Randy Travis Announced As Newest Inductee to the Country Music Hall of Fame
UPDATE: Charlie Daniels, Fred Foster, & Randy Travis Are The 2016 Country Hall of Fame Inductees
Randy Travis is the new “Modern Era” inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The announcement came Tuesday morning (3-29) at a press conference in the Hall of Fame rotunda in Nashville hosted by Hall of Famer Brenda Lee. Other inductees included Charlie Daniels in the Veteran Era, and label owner and DJ Fred Foster in the non-performer category.
“Thank you,” Randy said simply … the first public words Randy has spoken since suffering a stroke in 2013.
Before there was Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Clint Black, Brooks & Dunn, and the other big commercial powerhouses of country music in the late 80’s and early 90’s, there was Randy Travis setting the table for them all, revitalizing the neotraditional sound in country music, opening the door for a new era where country music would reach its commercial pinnacle, and playing a pivotal role in the history of the genre.
“Randy Travis cleared the whole way for the 80’s for guys like me and the class of ’89 to come through,” Garth Brooks said upon his own induction in 2012. Garth believed Randy should have been inducted before him, and now they both share the distinction. Many of the eligible and recently inducted members to the Hall of Fame in the Modern Era category directly owe at least a portion of their success to Randy Travis.
Beyond the importance Randy Travis had for country music in the mid and late 80’s, his list of accolades and awards are startling. 23 #1 hits, 50 charting singles, 25 million records sold, six #1 albums, six CMA Awards including consecutive Male Vocalist of the Year trophies in 1987 and 1988, and six Grammy Awards only tell part of the story of the impact Randy Travis had.
Born Randy Bruce Traywick on May 4, 1959 in Marshville, North Carolina, he moved to Nashville in 1982, and initially was rejected by every major label in town for being too country. Travis worked as a cook at the Nashville Palace and moonlighted as a singer, releasing a live record from the location that finally put Randy on the radar of Warner Bros. Records. His major label debut, Storms of Life, sold over 4 million copies and launched two #1 songs, “On The Other Hand” and “Diggin’ Up Bones.” Nine out of Randy’s next 10 singles would also hit #1, and soon he would be cemented as one of the seminal voices in country music of all time.
Travis would remain commercially relevant all the way through the 90’s and into the early 2000’s when he scored his final #1 song “Three Wooden Crosses” in 2002. Into the mid 2000’s, his commercial performance began to taper off, but he continued to be a fan favorite and beloved performer. On July 7, 2013, Travis was admitted to a hospital in the Dallas area for viral cardiomyopathy, or a weakening of the heart muscle. Three days later Travis had a major stroke and was forced to undergo emergency surgery to relieve pressure in his brain. The health problems left Travis partially paralyzed and unable to speak, but he has slowly been making progress due to physical therapy.
Though personal issues and his health problems have kept Travis out of the spotlight recently, his induction to the Hall of Fame is a decision that should be met with universal consensus.
March 29, 2016 @ 8:39 am
Very emotional to watch that.
March 29, 2016 @ 8:39 am
Really, it’s more surprising he wasn’t in already.
March 29, 2016 @ 8:43 am
Folks, gonna have a complete recap on the Hall of Fame press conference coming up shortly. Just wanted to get this info out there first. Very emotional watching Randy receive this distinction.
March 29, 2016 @ 8:49 am
about damn time
March 29, 2016 @ 8:52 am
TX Music Jim
March 29, 2016 @ 9:01 am
Wonderful news so very well deserved. Prayerfully hoping Randy’s recovery continues!
March 29, 2016 @ 9:08 am
Excellent news. He’s more than deserving.
March 29, 2016 @ 9:21 am
Aw, yay! 🙂
March 29, 2016 @ 9:30 am
Forever and ever a hall of famer! (Amen)
March 29, 2016 @ 9:39 am
While he is absolutely deserving. Tanya Tucker is long overdue and has been in the music business far longer. Disappointed.
March 29, 2016 @ 10:51 am
Tanya Tucker would probably go in through the Veteran Era category, especially if they’re considering Charlie Daniels a “Veteran,” so it’s probably fair to say Charlie Daniels replaced her, not Randy.
April 2, 2016 @ 11:17 am
Tanya is about the same age as Travis–(7 months older, to be precise.). Charlie Daniels is old enough to be their father. Granted, Tanya got started in the business early–as a child–but I’d bet that they’d designate her as “Modern Era” is she gets in in the next couple of years. Heck, the Oak Ridge Boys and Kenny Rogers recently went in as “Modern.” Tanya was still scoring hits well into the Garth era.
