This ain’t pretty. This ain’t fun. But my friend Randy Travis is fighting a fight with a terrible demon – alcohol. I’ve known Randy since before he could draw a crowd and used to visit my radio station in Los Angeles in the 1980′s when country rediscovered its soul and Randy helped make that happen.
In those days, Randy came by my show on Country KLAC with a new album that changed country music forever called “Storms of Life”. On that album were classic country songs unheard of for the time like “On the Other Hand,”1982″ and “The Reasons I Cheat”.
It was spring and he was playing the Crazy Horse Saloon in Anaheim, California. There were plenty of seats and he invited me to the show after our on air visit. Of course the show was great.
That fall Randy came back through and I couldn’t get in even with a pass. The following year we had him at a station show and his popularity was so big he had a police line leading him to his bus backstage at the Hansen Dam in the San Fernando Valley.
I was standing next to Mel Tillis on the stage and as Randy whisked past with a “what’s goin’ on here” smile Mel said, “Th-th-there goes the next w-wave”…”
Over the years Randy and Lib Hatcher and manager and wife at the time crossed paths with me and we had him here at Y108 for a Hot Country Jam. Randy and I were supposed to talk about the show and we ended up talking about souping up old cars.
At another show Randy was gracious enough to meet a couple listeners I brought back stage and he was so gracious and they were so appreciative. After they left Randy said to me in his typical baritone, “I guess what we do makes a difference sometimes.”
Always a humble man and talented beyond reason I have always loved the guy always knowing that each day with him is a promise that he makes and keeps to himself.
I know Randy adores another idol of mine, George Jones and not unlike Ol’ Possum Randy can see that his life is full of “Choices” as the George Jones song once said.
We are country folks so we know what it means to pray for one of our kind who run in to some trouble. Randy’s been arrested for drunk driving and it’s the second incident in a short term like this for Randy. He’s fighting this Storm in His Life. With your prayers he’s see the Storm pass.