37 Years Ago: “Forever and Ever, Amen” Hits No. 1

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Randy Travis released “Forever and Ever, Amen” as the first single off his second studio album, Always & Forever.

Written by renowned songwriters Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz, this track epitomizes the heartfelt sincerity and timeless storytelling that define the genre. With its simple yet profound lyrics, “Forever and Ever, Amen” captures the essence of enduring love, making it a beloved wedding anthem and a staple in country music playlists.

Overstreet and Schlitz crafted the song during a period when both songwriters were enjoying successful careers. Overstreet, known for his ability to weave narratives with emotional depth, and Schlitz, the writer behind Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler,” combined their talents to create a masterpiece. The title phrase, “Forever and Ever, Amen,” was inspired by the conclusion of a prayer Schlitz’s son would say before bedtime, infusing the song with a sense of sincerity and everyday simplicity.

The Warner Brothers executive they pitched the song to suggested Travis for it, and she was spot-on. Overstreet had just written “On the Other Hand” for him, so he was familiar with Travis’ abilities in the studio.

Once released, the song climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, hitting the #1 spot on June 13, 1987.

Travis’ performance exudes warmth and authenticity, making listeners believe in the unwavering love he sings about.

“Forever and Ever, Amen” helped secure Travis a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1988. It also won the Best Country Song Grammy, solidifying his position as a leading figure in the neo-traditional country movement. This genre, which sought to return to the roots of classic country, found in Travis a voice that bridged the gap between old and new.

The song’s influence extends beyond its initial release.

It remains a popular choice for couples’ first dances at weddings and is frequently covered by artists who admire its timeless appeal. Travis made an emotional return to the stage at the 50th CMA Awards in 2016, three years after suffering a debilitating stroke that took his singing and speaking voice away from him.

Hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley led an 11-minute opening medley of country songs from over the years, ending it with “Forever and Ever, Amen.” The cast of performers all came together to sing Travis’ iconic song. They brought him out to sing the final “Amen,” which made nearly the entire arena tear up.

RELATED: Randy Travis Sings To Standing Ovation During 2016 CMA Awards Opening

Watch Travis perform “Forever and Ever, Amen” in 1987 below.