Saturday, June 13, 1987

Randy Travis’ “Forever and Ever, Amen” hit #1 on country chart

Forever and Ever, Amen

Randy Travis

Writer(s): Paul Overstreet, Don Schlitz (see lyrics here)


Released: March 25, 1987


First Charted: April 25, 1987


Peak: 13 CW, 55 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 0.97 US


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 72.7 video, 121.37 streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Randy Bruce Traywick was born in 1959 and, after dropping out of high school and struggling with juvenile delinquency, launched his singing career in 1978 with Paula Records. He achieved minor success with the #91 hit “She’s My Woman” on the country charts, but struggled to get signed to a major label. He was finally signed to Warner Bros. who packaged him as “a modern cowboy hero.” AC His first album, Storms of Life, produced a #6 hit with “1982” and the chart-topping “On the Other Hand.”

The latter was written by Don Schlitz (Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler”) and Paul Overstreet, who teamed up again for “Love Without End, Amen,” which became the biggest hit of Travis’ career. Schlitz said the song grew out of his wife’s son telling her, “Mommy, I love you forever and ever, amen.” TR He shared the idea with Overstreet and they sat on his porch with the lights off (so as to not attract bugs) and scrawled out the words with pencil on a legal pad to candlelight. TR

They immediately thought they had a hit on their hands and Overstreet went into the studio the next day to record a voice-and-guitar demo. TR Their instinct was right – it became “one of the finest written in country’s modern age.” AC Travis was reportedly “fond of the song immediately.” WK Its three weeks at #1 made it the biggest country hit since Johnny Lee’s “Lookin’ for Love” in 1980.

The song solidified Travis’ image as someone who “appealed equally to grandmothers, mothers, and daughters. Even macho men took a liking to him.” AC He also attracted “a large core of fans outside the normal country crowd.” AC The song became one of the most awarded country songs in music history, having won Single and Song of the Year honors from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association as well as the Grammy for Best Country Song. It was also named Country Song of the Year by Billboard magazine and the American Music Awards.


Resources:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Randy Travis
  • AC Ace Collins (1996). The Stories Behind Country Music’s All-Time Greatest 100 Songs. New York, NY; The Berkley Publishing Group. Pages 264-66.
  • TR Tom Roland (1991). The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits. Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 490.
  • WK Wikipedia


First posted 11/2/2021.

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