Randy Travis’ “Forever and Ever, Amen” Allows Us To Meet The Man Inside The Country Music Legend
In 1984, I was a 13-year-old, typical teenager who had one-of-a-kind grandparents who knew my love of country music, specifically the artists that were bringing the traditional sound back to the mainstream radio stations. Artists such as the incomparable, Randy Travis.
They regularly attended shows at the now long gone, Owensboro Executive Inn and Conference Center in Owensboro, Kentucky. They surprised my cousin and I with a trip to the Executive Inn with them for a special concert featuring John Schneider as opening support act for headliner, Travis.
At this particular time in his career, Travis was what would now be considered an "up and coming artist" who was travelling in a converted bread truck instead of a fancy Prevost bus. He was getting his songs slowly played on radio station after radio station with some still insisting he was "too country.”
Country music has a reputation with its fans for being the most loyal fan base of all genres. It is simply because the artists keep their end of the agreement that was made at the beginning and over the years, even with changing technology and evolving products. In the same fashion, the listener keeps their end by continuing to purchase the music, in whatever form it is delivered, and they show up at the concerts, even when they can purchase those tickets from their couch.
It is a loyalty that is rarely seen in any other area of our lives and we give so much trust in the artists as they give in each one of us. Each fan has a different relationship with the artist, or reason for their loyalty, however the intent and meaningfulness of each is special in its own, unique way.
Now, this is a book review, a promotional write-up, for someone to read that may be considering purchasing the above titled memoir of country music‘s iconic legend, Randy Travis. I could not tell you why you should purchase this product without giving my personal thoughts and feelings on the book and Travis himself and hoping you can relate to something I say as well.
To be quite frank about it, this is exactly that, my opinion. It is based on my personal thoughts and feelings about what this book means to me, as a loyal, card-carrying member of the Randy Travis lifelong fan club and my hope is that you will purchase the book.
Travis, with the assistance of his loving wife, Mary and his co-writer, Ken Abramson, give us a detailed look into what some would love to keep hidden. The deep, sometimes dark and ugly corners of our lives. The things that we go through at certain points in our lives that we look back and have no idea how or why we made it out of that situation being a better person each day. Either because of what we have experienced or in spite of what we have been through. The point is that we came out of it and we made it to the other side.
Artists tend to not all choose to open those corners or tear down those walls because it is not just their family and friends that will see those things, instead, the world, even more so now with the way communication happens, who will "like,” who will "love,” who will "laugh,” be "sad" or "angry" at some of the things they learn about an artist? They have no way of knowing. It is just a shot in the dark that they take. What an amazing and brave concept! Opening your entire life, from childhood through adulthood, for the world to judge. Whether or not you have thick skin, it is not for the weak.
The other thing that I believe readers will find, in particular with Travis' story, is that he is human. He has had some very low lows and extremely high highs, all while keeping true to who he always knew he was in his heart and soul. He gives us a look into trusting people with literally everything you have to making decisions of if you should stay alive. He teaches us valuable lessons on integrity and not settling for anything other than your dream. He shows us the result of uncontrollable, destructive behavior and then shows us the healing power of friendship, love and faith.
He reminds us all that admiration for those who have helped you along the way and of recognizing amazing people when they are put in our life. The importance of not being perfect and of being real.
He is a country song brought to life. He is a cautionary tale of what you should and should not do in life in general, not just as an artist in the public eye. He shows us how to laugh at ourselves and how to honor those we appreciate by making sure we express that whenever possible.
He reminds us that tomorrow is never promised and today is here right now, do not waste a minute.
Finally, Travis gives us a look into the raw, stripped down, acoustic version of circumstances in his life that brought him to the place he is now. A place where he can finally feel the peace and happiness he had struggled at times to find, all while keeping his faith, though difficult to do at times, with the world watching.
This book is a must read and I am so honored to have had the opportunity to do so and to share my thoughts on Forever and Ever, Amen.