“Voice” Winner Chevel Shepherd Dedicates The Chicks’ “Travelin’ Soldier” To Brother
The Voice / YouTube
History Behind One Of Country’s Most Emotional Songs
Every now and then, a song is released with such a strong emotional power, that it leaves a lasting impact on all who hear it. Such songs are not lacking in country music. Anyone who has ever listened to “He Stopped Loving Her Today” or “Whiskey Lullaby” can tell you that.
Another song that has always had an emotional stronghold on country fans is “Travelin’ Soldier.”
While you likely know the The Chicks’ 2002 rendition of the song best, its history goes back much further than that. In fact, it was first released six years prior by its writer, Bruce Robinson.
Robinson re-wrote and re-released “Travelin’ Soldier” again in 1999, but never as a single. The second artist to record the song was Ty England, also in 1999. And also, like Robinson, he did not release his version as a single.
The Chicks were the first to make a single out of the song, which was included on their album Home. It eventually became their sixth, and last, number one hit.
The Story In The Song
Although it’s been nearly two decades since it last topped the country charts, the story of the”Travelin’ Soldier” is one that will forever be remembered by all who hear it.
A soldier leaves to fight in Vietnam, but before he does, he strikes up a friendship with a high school girl back home. The two begin corresponding through letters, and a romance blossoms between the two.
But the song ends in heartbreak, when the girl hears her soldier’s name announced during a football game as being one of the “local Vietnam dead.” Because the soldier had no one else, the girl is the only one left to cry after his name was read.
As you would expect, “Travelin’ Soldier” is a difficult song to sing. For starters, if you follow the The Chicks’ model, there are a number of high notes in there that can be tricky to hit.
But the main reason why it’s such a hard song to sing is because of its story. It takes true mastery as an artist to tell a story that emotional, and do so convincingly.
16-Year-Old Team Kelly Singer Rises To Challenge
That’s the challenge that then 16-year-old Voice star Chevel Shepherd faced as she geared up to compete during her knockout round. In rehearsals, she worked with coach Kelly Clarkson and key advisor Mariah Carey to refine her skills as a storyteller.
The song means a lot to her, because her brother is a veteran. So she dedicated her performance to him.
All of that hard work paid off, because Shepherd came out on stage and sang a rendition of “Travelin’ Soldier” that will rip your heart to shreds.
Even Shepherd herself was overcome by the emotions of the moment, as she sang the final part of the song with tears in her eyes. You’re sure to be left drying a few tears of your own after you watch her sing in the video below.
Hard to believe that she was only 16 at the time she delivered this performance, isn’t it?