March 29, 2016 @ 9:46 am
I still listen to Storms Of Life quite often . A classic voice and a classic set of country songs written by the best . Congrats to Randy Travis . Long Live COUNTRY music
Toby in AK
March 29, 2016 @ 9:48 am
ten thumbs up
March 29, 2016 @ 10:31 am
I can think of no modern artist that is more deserving from the aspect of being a fan of true country music.
March 29, 2016 @ 10:53 am
The only one remotely close is Alan Jackson.
March 29, 2016 @ 10:58 am
Randy should’ve been inducted long before Garth. I’ll Give Mr Brooks credit for admitting that himself.
Guys like Randy Travis, George Strait and Keith Whitley proved you can just stand there and sing and be just as cool as anyone else.
March 29, 2016 @ 11:11 am
I am very happy about this news. I am a huge Alan Jackson fan, but I am glad that Randy did not get leapfrogged by another artist who came after him. Randy deserved to get in the hall first, so I am very pleased. I hope he continues to recover where one day he might be able to sing again, but more importantly just live a healthy life.
March 29, 2016 @ 11:59 am
Hard to argue putting in Randy Travis before everyone else eligible in the Modern Era since he helped opened the door for them. Now things set up nicely for Alan Jackson next year, unless they’re holding out on him for a specific reason. (ahem, “Choices.”)
March 29, 2016 @ 11:28 am
I agree with this years inductees. Randy should have already been in long before Garth. I’m glad for Charlie Daniels also. He too should have been in as well as Gene Watson. Has everyone forgotten Gene [Farewell Party] Watson.
March 29, 2016 @ 12:04 pm
Awesome. Just awesome, man.
March 29, 2016 @ 12:42 pm
Very deserved in my opinion.
March 29, 2016 @ 2:21 pm
Congratulations to Randy. This is richly deserved of course, although I expected the Hall of Fame folks to wait another year or so to allow Randy more time to recover, if possible. Perhaps the Travis (er… Traywick) family let it be known behind the scenes that Randy is ready to receive this honor.
It was also nice to hear Randy speak, if only to say “thank you.” That was all that was needed.
A lot of people babble on too long when they receive awards anyway. 😉
Frank the Tank
March 29, 2016 @ 3:23 pm
This is awesome! He’s one of my all-time favourites and I still listen to his albums quite regularly. His shift from commercial superstar to gospel/spiritual performer was fairly seamless (to my eyes at least). His gospel/spiritual albums are also excellent (and still very country).
March 29, 2016 @ 5:53 pm
Good on Randy! Next Gene Watson.
March 29, 2016 @ 7:10 pm
Storms of Life, Guitar Town and Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. pretty much got me through high school (add Appetite for Destruction). Those three albums are still pure and fresh to the ear.
March 29, 2016 @ 11:58 pm
Travis (along with Keith Whitley) may have been the most compelling vocalist among the New Traditionalists, but his mysterious personality–(the seemingly very odd marriage)–seemed to cause his career to die out rather prematurely as he was eclipsed first by Garth and Clint and then by Strait and Alan Jackson.
Travis really experienced a major decline as both an albums and singles artist when he was still in his 30’s in the mid ’90s. He had a short rebound at radio with a few top-10 hits in 1998-99, but like a lot of other artists before him (Tennessee Ernie Ford, Pat Boone, B.J. Thomas et al) , he was forced to “go Christian” by 2000 because his mainstream music was not selling. His Christian turn did, however result in the #1 smash in 2002, “Three Wooden Crosses,” but that “comeback” was strictly a one-shot.
March 30, 2016 @ 3:13 am
Just wish they had inducted him when he was in full health.
March 30, 2016 @ 3:14 pm
Well done to Randy Travis, he deserves it!!
April 4, 2016 @ 2:41 pm
Well deserved, should have been in already! True country traditionalist!!
April 5, 2016 @ 9:48 am
He was 90 years old, back in ’63
and I loved him and he loved me
and Lord I cried the day he died cause
I thought that he walked on water.
My favorite song of Randy’s. Congratulations sir
April 20, 2016 @ 1:49 pm
Storms of Life was the first debut album by a male to sell 1 million copies…………that album and song will forever be etched in my musical soul. God Bless you Randy Travis and my you continue to get better.