He's making a musical comeback. But will Randy Travis ever fully recover from his stroke?

By Theoden Janes, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Entertainment News

Partway through a Zoom call with Mary Travis and her famous husband, Randy Travis, they suddenly disappear from the screen.

When the couple pops back into view 20 seconds later, Mary is apologizing and Randy is laughing.

"Are we back?" asks Mary, who is squeezed next to Randy in the rustic family room of the house on their ranch in Tioga, Texas (population: barely 1,000). "We're out in the country. You have to forgive me. If it just goes in and out, it's because the paper cups and the string don't work real well all the time."

Randy laughs again.

In fact, during a freewheeling, 40-minute conversation about what life has been like for the couple not just since the pandemic started but in the seven years since his devastating stroke - the 61-year-old Country Music Hall of Famer and Marshville, North Carolina, native finds several reasons to laugh, and even more reasons to smile.

He isn't able to contribute more than a steady diet of one- or two-word answers, due to the aphasia that affects his ability to produce and comprehend speech. Instead, he relies on Mary to speak on his behalf.


By the time the chat is over, though, the most overwhelming sense you're left with is this: He seems truly happy.

"My one prayer when (he first had the stroke) - and it happened so fast - was 'God, please just let me have him back. Any way, shape or form,'" says Mary, who met Randy 30 years ago but didn't start dating him until 2010, after they had both gone through a divorce. (They married in 2015, two years after his stroke.)

"And God was faithful. He gave him back. And we followed that light. ... It's easy to be bitter, but it's much better to be better. So yeah, it's all positive. We stay away from the negative. They have a problem for every solution, so we don't go there."

Randy smiles, and nods.


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