Long ago, in a time almost forgotten, there lived a young man named Randy Bruce Traywick. He grew up in North Carolina and by the age of 10, his feet were firmly planted on the wrong path. His life was one of ever-escalating petty crime and brushes with the law. Finally, in his late teens, he found himself in front of a judge. Little did he know his life was about to change. Today, we know young Mr. Traywick by a different name. We call him Randy Travis.
To say that Randy Travis is a legend would be an understatement. Songs like “Diggin’ Up Bones,” “Deeper Than the Holler,” and “On the Other Hand” still resonate deeply with listeners after all these years. His lush baritone voice is instantly recognizable to country fans of all ages. Additionally, Travis a member of the Grand Ole Opry, as well as the Country Music Hall of Fame and, has taken home armloads of awards. He’s also a favorite among the Outsider crew.
According to Rolling Stone, we have Randy Travis’ first manager and ex-wife Lib Hatcher to thank for his successful career. Well, her and Randy’s unending drive and dedication combined with his talent for writing, picking, and performing songs. Hatcher, though, was the one who helped straighten him out and get him focused on his goals.
How Lib Hatcher Played a Major Role In Randy Travis’ Career
Randy Travis and his then-manager Lib Hatcher moved to Nashville in 1982. Before that, Travis stood before a judge that warned him he was on his way to the big house. In fact, Randy was looking at five years behind bars if he didn’t clean up his act.
The judge released Randy Travis to Hatcher and she decided to focus on Travis’ obvious talent. She witnessed that talent first-hand when Randy won a talent contest at Hatcher’s Charlotte, NC nightclub Country City USA. There, he worked in the kitchen and performed for club patrons. As a result, he was already a seasoned performer when he came to Nashville.
After they moved to Nashville, Hatcher took a managerial position at the Nashville Palace and put Randy Travis to work. Like he did in her previous club, Travis divided his time between the kitchen and the stage. Before long, Travis was performing on TNN.
Randy Travis dropped his first album, Storms of Life in June of 1986. The album went to the top of the Billboard Top Country Albums chart in August of the same year. Additionally, it contained the timeless chart-toppers “On the Other Hand,” and “Diggin’ Up Bones” as well as classics like “No Place Like Home” and “1982.”
More importantly, Randy Travis helped to revitalize traditional-sounding country music for a time. In short, Lib Hatcher helped him unlock his potential and he changed the world of country music forever and ever, amen.