Randy Travis
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One of the first neo-traditionalists of country music to sell his music to the pop audience, North Carolina's Randy Travis became a country singer after a turbulent life that frequently landed him in jail. He moved to Nashville in 1981 and debuted under a different name with the album Randy Ray Live At The Nashville Palace (1983). Suddenly he was discovered (his good looks rather than his compositional skills) and became a star via the hits 1982, On The Other Hand, Diggin' Up Bones, No Place Like Home, and the album Storms Of Life (Warner, 1986). Always And Forever (1987) and Old 8x10 (1988) yielded Paul Fraser & Terry Stafford's Forever And Ever Amen, I Won't Need You Anymore, Too Gone Too Long, I Told You So, Honky Tonk Moon, Deeper Than The Holler. No Holdin' Back (1989) added Is It Still Over and It's Just A Matter Of Time to the repertory. Heroes And Friends (1990) was an album of duets with heroes and legends of country and non-country music. He had become Nashville's most famous musician (but remained one of the least gifted). Almost all of his hits were written by professional songwriters.

The following years were relatively calmer, with hits Hard Rock Bottom Of Your Heart, Forever Together and Look Heart No Hands, the album High Lonesome (1991) and the tribute to old-time music Wind In The Wire (1993).

Exceptional songwriters kept his career afloat on This Is Me (1994) and Full Circle (1996). When Travis tried to become more independent, he floundered with You And You Alone (Dreamworks, 1998) and A Man Ain't Made Of Stone (1999). He turned to religious music with Inspirational Journey (Warner, 2000) and Rise And Shine (2002). A Lonely Shadow The Reason I Came

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