The Josh Abbott Band gave fans a lovely surprise at their recent show. Country legend Randy Travis joined the band on stage.
The group was at Billy Bob’s Texas on Friday and Saturday. Billy Bob’s is right in the heart of Fort Worth Stockyards.
Randy Travis Joins Josh Abbott
In a video, the Josh Abbott Band is seen on stage with legendary artist Randy Travis sitting at center stage. Josh Abbott is singing the slow, smooth Randy Travis classic 1987 hit, “Forever And Ever, Amen.”
This song won at the American Music Awards for Favorite Country Single when it came out.
Travis Suffers From Stroke
Unfortunately, in 2013, Randy Travis had a stroke that nearly took his life. In fact, his heart completely stopped at one point. He was on life support and in an induced coma. Doctors said the stroke affected the central region of his brain.
He went into another coma after his lungs had collapsed. Doctors told his family he had a one percent chance of surviving.
Travis defied all odds and survived the stroke. It has affected his ability to move and communicate. The stroke had caused him to lose control of the entire right side of his body. It took him time to slowly get his voice, including his singing voice, back.
According to Everyday Health, Travis has committed to helping others overcome struggles like his. He had The Randy Travis Foundation, which helps stroke victims and those with cardiovascular diseases.
“I had braved numerous storms in my life and had frequently faced overwhelming odds, times when others had advised me to give up. I hadn’t quit then — and I wasn’t about to quit now,” Travis wrote in his book, “Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith, and Braving the Storms of Life.”
He suffered from aphasia, where he had a hard time communicating what he was thinking. Even a few years in, Travis had difficulty communicating with others.
“In my case my brain was functioning, and I could understand what Mary said to me, but I could not respond in anything close to a sentence. When we first returned home, I could barely speak at all. We spent three months in speech therapy before I learned to say the letter ‘A.’ Eventually, after about a year and a half, I could say ‘yup,’ ‘nope,’ and ‘bathroom.’ I could also say ‘I love you’ and a few other phrases but not much more. All this was extremely frustrating for me; I felt like I was trapped inside the shell of my body,” Travis said to Everyday Health.
Advocacy and Continuing His Career
Since his stroke, Randy Travis has always been an advocate for how powerful music can be in healing. His foundation supoorts music and entertainment education for at-risk kids.
In 2013, he first showed fans his voice by recording “Amen,” a Josh Turner cover of his song. In 2016 he sang a few lines of “Amazing Grace” at his Country Music Hall of Fame induction.
Then, fans witnessed his newfound voice at his 60th birthday celebration at the Grand Ole Opry where he sang the song “Amen.”
Along the way, Travis has gotten all kinds of support and respect from fans and the industry. Now, the precious moment on stage with the Josh Abbott Band is one of these moments.