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30 Years Ago: Randy Travis Hits No. 1 With ‘On the Other Hand’

On_the_Other_Hand_single
Warner Bros.

Thirty years ago today, on July 26, 1986, Randy Travis was undoubtedly doing plenty of celebrating. It was on that date that the singer earned his first No. 1 single with “On the Other Hand,” from his freshman album, Storms of Life.

“On the Other Hand,” which was written by Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz, tells the story of a man who is wearing a wedding band on one hand while being tempted by another woman.

“We were trying to write the theme for another song. It was the idea that when you have one woman, you shouldn’t be looking for another one,” Overstreet recalls to Country Weekly. “So, right in the middle of the song, we kind of bantered some lines back and forth, and Don said, ‘but on the other hand,’ and I said, ‘there’s a golden band.’ From that point on, we looked at each other and kind of got that glitter in our eyes and finished it real quick. Then we went to lunch.”

“On the Other Hand” had an interesting journey to No. 1: It was originally released as the debut single from Storms of Life and stalled on the charts without coming close to the Top 40. But after Travis found success with his song “1982,” which peaked at No. 6, “On the Other Hand” was re-released, and it quickly soared to the very top.

In addition to Storms of Life, “On the Other Hand” can also be found on both Travis’ Greatest Hits, Volume 1 album and his I Told You So: The Ultimate Hits of Randy Travis project. The song is available for download on iTunes.

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