Travis Tritt – New Georgia Encyclopedia

A versatile performer from suburban Atlanta, Travis Tritt has garnered major industry awards and sold millions of records, cementing his stature within the Peach State pantheon of notable contributors to country music.

First years

James Travis Tritt was born on February 9, 1963 in Marietta to Gwen and James Tritt. He first sang in the children’s choir at his church. By the age of eight he was a self-taught guitarist, and just five years later he was writing his first song. He married and divorced twice at a young age. In 1997 he married Theresa Nelson and the couple had three children, Tyler, Tristan and Tarian.

After graduating from high school, Tritt worked a day job while moonlighting solo in Atlanta-area bars and nightclubs. Danny Davenport, a talent scout for Warner Brothers Records, discovered the aspiring country star at a club. This led to the recording of a demo which Davenport presented to artists and repertoire managers at the label. Soon after, Tritt found himself in Nashville, Tennessee, pursuing the singing career he had always dreamed of. He would later aptly declare, “I am an overnight success that took eight and a half years to come to fruition.

As a young developing artist, he was influenced by singer-songwriters John Denver, Ray Charles and James Taylor, but he was also drawn to the music of the Allman Brothers Band, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr. and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

recording completed

Tritt’s first radio single, “Country Club”, was a top ten hit in 1989. The album of the same name, released in 1990, sold over one million units. With songs such as the single “Help Me Hold On” and “I’m Gonna Be Somebody” topping the charts, this freshman project would attest to Tritt’s ability to successfully integrate rhythm and blues. and southern rock to the general public. country to produce a palatable and marketable product.

Everything is about to change, Tritt’s second record, also achieved platinum sales. This 1991 release features Tritt and one of country music’s most revered guitarists, Marty Stuart, in a duet performance of “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin'”, an eventual number two song. Another big hit from this project was “Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)”. The commercial success of Everything is about to change won the Tritt the Horizon Award, the Country Music Association’s coveted honor for new artists.

Another platinum project, WORRY, and a Christmas album (which would go on to be a top seventy-five pop record) soon followed in 1992. That same year, Tritt became the youngest member of Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry, joining the ranks of artists as esteemed as Loretta Lynn, Porter Wagoner and Bill Anderson. The following year, Tritt and Stuart received a prestigious Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Collaboration.

Tritt would fulfill yet another dream with his 1994 album Ten feet tall and bulletproof (title also given to his autobiography, which he wrote with Michael Bane and published in 1994). On this project, he recorded “Outlaws Like Us” with his idols, Hank Williams Jr. and Waylon Jennings. Marty Stuart’s masterful guitar accompaniment further enhanced the track, which critics said was destined to become a classic. In his book They heard Georgia singUS Senator and former Georgia Governor Zell Miller wrote that the Ten feet high record demonstrated Tritt’s “uncanny and unerring ability to walk the narrow path between his country heritage and his rock leanings to the acclaim of devotees of both.” In 1999 Tritt was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

With a new millennium, Tritt released his first album on Columbia Records, On the road I goa stellar album with “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive”, “Love of a Woman” and the number one single, “Best of Intentions”, a song Billboard magazine described in an October 2000 review as “the most heartfelt ballad Tritt has ever written”.

Travis Tritt

Tritt’s other albums on Columbia’s Sony Nashville label delivered a steady output of hits, including “Strong Enough to Be Your Man” and the dogged “Country Ain’t Country.” Interwoven with smoldering guitar riffs, “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde” is a humorous, fictional, first-person account of events that occur when a hitchhiking outlaw is picked up. as she traveled to Richmond, Virginia.

Tritt has dueted with many notable artists in addition to Stuart, Jennings and Williams, including David Lee Roth, Charlie Daniels, Charlie Pride, George Jones and rhythm and blues diva Patti LaBelle (with whom he sang “When Something Is Wrong with My Baby”). He even joined political opponent, rocker John Mellencamp, to record “What Say You,” a response to the intense political division that prevailed during the 2004 election season.


Although country music has been his lifelong passion, Tritt has enjoyed a multi-faceted career, in which his artistic abilities and connections to the entertainment industry have landed him roles in film and television. He appeared with fellow country singers Kenny Rogers and Naomi Judd in the TV western Rio Diablo (1993) and with Kiefer Sutherland and Woody Harrelson in the feature film The cowboy way (1994), for which he also wrote the theme song. TV shows featuring Tritt have included CBS Yes Dear; Diagnosis Murder; Touched by an angel; and Dr. Quinn: medicine womanas well as Arliss and Tales from the Crypt on HBO.

Tritt has enjoyed longevity in a competitive field that produces many unique wonders and short-lived careers. Attracting a large fanbase, he remains genre-free and has become one of the most celebrated country music performers in Georgia history.

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