Someday the life and career of Randy Travis will be turned into a movie. The legendary country music singer has experienced inspirational ups and salacious downs.
Randy Travis was born Randy Traywick in 1959 in Marshville, North Carolina. By the time he was eight he was playing guitar and singing in church. With his brother, Travis entered and won various talent competitions.
While Travis’ father encouraged him pursue music, he also encouraged him to stay in school. Something Travis didn’t do. After dropping out, Travis had numerous run-ins with law. So did his brother who served serious jail time after leading police on a high speed car chase.
In 1975, Travis won a talent competition held at a nightclub in Charlotte, North Carolina. The club’s owner was impressed by Travis’ voice and gave him a job singing at the club. This owner would eventually become Travis’ manager and wife (although she was married when she met Travis).
Despite the uptick in his career, Travis soon found himself on the wrong side of the law. He managed to escape a long jail sentence but the experienced scared him. It made him focus all of his energies on his singing career.
In 1978, Travis released an album under the name “Randy Traywick.” The following year he released two singles. Neither release managed to create any excitement. In the early 1980s, Travis moved to Nashville where he was rejected by every major label. Undeterred, Travis recorded a live album that finally earned him a recording contract. One of the stipulations of his contract was that he changed his stage name to “Randy Travis.”
His first album as Randy Travis was 1986’s Storm of Life. The album went to number one on the country charts and eventually earned a 3x platinum certification. Travis would go on to release a string of number one and platinum albums as well as 22 chart-topping singles. He has sold more than 25 million records and won six Grammy Awards.
Travis’ country music career stalled in the mid-1990s. He switched his focus to gospel music and continued winning awards.
In 2010, Travis and his manager divorced. Two years later, Travis had several drunken run-ins with the law including one where he was arrested for threaten police officers. That incident began with Travis trying to buy cigarettes from a convenience store completely naked. The police later found him lying in the road, naked, and stinking of alcohol.