Randy Travis Reveals a Dire Financial Forecast
Randy Travis needs to do publicity for his new memoir as much as he wants to. During an interview with Taste of Country, the Country Music Hall of Famer confirmed his financial situation is dire.
The 60-year-old's finances are a large part of the final 100 pages of Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith, and Braving the Storms of Life (May 14, Thomas Nelson Publishing). The as-told-to autobiography chronicles the "I Told You So" singer's life and career, from his raising in Marshville, N.C. to his move to Nashville, early career struggles and finally his tremendous success. The final third provides compelling insight on his more recent legal and medical troubles, all of which are underlined by the question: Where did the money go?
The relentlessly candid first-person narrative describes Travis and his wife Mary's shock at learning he did not have a disability insurance policy — he says he had been led to believe his voice was insured by Lloyd's of London — after his 2013 stroke and subsequent setbacks, and further shock upon learning the reason he'd not been getting royalty checks from Warner Brothers (his longtime record label) was that he'd not recouped advancements against royalties, due primarily to many draws against those royalties. Furthermore, money he'd thought he'd had socked away in investment accounts was no longer there or accessible.
The book wraps in March 2018, as the couple is in court with his ex-wife Lib Hatcher (who along with the late Gary Haber, Travis says, had managed most of his career) requesting a deposition from her old attorney to sort through some of these facts. Fast forward 14 months, and when asked if the current situation is "dire," Travis nods and says "Yep."
"Hopefully the book will help. A movie may help, as well," author Ken Abraham tells ToC with Travis and Mary seated next to him. "I think that is part of the story of Randy Travis that a lot of people don't know. They think that just because Randy has had such great success in the music business ... that he's just rolling in money and never has to have a concern. That's just not the way the music business works."
See Randy Travis Photos Through the Years
In the book, Travis stops short of of casting legal blame on either Hatcher, Haber or anyone else, but he does express disgust at what he labels an absurd and terrifying financial oversight, "or perhaps willful disregard or mishandling of my fiduciary affairs." The "Three Wooden Crosses" hitmaker also takes blame for allowing decisions to be made on his behalf without reading what he was signing. Hatcher was instrumental in his rise from teenage rapscallion with a golden voice to country music superstar, and she is repeatedly credited without qualification for her work and passion throughout the first two-thirds of the autobiography. We're left understanding that there is unfinished business.
"We've admitted where we were wrong and we hope that they (those who may take exception to their characterization in this book) may do the same thing, because there is so much freedom in knowing that I forgive and I've been forgiven," Mary Travis says.
In the expansive interview above, fans get a look at Travis today and get a better understanding of how he's doing physically and mentally. His mind and memory are clear, and he can walk, although he still relies on a wheelchair or cane. The multi-time Male Vocalist of the Year can only offer a few words at a time, but every day, the couple and Abraham say, new words and abilities surface. He may sing songs like "Diggin' Up Bones" again one day, but more immediately prospects for a movie (no details are available) or compilation album seem promising. The book also mentions one or two creative ideas that might allow Travis to tour.
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