Country Music

Josh Turner Joins Randy Travis for a Rendition of ‘Three Wooden Crosses

“Three Wooden Crosses” is a significant song in the career of Randy Travis, marking a notable moment in country and gospel music. Released in 2002, it represented a comeback for Travis, who had not seen a chart-topping hit in nearly a decade. The song emerged as a major success in both country and gospel genres, being a collaborative effort between Warner Bros Nashville and Word Records. This collaboration led to “Three Wooden Crosses” becoming the first Christian label single to reach No. 1 on the country charts, a testament to its widespread appeal and the powerful message it conveyed.

The creation of “Three Wooden Crosses” was a result of the collaborative effort between songwriters Kim Williams and Doug Johnson. Johnson came up with the concept of the song’s central characters – a farmer, a teacher, a preacher, and a hooker – traveling to Mexico. This unusual grouping of characters was the foundation for a narrative that explored themes of faith, redemption, and mercy. Johnson’s initial idea for the characters, particularly the twist of the hooker being the survivor, aligned well with the song’s theme of forgiveness and understanding, adding a layer of depth to the storytelling.

The song became a significant hit for Travis, featured on his 2002 album “Rise and Shine.” It resonated deeply with listeners, leading to frequent radio requests and becoming Travis’s 16th No. 1 hit. The acclaim for “Three Wooden Crosses” extended to industry recognition, as it won Song of the Year at both the CMA Awards and the Dove Awards. Its impact was further cemented in 2009 when Travis named a compilation album of his greatest hits after this song: “Three Wooden Crosses: The Inspirational Hits of Randy Travis.”

Over the years, various artists, including Josh Turner, have covered “Three Wooden Crosses,” each bringing their unique interpretation to this classic tune. These covers further attest to the song’s enduring appeal and the powerful message it carries. The song remains a defining piece in Randy Travis’s career and continues to be an inspirational anthem in the realm of country and gospel music​.

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