Randy Travis Revealed the Importance of Good Songs

by Clayton Edwards

When we think about great artists, we usually talk about things like their voice or their style. For instance, when I think of Randy Travis, his silky-smooth baritone voice is the first thing that comes to mind. That is followed closely by his neotraditional style. It would be easy to believe that those two things combined made him one of the greatest performers in modern country music. However, if he didn’t pick and write great songs, it’s likely that we’d have forgotten about him long ago.

Fortunately, Randy Travis has a collection of top-notch songs. As a result, he went on to inspire generations of artists. More than that, he was one of the handful of country singers in the eighties who pushed back against the poppy “urban cowboy” sound. If not for guys like Randy Travis, George Strait, Alan Jackson, and a few others, we wouldn’t remember 80s and 90s country music quite so fondly.

Randy Travis’ voice and style are great. However, if it weren’t for songs like “Deeper Than the Holler” or “On the Other Hand” or “Diggin’ Up Bones” he wouldn’t have had the impact that he did. Those songs resonated deeply with people. Sure, it helped that he delivered them in such a way that you had no choice but to feel every word. But, it all started with the songs.

Recently, Randy Travis’ team made the documentary More Life available to watch for free on Randy’s YouTube channel. Each of the seven episodes digs a little deeper into his history and the impact that he had on the music world. In the second episode, we see how Travis landed his deal with Warner Brothers Records. During the episode, Travis discusses how important good songs are to succeeding in the music business.

Randy Travis on the Importance of Good Songs

Before getting into the importance of having songs that resonate with listeners, Randy Travis expressed his gratitude for being able to cut so many timeless tunes.  “Great songs do always find a home,” Randy Travis said. “I have been very, very fortunate in these 25 years of making records to have some incredibly well-written songs find that home with me. That’s special. That’s really special.”  

“If you look at this music business it starts with the song,” Randy Travis said. “You’re not going to succeed at all unless you have that caliber of songs that touches people.” However, he didn’t just mean that for serious heartstring-pulling songs. “I don’t care if it’s a novelty-type song,” he clarified, “It has to be something that resonates with people.”

If you take a look back at Randy Travis’ career, you’ll see that he followed that principle from day one. Songs that resonate with listeners make up the foundation of his legacy.