38 Years Ago: Randy Travis Signs Recording Contract With Warner Bros. Records
Thirty-eight years ago today (Feb. 14, 1985) was a Valentine's Day to remember for Randy Travis: It was on that date that the singer inked his record deal with Warner Bros. Records, only two weeks after recording what became his first single, "On the Other Hand."
Travis had already been rejected by every label in town by the time he landed at Warner Bros. Working with his manager, Libby Hatcher -- who later became his wife -- he recorded an independent album, Live at the Nashville Palace. Hatcher managed the Nashville Palace at the time and hired Travis to cook and perform, and she used the record to help land the Warner Bros. deal.
"On the Other Hand" peaked in the 60s on the charts when it debuted. But Travis' freshman album, Storms of Life, shot straight to No. 1 when it was released in 1986, and the single "1982" landed in the Top 10. Propelled by that success, Warner Bros. re-released "On the Other Hand" to radio, and it became Travis' first No. 1 single, in 1986.
Travis has gone on to release more than 35 albums and earn plenty more No. 1 hits, including "Forever and Ever, Amen" and "Three Wooden Crosses." He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1986. All of Travis' albums are available for streaming and download on Amazon.
This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.