Randy Travis Covers Waylon’s “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line”
As the thoughts and prayers of millions of fans keep vigil over Randy Travis in hopes the ailing singer someday will be able to share his gift for song with the world once more, life moves on and the release of Randy’s second installment of Influence: The Man I Am series approaches on August 12th. As a reflection back upon the artists and songs that created the foundation of Randy’s storied career, it only seems fitting that Waylon Jennings would work his way onto Randy’s The Man I Am track list. And not wanting to be too obvious by picking one of Waylon’s super hits from the Outlaw era, Randy selects “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line”; a hard-driving, thumping number that when released in 1968 was uncharacteristic for Waylon who at the time was known as the purveyor Nashville’s country folk fare. Of course as we know now, the style and attitude the song was recorded with would later become Waylon’s signature for the rest of his career.
Written by Nashville session guitarist Jimmy Bryant and produced by Chet Atkins, the original “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line” was perhaps Music Row’s answer to the more rough-hewn sound emanating from Capitol Records and the Bakersfield Sound of the time. The song went to #2 on the Billboard Country Singles chart and has since become a standard of the genre. Linda Ronstadt released a role-reversed version of the song in 1969, and The Kentucky Headhunters also recorded a famous version of the song in 1991 for their Electric Barnyard album.
The Randy Travis version of “Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line” is a pretty straightforward, no frills take on the song. “Only Daddy” is one of those compositions whose original will likely never be outdone by the predecessors. But Randy gives the song a new spirit and audience, and simply hearing Randy’s voice once again, especially reprising this classic piece of country music history, reminds us of how important Randy was to revitalizing country music’s classic tones in the mainstream commercial space in the mid and late 80’s and beyond.
Randy’s voice might be silent for the moment and Waylon may have long since passed, but this multi-generational country music collaboration reminds us that all the country music greats will be around forever through their timeless music.
You can also hear Randy Travis cover Marty Robbins in “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me“.
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August 3, 2014 @ 9:04 am
The hardest thing to really get over is actually knowin’ in my hear that Randy Travis will never sing and play again. Everything’s been real quiet but the damage done by the stroke is irreversible and this is about as good as he’s going to get…. by that I mean making appearances in public with a walkin’ cane and speech problems. The first 6 months after a stroke are really crucial into a patient’s recovery and the improvements made by the end of 6 months is usually as far as they’ll ever overcome it. Randy Travis’ 6 months have been up a long time ago and this is heavy on my heart because we actually lost this man to drugs and alcohol. So many great country artists battled very similar demons in their careers and their lives put to a halt because of it but…. thank God for their timeless music that will carry on and through that they will live forever
August 3, 2014 @ 9:55 am
Hope just prolongs the torment of man…..but sometimes hope is all that we have. “Randy’s voice might be silent for the moment”…………let’s be real folks, Randy has been silenced forever
August 3, 2014 @ 10:48 am
That is why I have called for there to be an open dialogue about Randy’s diagnosis from health professionals instead of speculation and leaks to tabloid which has been the only news on Randy’s condition and recovery. You very well may be right, but we have not heard that information from a doctor who would know for sure.
August 3, 2014 @ 11:08 am
my friend had a stroke 4 years ago very similar to what has happened to Randy and he has a very lost look in his eyes. Have you seen the pictures of Randy lately his face is all drawn up on one side, he has no use his hands and also his eyes are no longer the same..he is just staring off into the distance like he’s no longer here and all life if any has left him.
August 3, 2014 @ 10:45 am
Just to be fair, Randy’s doctors say that the heart condition Randy suffered was congenital, and had nothing to do with drugs or alcohol, and the stroke was a result of the heart issue. Doesn’t mean that it wasn’t aided or triggered by Randy’s behavior, but I think this is a point we should all understand when assessing his health situation.
August 3, 2014 @ 11:00 am
That’s exactly what I mean by everybody has been keping it quiet to protect his privacy and his name. His health problems were brought on directly by his drug and alcohol use which was really out of control there towards the end which directly led to his heart condition that led to a stroke. Cocaine and alcohol abuse for 30 some years is a perfect combination to lead to strokes and heart attacks. When Keith Whitley passed doctors pushed that it was just alcohol but as time goes on and more evidence came out and actually the corners report showed that the toxication level of cocaine is what killed him. I’m just so glad Randy had other songs recorded before he got sick
August 3, 2014 @ 6:19 pm
That is the truth. Alcohol can certainly kill you, but nine times out of ten, when you hear of a celebrity overdose the story in the media goes something like this “Such and such was found dead by the maid in a motel room when they failed to show up for rehearsal. Their blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit and alcohol poisoning is suspected as the cause of death.” Then the talking head goes on to list the accomplishments, marriages, etc. At the very end, they throw in a line like: “Zanax, cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone, Zoloft, and klonopin were also found in their system.” The alcohol is always to blame because this country has a history of radical prohibitionism that exists to this day.
August 3, 2014 @ 9:49 am
When did Randy record this album? Did he record both volumes at the same time?
August 3, 2014 @ 10:46 am
Like with many things with Randy these days, information is very sketchy. But yes, I believe there were three volumes that were all recorded close to the same time. Whether there will be a third volume or if it got finished before his health problems, I’m not sure.
August 3, 2014 @ 11:32 am
Great song and video. Like Waylon’s version better but Randy does a good job with it! Prayers for him to continue to get better!!
Toby in AK
August 3, 2014 @ 2:15 pm
He took a little of the “bite” out of the original version, but still this is a lot better than I was expecting. I had all but written off this album but I might purchase it after all.
August 3, 2014 @ 3:57 pm
That was a fun Waylon cover. 🙂 Checking out the Marty Robbins one now…
August 3, 2014 @ 9:42 pm
The “Don’t Worry Bout’ Me” cover actually feels a little more right for the situation. Reading through the comments on the youtube video for that song shows how much people really do miss Randy Travis. Would be nice if that song could actually make it to peoples’ radios where even more of his fans would be able to hear it.
August 4, 2014 @ 7:43 am
I listened to the cover a week ago I think. I really dug it. I liked that it was Randy but still pretty close to the original. I didn’t know Randy Travis was that bad that h had a stroke.i literally Sat here and got a little misty eyed. That’s terrible.