Country Throwback: Randy Travis’ ‘It’s Just a Matter of Time’ Goes No. 1 31 Years Ago Today

by Emily Morgan
Country Throwback: Randy Travis’ ‘It’s just-a-matter-of-time-goes-no-1-30-years-ago-today
(Photo by Beth Gwinn/Getty Images)

On Dec. 2, 1989, Randy Travis was preparing for his country music career to take off. Thirty-one years ago today, Travis earned his 10th No. 1 song  with his track, “It’s Just a Matter of Time.”

The Success of Randy Travis

The track is off of Travis’ fourth studio album, No Holdin’ Back. Brook Benton and Clyde Otis wrote, “It’s Just a Matter of Time.” The song became the record’s first single and one of two songs that climbed to the top of the country music charts. “Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart” was the follow-up track. 

“It’s Just a Matter of Time” first hit No. 1 when Benton recorded it in 1959. At the time, it stayed on the R&B charts for nine weeks. Later, in 1970 country singer Sonny James also took the song to No. 1. In addition, Glen Campbell would record a version in 1986 that would reach No. 7.

Travis’ cover of “It’s Just a Matter of Time” would be a crucial element to the success of No Holdin’ Back. The album would go on to sell more than 2 million copies. The song would also make an appearance on Travis’ Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 album in 1992. Again, it would emerge on The Very Best of Randy Travis in 2004. Additionally, the song kept taking shape on Travis’ albums. Travis featured the track on I Told You So: The Ultimate Hits of Randy Travis in 2009.

Prior to becoming a household name, in the 1980s, Travis struggled to make it in Nashville. The word “no” was often something Travis heard after visiting many record labels. 

In 1982, his persistence would ultimately pay off when he got his big break signing a record deal with Warner Bros. Records.  

Since then, he has recorded 20 studio albums and charted more than 50 singles on the “Billboard Hot Country Songs” charts, including sixteen that reached No. 1.