Thirty-one years ago today (March 7, 1986) was a big day for Randy Travis. It was on that date that the singer made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry, three months before his freshman album, Storms of Life, was released on Warner Bros.

Travis, who was introduced during his Opry debut by Little Jimmy Dickens, sang the Hank Williams classic "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" ... and the singer must have left quite an impression on the audience because he wrapped up his pivotal year by joining the esteemed hall, becoming an official Opry member on Dec. 20, 1986. Travis was introduced that night by Ricky Skaggs, and performed his No. 1 hit "Diggin' Up Bones," from Storms of Life.

“Every time you walk on the Opry stage is a special feeling that I wish I knew how to describe," Travis says. "There is just a wonderful energy on that stage … I am very proud to be a member of the Opry.”

Travis has gone on to be one of the most successful country artists of all time, selling more than 25 million albums and earning 29 Top 10 singles, with 16 going all the way to No. 1. The Texan celebrated his 25th anniversary of becoming an Opry member in 2011 with a star-studded bash. Performers included Josh Turner, John Anderson and Carrie Underwood, whom Travis had invited to become an Opry member in 2008.

“It’s amazing to me to be celebrating my 25th anniversary in the music business on this stage because of the way I grew up and what I grew up listening to,” the country legend said during the celebration.

Travis also released an Anniversary Celebration album in 2011, which includes collaborations with some of his favorite artists, such as Brad Paisley, the Zac Brown Band, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney, on some of his most-beloved hits. The project is available for purchase via Amazon.

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