From Randy Travis’ early days, when his earthy baritone earned him comparisons to George Jones and Lefty Frizzell, to his country-gospel albums of recent years, he’s never strayed far from his roots. Randy’s arrival in the mid-’80s heralded a New Traditionalist phenomenon and paved the way for the county boom of the following years.
Ricky Van Shelton
Country trio Rascal Flatts is one-third Gary LeVox, one-third Jay DeMarcus, and one-third Joe Don Rooney. DeMarcus and LeVox, both from Columbus, Ohio, founded the group and later added Rooney, a Picher, Okla., native. Rascal Flatts came together when second cousins DeMarcus and LeVox invited Rooney to sit in as a substitute guitar player at a Printer's Alley gig in Nashville. At the time, DeMarcus and Rooney were also playing in country star Chely Wright's band.