Epic Musical Grand Salute To Randy Travis

Musical Grand Salute To Randy Travis
When megastars, superstars and legends
gather to sing for an artist with equivalent status, it is more than a
statement, it is a mega shout-out and a declaration of mutual respect.

That is what happened Wednesday night when
Garth Brooks, Alabama, Tanya Tucker, Kenny Rogers, The Bellamy Brothers, Alison
Krauss and so many other celebrities with names that country music fans would reverently
inhale merely by mentioning them, along with new artists humbly acknowledging
the honor of being a part of something great, were performing at the sold out
Bridgestone Arena to honor country music icon Randy Travis.
Not only did artists, friends and heroes
show up for this “1 Night. 1 Place. 1 Time: A Heroes and Friends Tribute to
Randy Travis” as the event was called, but Nashville’s mayor, Megan Barry, made
an appearance declaring February 8 as Randy Travis Day.  The governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam, also
came to announce that the day is now Stroke Awareness Day in Tennessee.  Randy Travis and his wife Mary had earlier
during the day visited the Capitol to raise awareness about stroke care and
stroke prevention.


Travis was having the biggest time of his
life at the loud-crowd cheered-on concert judged by the way he was smiling,
laughing and beaming with joy bright like a neon honky tonk sign, moving his
legs and feet and wagging back and forth to the music.  A true miracle if anyone is, after doctors
said there was nothing they could do after his stroke, he was sitting holding
hands with Mary not in front row seats, but in on stage seats as if enjoying a
living room concert as friends and heroes like Wynonna sang “On The Other
Hand”, Scotty McCreery did “1982” (shy of eleven years before he was born), Chris
Janson “Look Heart No Hands”  (receiving
a standing ovation), James Dupre with Shane Owens performed the theme song of
the evening “Heroes And Friends” (Randy Travis appears in Shane’s music video
“Country Never Goes Out Of Style”) and Josh Turner had the honor of singing
“Three Wooden Crosses”.  Part of the
Grand Ole Opry family, including the upcoming members Dailey & Vincent,
paid their tribute with “I’ll Fly Away”.  The line up and the song list were both extensive
and impressive and more than well deserved by a Country Music Hall of Famer,
Grand Ole Opry member, ten-time AMA winner, ten-time ACM winner, three-time CMA
Song of the Year awardee and many more including having sold over twenty five
million records.  As the night drew to an
end, Paul Overstreet, the songwriter who’s written many of Travis’s hits,
performed “No Place Like Home” like there was no tomorrow.  The final song performed simply had to be
“Forever And Ever, Amen” and the incomparable Garth Brooks carried the notes up
to the next to the last word, placing the microphone in front of Randy letting
Randy sing the final “Amen”.  After that,
as in a double encore, Randy led everyone in “Amazing Grace” and the country
music all-stars concluded the no less than historic event with “Will The Circle
Be Unbroken”.  According to the promising
new country traditionalists, some of them partaking in the performances of the
night, The Circle has a good chance of remaining exactly that.
Shelley Ridge for Country Music News
International Magazine
Foot note: 
Part of the proceeds went to the Randy Travis Foundation.  For more information about the foundation
and/or to donate, visit http://www.randytravisfoundation.org/
 Photos by Rick Diamond /
Getty Images for Randy
Travis Foundation

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