to James Tritt, a bus driver and former farmer, and Gwen Tritt, bookkeeper and
He fell in love with music as a child, teaching himself how to play guitar when
he was eight and beginning to write songs when he was 14. Travis was determined
to have a musical career, but his parents didn't encourage him to follow his instincts.
His mother didn't mind that he wanted to perform, but she wanted him to sing gospel
(his first musical performances were made in children's choir at First Assembly
Church of God); his father was afraid there was no money in singing. When he was
18, he tried to settle down, work and have a family but he was unsuccessful --
he was married and divorced twice before he was 27. He continued to play music
while working various jobs, including one at an air-conditioning company. The
company's vice-president was a guitarist who gave up hopes of a musical career
and he urged Tritt to follow his dreams. Travis quit his job and began pursuing
a career full-time.
by recording a demo
for a promotion man, who happened to be an executive at Warner Brothers. For the
next several years, Travis recorded demos while he played the honky tonk circuit.
The singer was developing a distinctive sound, adding elements of country-rock
and Southern rock to his honky tonk.