Tritt was one of the new leading country singers of the
early '90s, holding his own in the same league as Garth
Brooks, Clint Black, and Alan Jackson. Unlike the others,
he dipped into bluesy Southern rock and didn't wear a hat.
As a result he developed the gutsy, outlaw image that distinguished
him from the pack. Throughout the early '90s, he had a string
of platinum albums and Top Ten singles, including three
number one hits.
1963 in Marietta, GA
love for music developed as a child, he taught himself
how to play guitar when he was eight and was beginning
to write songs when he was 14. Travis was determined to
have a musical career but his parents didn't encourage
him. His mother didn't mind that he wanted to perform,
but she wanted him to sing gospel; his father believed
there wasn't any money in singing. When he was 18, he
tried to settle down, work and have a family but he was
unsuccessful — he was married and divorced twice before
he was 22. He continued to play music while working various
jobs. It was while working for an air-conditioning company
that the company's vice-president, who was a guitarist
himself and had given up hopes of a musical career, urged
Tritt to follow his dreams. Travis quit his job and began
pursuing a career full-time.
1982, Travis began his career by recording a demo tape
at a private studio owned by Danny Davenport, an executive
at Warner Brothers. Davenport heard the vocalist's songs
and was impressed enough to take Travis under his wing.
For the next few years, the pair recorded demo tapes while
Travis played the honky tonk circuit, developing a distinctive
sound and adding elements of country and Southern rock
to his honky tonk style.
way through in 1989, Warner Brothers' Nashville division
signed Travis and his first album, Country
Club, appeared in the stores in the spring 1990.
It was preceded by the Top Ten hit",Country
Club". Upon the release of his first album,
Travis entered the 'top rank' of new country singers.
His next two singles", Help Me Hold On" and
"I'm Gonna Be Somebody", hit number one and
two respectively". Put Some Drive In Your Country",
which had a clear rock & roll influence, stalled at number
four, since radio programmers were reluctant to feature
such blatantly rock-derived music.
his success, the Nashville music industry was reluctant
to embrace Travis. His music and stage show owed too much
to rock & roll, and his image didn't conform with the
'wear my hat' legions of new male singers. Despite this,
Travis had a breakthrough success with his second album,
1991's It's All About to Change.
Prior to its release, he had hired manager Ken Kragen,
who also worked with Lionel Richie, Trisha Yearwood, Kenny
Rogers, and We Are the World. Kragen helped market Tritt
in a way that appealed to both country fans and a mass
audience, sending It's All About
to Change multi-platinum.
Tritt's third album, was released in 1992. Although it
didn't match the success of It's
all About to Change, it had the number one single
"Can I Trust You With My Heart" and went gold.
Travis bounced into 1994 with Ten
Feet Tall & Bulletproof, which went platinum, bringing
to light his number one single", Foolish Pride",
and marking his highest position, number 20, on the pop
charts. His 1995 compilation Greatest
Hits — From the Beginning went platinum within
six months of its November release. Restless
Kind was released in 1996, followed two years later
by No More Looking Over My Shoulder.
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