Story Behind the Song: ‘On The Other Hand’ by Randy Travis
Sometimes things don't just happen automatically. You have to really work it to obtain success.
If you take a look at a popular number one country song from the mid 1980's, that was the case. The song "On The Other Hand" went to the top of the charts for songwriters Paul Overstreet and Don Schiitz.
But it took two different artists and three releases of the song before gaining top success. It was first recorded by Kieth Whitley in 1985 on his album L.A. to Miami.
It was later released by Randy Travis as the lead-off single to his album Storms of Life, and it peaked at #67 in the United States. However, it was re-released in April 1986 after the song "1982" peaked, and the re-release was his first number-one hit.
As far as how the song itself came about, the two songwriters, mentioned earlier in this story, were working on another song and were going over different options for a line. And one said, as he went over the list, "On the other hand", then paused as ideas immediately went off about what he had just said.
They took off on a tangent and wrote the song. And something else that maybe you didn't know, Merle Haggard was the first pick for recording, second was George Jones and third was Dan Seals.
When the song was handed over to producer Kyle Lehning, he came back and said he didn't hear it for Danny (Seals). He said he heard it for a new guy he was recording named Randy Traywick.
This Traywick guy was a cook and dishwasher at the Nashville Palace. He changed from Randy Traywick to a stage name of Randy Travis.