OFFSTAGE: Vince Gill Says Randy Travis Brought Back Traditional Country Music

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Randy Travis is on everyone’s minds this week as he remains in critical condition after being diagnosed with congestive heart failure and suffering a stroke. So even though Vince Gill is out talking about his own new music, he couldn’t help thinking about Travis during an interview on Thursday (June 11) with CMT Radio. “You know Buck [Owens] and Merle [Haggard] did the same kind of thing,” Gill said. “They reintroduced people to the real hardcore traditions of what’s great about this music. It’s always come back — there’s always been somebody or a handful of people that brought it back that said, ‘OK, don’t forget where we came from.’ And Randy did that with ’1982′ and ‘Forever and Ever, Amen’ in an era that wasn’t very driven by a lot of traditional music.” Bakersfield, Gill’s upcoming album with steel guitarist Paul Franklin, pays tribute Owens and Haggard.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.