Randy Travis Randy recorded his vocals in the 1980’s (for "Fool's Love Affair") this release is a way for Country Radio to give back a huge thanks to Randy for his instrumental role in country music. Amazing to hear the pure and raw power of this man's voice.
Randy Travis' beloved baritone returns this week to country music airwaves.
The Country Music Hall of Fame inductee and neotraditional Nashville torchbearer released "Fool's Love Affair" Wednesday, his first radio single since a near-fatal stroke severely damaged his voice in 2013.
Travis originally cut the song —a classic ballad tinged with steel guitar and carried by the warm croon that sold millions of albums and helped shape a generation of country stars to come — around 1984, prior to releasing his 1985 debut single, "On The Other Hand."
"Mayor of Music Row" and famed radio personality Charlie Monk co-wrote the tune in 1982 with Milton Brown and Keith Stegall. Monk approached Travis and wife Mary Travis about three years ago about releasing the "Fool's Love Affair" demo, but he or the others couldn't find the recording masters — essential for bringing the song up to modern standards.
"He looked for three years," Mary Travis said. "He said, 'I turned everybody upside down in Nashville that I thought might have it.' ... Nobody had it."
Finally, a day before he was due to send a load of old boxes to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Monk tripped over the master recording (literally, Mary Travis said, stumbling over a box in his dining room, jarring the tapes out of its hiding spot).
They were in business.
From Monk, the song shipped to longtime Randy Travis producer Kyle Lehning, who gave it a modern mix, adding some electric and steel guitar.
"It was like unearthing a little buried treasure," Lehning said.
And, like a sonic time machine dated for the 1980s, Travis' voice shines on the classic country cheatin' tune. He sings, "It's a fool's love affair/ And we're both aware/ It's a game and nobody wins."
t's a simple song where, after years without new material, fans hear a voice that's "so, so pure and true," Mary Travis said.
"For it to all come together the way that it did ... it's kinda magical," Mary Travis said, adding: "So many times it could've fallen through the cracks and disappeared."
And it may not be the last folks hear from the Randy Travis vault. He released a gospel album and DVD earlier this year from a 2003 live recording and, last year, treated country music faithful to his turbulent life story in a memoir, "Forever and Ever, Amen."
There's more music archived, Mary Travis said, it's just a matter of finding where the song came from.
"Some of them, we don't even know the writers," Mary Travis said. "That's 35 years of diggin' we gotta do. Some of 'em are in good shape, some of 'em we gotta find out more information."
Plus, it's fun to dig through old memories, Randy and Mary Travis agreed. Due to the stroke impairing his speech, Randy Travis doesn't say much in interviews — opting mostly to nod and chime in briefly as Mary Travis shares their stories.
But, when asked about taking trips down memory lane, especially with old tunes, Randy Travis nodded, flashed his Hall of Fame grin and spoke up.
"Yes," he said. "I like it."