Watch Randy Travis Cover Gene Watson & Merle Haggard Back When He Went By Randy Ray

It’s always intriguing to see how certain country superstars got their start.

While watching the second episode of Randy Travis’ More Life documentary the other day, I noticed a cool story about how Martha Sharp, the former vice president of A&R, Warner Bros. Records, discovered Travis while he was working as a cook at the Nashville Palace.

At the time, he had been turned down by 10 labels in Nashville, and was cutting his teeth in bars trying to make it.

Originally named Randy Bruce Traywick, he went by the stage name Randy Ray, and Sharp is the person responsible for changing his stage name to the one we all know and love today.

With that being said, I decided to dig down a few rabbit holes, and found Travis’ performance from a venue called Mama Wynette’s in Marietta, Georgia.

Although there’s no official date on when this performance happened, it had to have been the early ’80s, before Travis took the country music world by storm (no pun intended) with his 1986 Storms of Life album.

In the 16 minute clip, he sings Gene Watson’s “Fourteen Carat Mind,” his originals “Future Mister Me,” Send My Body,” “Why Don’t You Call Somebody Who Gives a Damn,” and Merle Haggard’s “Someday When Things Are Good.”

Check out ol’ Randy Ray from back in the day:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock