I know that's a weird headline, but it's actually a very true statement when I think about it.  And I think about him alot now - especially in light of his recent heart problems 

It was WAYYY back in the late 1980's. I was working on another station in the area.  It was my very first and only other radio job that I've ever had.  My partner and program director at the time ,  walked hurriedly into the studio one morning and said during the commercial break - "I've got something I want to ask you --how would you like to do country radio?"

I burst out laughing.  "Country??", I sarcastically remarked.  "I'm from Long Island - We don't do country", said I.

"NO! Don't think that way", he said.  "Country is different now.  It's becoming "hip" and "cool".  You have to listen to it tonite, and then decide.  Listen to some Randy Travis, for example.

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I was familiar with "Diggin' Up Bones".  It was weird, because it was very "country" sounding, but I liked it.  The words were clever, and I really liked his voice, but I wouldn't admit it at first to anybody.

Then I listened to "Forever and Ever Amen" (which I believe won a Grammy) .  I started getting hooked.

His music was cool, yet paid tribute to classic country at the same time.  Kinda -sorta like Easton Corbin today, maybe?  Sean said Josh Turner.  PERFECT ANALOGY.

Randy Travis:  A HUGE influence on an entirely new generation of country listeners back then.  I was one of them,  I thank him, and wish him a swift recovery.

You can read more about him by checking out  Kevin Richards' article