Randy Travis’ downward spiral continues with drunk-driving arrest

Randy Travis, in his booking photo after his drunk-driving arrest last week in Texas.
(Grayson County Sheriff’s Office / Associated Press)

Country singer Randy Travis’ recent arrest in Texas is the latest in the downward spiral for the singer, who led a return to traditional country styles in the 1980s and early ‘90s.

Travis, 53, was arrested last week and booked on a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated; subsequently, a felony charge was added because officers said he threatened to shoot and kill them while in custody after his Aug. 7 arrest outside Tioga, Texas, which is about 60 miles north of Dallas.

Officers said Travis was found lying by the side of a road, naked. He was arrested, lawmen said, after he allegedly ran his Pontiac Trans Am off the road and crashed into some construction barricades. Shortly before his arrest, he reportedly was seen walking into a store and demanding cigarettes. Booking photos showed Travis’ face scuffed and bruised.

Earlier this year, Travis was charged with public intoxication after police found him sitting in his car in the parking lot of a church in Sanger, Texas, with an open bottle of wine on the passenger seat.


He was divorced in 2010 from Lib Hatcher, his longtime manager whom he had married in 1991.

The North Carolina-born singer launched his career in 1979 as Randy Traywick with a minor hit titled “She’s My Woman.” Things really took off when he released “On the Other Hand” in 1985, which went to No. 1 and started a string of 16 No. 1 country hits over the next 17 years.

He brought a pared-back sound that stood in stark contrast to the country-pop-flavored material then topping the charts by artists such as Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton following the success of the film “Urban Cowboy” and its soundtrack in the early 1980s.

But since Travis’ last chart topper, the gospel song “Three Wooden Crosses” in 2002, his music has largely fallen off the charts and he has struggled to regain the momentum his career once had.


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