Country music star Randy Travis has returned with a new song that "needed to be heard" after 36 years on the shelf.
Travis, 61, last week released his new single, "Fool's Love Affair," which was originally recorded as a demo in 1984. One of the song's writers, Charlie Monk, found it in storage and sent it to Travis and his producer, Kyle Lehning.
The two turned it into the seven-time Grammy winner's first new single in years as he continues his recovery from a near-fatal stroke in 2013 that makes it difficult for him to speak. His wife, Mary Travis, spoke alongside Randy Travis about the new song and her deep bond with her husband on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna on Thursday.
"Here we have 'Fool's Love Affair' that sat on the shelf for so long, and it got tired of sitting on the shelf," she said. "It needed to be heard."
The new single is the latest step in an inspiring journey for Randy Travis since doctors gave him a less than 1% chance of survival in 2013 after he suffered a massive stroke. He underwent brain surgery and had to learn how to walk again.
He can speak in brief responses and also can still sing. He performed a duet with country star Josh Turner on a cover of Randy Travis' 1987 hit "Forever and Ever, Amen," which appears on Turner's new album out this month. The recording session was the first for Randy Travis since his stroke.
It comes four years after he reached another milestone in his recovery when he stunned the crowd with his moving rendition of "Amazing Grace" after being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Randy Travis also said on TODAY that he has more songs tucked away that may soon see the light of day.
Mary Travis has been by his side every step of the way, which included the two getting married in an emotional ceremony two years after he suffered his stroke.
"With someone like this beside you, it's very easy," she said. "You have a lot of faith, you have a lot of friends. You surround yourself with happiness, with positive people. You try to shine a light wherever you go, you're silent when it's noisy, and you sing a song when it's quiet, and you try to leave a blessing everywhere you go, and that's what this man has done all of his life."
The two celebrated their fifth anniversary in March when the pandemic began. While at their Nashville home during quarantine, they have found some time to introduce the veteran country crooner to TikTok, where he has made a video promoting his new song.
"To get to walk beside him is just one of the greatest joys I've ever had," Mary Travis said. "Every day's a new day and there's always something to smile about, and it's important to find something to laugh about and smile, especially these days."