Randy Travis Opens Up on ‘Storms of Life’ Anniversary Edition, How Johnny Cash and George Jones Inspired It

by Clayton Edwards
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Randy Travis blessed the country music world with Storms of Life thirty-five years ago. Then, last Friday, September 24, he reissued the record. The thirty-fifth-anniversary deluxe edition of the album featured the ten original songs as well as three new tracks. Those three tracks take a nearly perfect country album and somehow elevate it to a new level.

Recently, Randy Travis and his wife Mary sat down with Taste of Country to talk about the classic album as well as the reissue. Randy Travis and his wife told the publication that the three extra songs on the reissue were only the beginning. Travis cut twenty songs for Storms of Life. So, there are still seven songs out there somewhere. When ToC asked where those songs were, Mary said, “If you find them, let us know.” Randy laughed and nodded in agreement. She went on to say, “I assume Warner has them,” because Travis laid down all twenty songs. Mary added, “I’d love to know where they are.”

Randy Travis would probably tell the world about the lost songs. However, he suffers from aphasia which is a post-stroke condition that makes it hard for him to express and understand speech. Randy remembered the three extra tracks on the latest release after he heard them, but can’t recall the other seven.

Many people, myself included, have called Storms of Life a perfect album. Taste of Country wanted to know if Randy Travis agrees or if he listens to it now and thinks he could have done better. Travis’ speech is very limited. However, that didn’t stop him from giving the perfect answer to that question. “Good,” said the country star while flashing an “Okay,” sign with his hand.

How Cash and Jones Influenced Randy Travis

Randy Travis has two writing credits on the original ten tracks from Storms of Life.  Travis penned “Send My Body,” and “Reasons I Cheat,” both of which are fairly dark.

“Send My Body,” is a song about a man who is sentenced to be hanged. In the song, Randy Travis sings about having his body sent home on a train. The lyrics are definitely a nod to Johnny Cash. However, the instrumentation makes it sound like even more of a tribute to the Man in Black. The beat and guitar work on the song are reminiscent of Cash’s work.

“Reasons I Cheat,” sounds like Possum could have cut it in his heyday. In fact, you can hear Jones’ vocal influence heavily in the chorus of the song.

According to the interview, Johnny Cash, George Jones, and Lefty Frizzell were some of Randy Travis’ biggest influences. So, it wasn’t that Travis was in a dark place when he wrote those songs. He was just following in the footsteps of the giants that came before him.

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