by Marcus K. Dowling
Since he suffered a debilitating stroke in July 2013, Randy Travis has made a few short, spot performances. However, since developing artist Andrew Jannakos caught Travis’ eye after covering Travis’ 1987 hit “Forever and Ever, Amen.” he’s been singing several duets with fans via TikTok, mixing his reaction with their video.
Travis joined GB of TikTok’s GBandMe channel for Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin’,” TikTok star/vocalist Alexandra Kay, plus others.
The vocal return of the neo-traditionalist icon famed for “Better Class of Losers” and “Three Wooden Crosses” is a profound moment given his tragic health scare. Since his incredible recovery, he’s remarried and regularly attends shows featuring rising country performers.
His miraculous recovery and return involved him relearning — from scratch — his most vaunted of talents.
“A little girl named Tracy, who had a music degree, would come in on her lunch hour, bring her keyboard, and started teaching Randy melody and song again,” Travis’ wife Mary explained to Dan Rather in a January 2021 interview. “She started teaching him ’Amazing Grace’… and the words all came back to him.” Continuing, she noted that after two months of solely working on forming the letter ’A,’ Travis was able to regain the following letters exponentially.
“We spent probably six hours a day running through that song, trying to get through all four verses and learning the words.” Travis’ work and his wife’s support were powerfully rewarded. As Mary continues, “I think when I put that microphone in his hand, he became Randy Travis again. It was absolutely beautiful.”