Randy Travis is back in the groove

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Nashville singing star RANDY TRAVIS has had a rough time over recent years, healthwise, but thankfully he has made a remarkable recovery and is gradually getting back into the groove with his singing and songwriting.

Back in 2013, the 57-year-old North Carolina man suffered a massive stroke that nearly killed him and hospitalised him for more than five months, and affected him psychologically.

Since then, Randy has made miraculous strides in his recovery, much to the delight of close friends and contemporaries.

In October, he was inducted into the American Country Music Hall of Fame and, at the induction event, astounded the audience when he sang the chorus to the gospel hymn Amazing Grace. He also sang the tagline to Forever and Ever, Amen, his biggest hit, during the 50th annual Country Music Association awards in Nashville in November.

Now, Randy’s mutual friends are coming together for a one-night-only show in Nashville to celebrate the life and music of a man who has always maintained the traditional side of country in his music.

The tribute event, billed as ‘1 Night. 1 Place. 1 Time: A Heroes & Friends Tribute to Randy Travis’, takes place on February 8 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

The initial all-star line-up will include performances from Kenny Rogers, Alabama, Rodney Atkins, Jamey Johnson, Montgomery Gentry, Ricky Skaggs, Tanya Tucker, Josh Turner and the Randy Travis band. Additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Portion of the proceeds will support stroke research and rehabilitation through the non-profit Randy Travis Foundation.

Randy’s biggest hits were On The Other Hand; Forever and Ever, Amen; I Won’t Need You Anymore; Honky Tonk Moon, and Deeper Than The Holler

* Aiken Promotions this week unveiled details of a major country music festival that will take place at two different locations on Saturday August 26 and Sunday 27 at Enniskillen Airport, Co Fermanagh and Westport House, Co Mayo.

The ‘HARVEST 2017’ event will be two days of live entertainment featuring more than 30 acts from the US, UK and Irish Republic, performing at each festival across three stages. There will also be dedicated line and jive dancing sessions over the weekend.

Award-winng Nashville performer MIRANDA LAMBERT and country ‘n’ Irish favourite NATHAN CARTER will headline at what promises to eb a highly popular hoedown. Tickets for the festival are now on sale at usual outlets.

* Country icon LORETTA LYNN has been giving fans a Christmas flavoured peek into her home in Tennessee.

In Loretta’s new video for the holiday season, she gives an insight into her family holiday traditions, with the song Country Christmas. Snippets of home videos from Christmases past float in and out as she serenades beside her tree, accompanied on guitar by John Carter Cash, son of a close friend, the late Johnny Cash.

Staying true to her good old fashioned country roots, Country Christmas accurately capsules what the season means to Loretta and her wide family circle.

It’s a nostalgic reminder of simpler times, a family togetherness on what really matters in life. Country Christmas is featured on Loretta’s new album, White Christmas Blue, produced by her daughter Patsy Lynn Russell and John Carter Cash.