Sticking to his traditional country and gospel roots, Randy Travis released his 1986 debut Storms of Life, and his first top 10 hit, “1982,” marking the start of a musical career spanning 20 albums and more than 50 singles hitting the charts, including 16 No. 1 hits.
For more than three decades, the country icon has managed to write and record some of the most heartfelt lyrics and compelling hits, including “Look Heart, No Hands,” “Deeper Than the Holler,” “I Told You So,” “Three Wooden Crosses,” “Spirit of a Boy, Wisdom of a Man,” Diggin’ Up Bones” and more.
In 2016, Travis was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and performed a rendition of “Amazing Grace,” his first time on stage since suffering a massive stroke in 2013. Travis released a new single, “Fools Love Affair,” in 2020, a song initially recorded earlier in his career.
In addition to his own extensive catalog of songs, here are three songs Randy Travis wrote for other artists.
1. “I Told You So,” Jeanne Pruett (1985)
Written by Randy Travis
Best-known for her 1973 hit “Satin Sheets,” when Grand Ole Opry member Jeanne Pruett released her self-titled album in 1985, one of Randy Travis’ songs made the cut. Though released by Pruett in 1985, “I Told You So” was a song Travis first recorded on his 1983 album, Live at the Nashville Palace, under his stage name “Randy Ray” and would later record and officially release it on his second album, Always & Forever, in 1987 as Randy Travis.
When released by Travis, “I Told You So” reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart. In 2007, Carrie Underwood also covered the song on her second album, Carnival Ride. She later released the song as a duet with Travis, which reached No. 2 on the charts in 2009.
Though all of the tracks on Jeanne Pruett were written by other artists, the closing track “Rented Room” was penned solely by the country singer.
Suppose I called you up tonight
And told you that I love you
And suppose I said I want to come back home
And suppose I cried and said I think
I finally learned my lesson
And I’m tired of spending all my time alone
If I told you that I realize
You’re all I ever wanted
And it’s killing me to be so far away
Would you tell me that you love me too
And would we cry together
Or would you simply laugh at me and say
2. “Lord, She Sure Is Good at Loving Me,” Ricky Skaggs (1988)
Written by Randy Travis and Paul Overstreet
Off Ricky Skagg’s ninth album, Comin’ Home to Stay, Randy Travis and Paul Overstreet penned “Lord, She Sure Is Good at Loving Me.” The album peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for Skaggs, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2018.
Lord, I know I prayed you’d take away the loneliness I knew
My wildest dreams could not conceive the works your hands can do
It feels so good to fall asleep in her arms every night
Leave it up to you to do things right.
Lord, she sure is good at lovin’ me
I know you had a hand in this cause it’s so plain to see
That I’ve been blessed with the very best that love will ever be
Lord, she sure is good at lovin’ me.
3. “The Great Divide,” Gene Watson (1989)
Written by Randy Travis and John Lindley
Off Gene Watson’s 1989 album, Back In the Fire, “The Great Divide” was written for the country singer by Randy Travis and John Lindley. In a career spanning 33 albums, between 1975 and 1997. Watson had 48 singles hit the Hot Country Songs chart between 1975 and 1997, including his 1982 No. 1 “Fourteen Carat Mind.”
It’s time for us to settle up and go our separate ways
No one takes the blame but we both have to pay
Everything that once was ours now is yours or mine
I guess we finally made it across the great divide
And it sure hurts like hell to see you walk away
And there’s nothin’ I can do to make you want to stay
No one but you and I can know how hard we tried
There’s no turnin’ back, we’ve crossed the great divide
Photo: Courtesy of Warner Music Nashville