“Home of Randy Travis & Country Living” was the slogan that once greeting visitors and passers thru of Marshville, North Carolina where Randy Travis was born and raised. But the two signs that sit beside U.S. Hwy 74 both entering and exiting the small town in Union County showing love for their hometown boy have been changed. Any mention of Randy Travis was removed by the town recently, and some Randy Travis fans are not happy about it.
Randy Travis—born Randy Bruce Traywick in Marshville in 1959—has been in the midst of a run of bad health that was preceded by a bout of bad behavior. After a bitter divorce from his long-time wife and manager, Randy Travis was arrested in February 2012 for public intoxication while sitting in his truck in a church parking lot. Then in August of 2012, Randy was arrested again after his car was wrecked and Randy was found naked at the scene.
Then in July of 2013, Travis began to have severe health issues that have sidelined the country performer to this day. Randy was hospitalized on July 7th for a severe heart condition called viral cardiomyopathy. While in treatment, he suffered a stroke and had to receive emergency brain surgery. Randy eventually recovered and was released, but he still suffers from paralysis, though is slowly regaining his ability to walk by himself, and is said to be slowly regaining his ability to speak. Some photos of Randy hanging out with high profile friends have surfaced recently, but the specifics on his condition remain unclear.
Doctors insist Randy’s health issues had nothing to do with Randy’s previous alcohol issues, just as the City of Marshville insists the removal of Randy’s name is nothing personal.
Town Manager Fern Shubert says Randy’s name was removed while the signs were being updated because they were “too busy.” They’ve been replaced simply by “Welcome to Marshville North Carolina.” Previous versions of the Marshville signs also had homages to Randy Travis (see below).
“It’s nice, it’s dignified and it gets the job done,” Shubert says of the new sign. “There was no disrespect to Randy Travis. It looks more like your traditional welcome sign.”
But some Randy Travis fans inside and outside of Marshville are disappointed about removing the distinction, especially as Randy continues to struggle to regain his health. “In a time we should embrace Randy Travis and show support you choose to slap him in the face with something this stupid,” one online commenter said, while another observed, “When Mr. Travis pass[es] on…that city/town will be pumping it up! Randy Travis born/raised here….oh,….they will be singing a whole other tune…just watch….”
Others point out that Randy never did very much for Marshville, and that when he was younger, he was known in in the town for breaking into houses and cars.
Randy currently lives at his ranch near Tioga, TX.
Earlier Marshville sign touting Randy Travis.