Country Music

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

“Three Wooden Crosses,” a song performed by Randy Travis, was released in 2002, marking a significant return to the spotlight for Travis, who hadn’t had a chart-topping hit for nearly a decade prior to this release. The song emerged as a hit in country music and also gained acclaim as a gospel classic. It was released in collaboration with Warner Bros Nashville and Word Records, and notably, it became the first Christian label single to reach No. 1 on the country charts​​.

The song was crafted by songwriters Kim Williams and Doug Johnson. Johnson recalled the genesis of the song, which began with the creation of its central characters: a farmer, a teacher, a preacher, and a hooker, all on their way to Mexico. This unusual group of characters sparked the first verse and the melody of the song.

Johnson and Williams worked together on the song, deciding that the survival of the hooker character would have the most impact on listeners, fitting well with the theme of forgiveness and understanding​​.

“Three Wooden Crosses” became incredibly popular, especially with Randy Travis’ rendition of the lyrics. The song was requested repeatedly on the radio, becoming Travis’s 16th No. 1 hit. It also won Song of the Year at both the CMA Awards and the Dove Awards. Over the years, various artists, including Josh Turner, have covered the song. It has become one of Travis’s signature songs, and in 2009, he even named a compilation album of some of his greatest hits after it: “Three Wooden Crosses: The Inspirational Hits of Randy Travis”​​.

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