It’s been months since the health scare, hospitalization and surgery that Randy Travis underwent last year, and fans have been eager for news on how the legendary singer’s recovery is progressing. So when photos surfaced earlier this week showing a smiling Travis, fans were quick to share them.

The images were initially posted on the Twitter account of actor and Travis family friend Anthony Maurizio and have since been widely shared. In a Jan. 19 tweet, Maurizio noted that Travis is “healing nicely.” The new images showed the country star smiling and looking better than he has in months.

Another artist who’s been providing occasional Travis updates is singer-songwriter Bonnie Paul. As she noted on her Twitter account last month, Travis is “looking great!” In a second post she said he “sounds strong” on the phone and was even now “walking on his own.”

This week, Paul also revealed a demo version of a song she cowrote with Travis, featuring Travis himself on vocals. Titled “Childhood Sweethearts,” the song was written back in 2009 about Paul’s parents, and Paul had previously released her own version of it (as well as a video) . To longtime Travis fans, though, hearing this demo version of the song is a welcome treat. Though raw and rough as such recordings often are, the emotions are nonetheless genuine, and Travis’s voice shines through. Listen below:

As Paul explained in a recent tweet, she wrote the song with Travis via a three-hour phone call, while she was jogging with her child. 




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