Randy Travis' childhood, influences, and how he started his music career. 

Randy Bruce Traywick became Randy Travis in Marshville, North Carolina, on May 4, 1959. The second of six kids. Mother Bobbie worked at a textile factory, while father Harold Traywick raised horses, turkeys, and had a construction business.   

Randy was influenced by Hank Williams, George Jones, and Lefty Frizzell by his father's records. His early country sound came from these musicians.  

Randy started performing at 10 in local talent contests and religious occasions. John and Ricky Traywick performed as the Traywick Brothers at local clubs and events.   

Randy's teens were marked by defiance and legal difficulties. After leaving school at 16, he was often arrested for theft and burglary. His father encouraged his musical career despite his disobedience due to his talent.  

When Randy met Country City USA nightclub manager Elizabeth "Lib" Hatcher in Charlotte, North Carolina, his life changed. Hatcher hired Randy to cook and perform at her club after hearing his promise.  

To boost his marketability, Randy Traywick changed his name to Randy Ray and then Randy Travis, inspired by his favorite singer, Merle Travis. With Hatcher managing his career, they moved to Nashville, Tennessee, the country music capital, in 1982 for improved possibilities.  

Randy had trouble starting in Nashville. Because his sound was too traditional for early 1980s country music, many record labels rejected him. Despite setbacks, Randy performed at bars and honky-tonks, building a reputation.  

After persevering, Randy signed with Warner Bros. Records in 1985. His first album, "On the Other Hand," was unpopular but a hit when rereleased in 1986. This breakthrough established his country music career.  

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