LEGENDARY - Country singer Randy Travis performs at the Sheraton Hotel on June 10.

Country star brings collection of hits to City

Randy Travis performs at the Sheraton Centre June 10

One of country music’s most beloved country music stars is making a Red Deer appearance June 10 at the Sheraton Hotel. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.

Singer Randy Travis will be churning out classics from his 25-year career along with newer tunes from more recent CDs during the show; he released a special anniversary CD last year packed with collaborations with other artists.

Featuring a guest list including Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and George Jones to modern country singers including Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw and Brad Paisley, the project showcases new versions of many of Travis’s best-loved tunes.

Travis said talks about the anniversary project with his management initially focused on who would appear on the CD, and from the get-go, the team was pretty much on the same page.

“Most of the people we called just said, ‘Yes. I’d be happy to. What do you want me to do?’ We told them we’d like to re-record some of the old stuff with guests and also find some new material,” he said. “We said, ‘Y’all just do what you want to do.’ And it worked out just fine.

There are plenty of outstanding moments on the disc, from the lively rendition of Everything and All performed with Paisley to Didn’t We Shine which features George Jones, Lorrie Morgan, Ray Price, Connie Smith, Joe Stampley and Gene Watson.

“We also asked who wanted to do what such as recording something old or finding a new song. We ended up with half-and-half on the CD.”

The Zac Brown Band came up with a zippy new arrangement for 1987’s Forever and Ever, Amen for Travis to try, and the result is a highlight of the set.

Travis’s love for music was sparked very early on.

“I started singing and playing at eight years old. It was around the age of 17 that I knew I wanted to work in the music business, and try to make a living writing and singing. I grew up in a home that was full of music from first thing in the morning until night. Country radio was constantly playing around me, my brothers and sisters.

“There were six of us and all of us were learning to play instruments and singing. My cousins were also musically inclined. So, I’ve been surrounded around music my whole life.”

In 1982, Travis recorded an independent disc Live at the Nashville Palace, and the project was used to secure a deal with Warner Brothers. In 1985, they released the single On the Other Hand which peaked at number 67 on the country charts. His next single, 1982, became a Top 10 hit single. In 1986, Warner Bros. re-released On the Other Hand which became his first number one hit.

But it was his debut album, Storms of Life, which would truly mark a new direction in his life. Also, a song from his second disc Always and Forever titled Forever and Ever, Amen arguably launched the neo-traditionalist country era.

For two years in a row, Travis won the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance, for the discs Always & Forever in 1988, and for Old 8×10 in 1989. He also won the ACM award for Best Country Newcomer in 1986. To top it off, Always and Forever was number one for 43 weeks.

In 1992, Travis took a break from music to concentrate on acting and landed roles in several western-genre films. He returned to recording with the 1994 project This Is Me and the hit single Whisper My Name. Three years later, Travis parted ways with Warner Brothers and signed with DreamWorks Nashville. He recorded You and You Alone, which produced the top 10 hits Out of My Bones, The Hole and Spirit of a Boy, Wisdom of a Man.

His honors include seven Grammy Awards, 10 Academy of Country Music statuettes, 10 American Music Awards, two People’s Choice awards, seven Music City News awards, eight Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association and five Country Music Association honors.

Three of his performances earned CMA Song of the Year honors — On the Other Hand (1986), Forever and Ever Amen (1987) and Three Wooden Crosses (2003).

“A lot of times, you’ll hear people talk about what a song has meant to them, and I’ve even heard about people making life-changing decisions based on some of the songs that we have recorded,” he says. “Music can take you back to memories of the family members that you’ve loved, the ones that you’ve lost and those that you still have.

As for his latest recording, he’s grateful for the collaborations that define the project from start to finish.

“I’m very honored that they all agreed to do this, both the ones who did the remakes and the ones who sang new songs with me.”

He’s also grateful for a career that has brought him such a loyal following as well.

“I love writing and working in the studio. I ultimately love that thing we do on the stage at night, those live performances, more than anything I’ll ever do in my life.”

For ticket information, check out www.ticketmaster.com.

editor@reddeerexpress.com.