Today is a monumental anniversary for Randy Travis: It was on this date 34 years ago (Dec. 20, 1986) that he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Travis’ induction into the Opry came only six months after the release of Storms of Life, his first album on Warner Bros. That record spawned four No. 1 hits, including “Diggin’ Up Bones,” which reached No. 1 only a few weeks before the North Carolina native became a member of the revered organization.
Travis was honored in 2011 with a star-studded 25th anniversary celebration of his membership in the Grand Ole Opry: At that event, he was joined by Josh Turner, John Anderson and Carrie Underwood, the latter of whom Travis invited to become a member of the Opry in 2008.
“It’s amazing to me to be celebrating my 25th anniversary in the music business on this stage because of the way I grew up and what I grew up listening to,” the “Forever and Ever, Amen” said at the time of the momentous occasion.
Travis also released his Anniversary Celebration album in 2011, which featured collaborations with several of country music’s biggest stars — including Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney and George Jones — performing some of Travis’ biggest hits. That record is available for purchase on Amazon.
PICTURES: Randy Travis Through the Years
WATCH: 5 Lessons We’ve Learned From Randy Travis