulting child, and whether to commit adultery.
- Not So Stoic: "A Man Ain't Made of Stone".
- Rerelease the Song: As mentioned above, he released "On the Other Hand" twice within a year.
- Rhyming with Itself: "Better Class of Losers" subverts this by rhyming "suite" and "sweet".
- Son of a Whore: One of the characters in "Three Wooden Crosses". It turns out that the preacher telling the story to his congregation is the son of the hooker who survived the crash, who read the Bible that the preacher who died gave her to him.
- Sympathetic Adulterer: The narrator of "Reasons I Cheat" may be interpreted in this way. While he admits to having an affair, the reasons he gives for doing so may make it seem not justified, but at least somewhat understandable.
- Talk About the Weather: "As long as old men sit and talk about the weather" is a line in "Forever and Ever, Amen".
- Uncommon Time: The verse to "If I Didn't Have You" use two bars of 2/2, one bar of 1/2 and another bar of 2/2, basically making each line in 7/2 time.