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The Judds

Up until the rise of Brooks & Dunn in the '90s, the Judds were the most commercially successful duo in country music history. Mother Naomi and daughter Wynonna enjoyed an astounding run of 14 number one singles from 1984 to 1989, ranking them as one of the most popular country acts of the '80s. Their music combined elements of traditional country harmony singing, bluegrass, and Appalachian folk with pop, rock, and polished contemporary production. Moreover, Wynonna's powerful, bluesy, often sexy lead vocals established her as one of the finest female country singers of her era. But even more important than their widely accessible sound -- or their considerable visual appeal -- was their sympathetic understanding of working-class and small-town women, earned through a long, hard struggle of their own. Though their off-stage relationship was often more contentious than it appeared, it took a life-threatening illness to bring the Judds to a halt -- Naomi retired from performing when she was diagnosed with hepatitis C but beat the disease to watch Wynonna enjoy an acclaimed solo career.

The Judds' story began in Ashland, KY, where Naomi was born Diana Ellen Judd on January 11, 1946. An honor roll student, she often played piano in the Baptist church her family attended but shocked the town by getting pregnant at age 17 by a man who abandoned her immediately. Hoping to save face, she married new sweetheart Michael Ciminella but missed her high-school graduation, giving birth to Wynonna (born Christina Ciminella, May 30, 1964); to make matters worse, her brother died of cancer not long after, and her parents divorced. In 1968, the family moved to Los Angeles, and new daughter Ashley (later, of course, a successful movie star) was born not long after. Unfortunately, the marriage broke apart in 1972, and the family often survived on welfare while Diana bounced between jobs (waitressing, modeling, serving as secretary for the pop-soul group the 5th Dimension) and endured an abusive rebound relationship. In 1976, she moved the family back to Kentucky, where they lived in a mountain home with no phone or TV. Music helped pass the time, and Wynonna began playing the guitar and harmonizing with her mother, who was in the meantime studying to become a nurse. She renamed herself Naomi and brought the family back to the West Coast to finish her nursing degree. Wynonna's singing talent was by then readily apparent, and in 1979, the Judds moved to Nashville in hopes of making it in the music business.

Naomi and Wynonna made tapes of themselves on a cheap cassette recorder and sometimes sang on Ralph Emery's local morning show. They caught their first big break through Naomi's nursing job: one of her patients happened to be the daughter of record producer Brent Maher, and that contact eventually led to an audition for RCA executives in early 1983. The Judds were signed on the spot and issued their debut single, "Had a Dream (For the Heart)," late in the year. It reached the country Top 20, and it was accompanied by a quickly assembled mini-album, The Judds. Their second single, "Mama He's Crazy," was a breakout hit that went all the way to number one and later won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal by a Duo or Group. Their first true full-length, Why Not Me, was released in 1984 and took its place as a classic of modern country, establishing the Judds as spokeswomen for a new generation of female country music fans. The Grammy-winning title track, "Girls Night Out," and "Love Is Alive" all went on to top the country charts, as did the album, which also sold over a million copies.

The Judds were now full-fledged stars, and they spent the rest of the '80s cranking out hit after hit. 1985's exuberant Rockin' With the Rhythm spawned four number one singles in "Have Mercy," "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days" (another Grammy winner), "Rockin' With the Rhythm in the Rain," and "Cry Myself to Sleep." 1987's Heartland was widely viewed as more uneven than its predecessors but kept their hit streak going strong with the chart-toppers "I Know Where I'm Going," "Maybe Your Baby's Got the Blues," and "Turn It Loose." The ten-track Greatest Hits was released in 1988 and featured two new songs: "Give a Little Love," which went to number two and won another Grammy, and "Change of Heart," which hit number one. 1989's River of Time became the first Judds album not to top the country charts since their debut mini-album but continued their streak of consecutive million-sellers all the same. "Young Love (Strong Love)" and "Let Me Tell You About Love" both hit number one and would prove to be the last Judds songs to do so.

By this point in the Judds' career, mother and daughter were clearly distinct personalities. Naomi was the extroverted stage presence, the sometime songwriter, the ambitious businesswoman who steered the group's career and pushed her daughter to keep realizing her talent. Wynonna -- despite her quiet, reserved demeanor -- was a prodigiously talented vocal stylist who grew surer of herself with every passing release and rebelled more and more forcefully against her mother's direction. By the time Love Can Build a Bridge was released in 1990, there was already speculation that Wynonna was ready to mount a solo career. Not long after the album was released, Naomi announced that she had been diagnosed with hepatitis C, a chronic and life-threatening illness that she had likely contracted from a needle during her days as a nurse. The constant touring had already begun to take its toll on her health, and she elected to retire from performing and recording, following one last farewell tour in 1991. Love Can Build a Bridge produced several hits, including the Top Fivers "Born to Be Blue" and the title track, and the tour was unsurprisingly a blockbuster success.

Wynonna released her solo debut in 1992 and followed it with several more successful albums over the course of the '90s. Naomi, meanwhile, sought alternative medical treatment for the disease that was expected to take her life in several years. She published her autobiography, Love Can Build a Bridge, in 1993; the book was later turned into a TV-movie. By 1999, Naomi's hepatitis had somehow gone into remission, and she and Wynonna reunited for a gala New Year's Eve concert to ring in the new millennium; it was later released as The Judds Reunion Live. A full-fledged reunion tour followed in 2000, and four newly recorded Judds songs were issued exclusively on a bonus disc included with Wynonna's solo album New Day Dawning. Following the tour, Wynonna resumed her solo career, while Naomi made her primary living as a motivational speaker. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Judds Reunion Live

Disc 1

1. Love Can Build A Bridge (Live)

2. Girls Night Out (Live)

3. Rockin' With The Rhythm Of The Rain (Live)

4. Have Mercy (Live)

5. Love Is Alive (Live)

6. Turn It Loose (Live)

7. She Is His Only Need (Live)

8. I Saw The Light (Live)

9. My Strongest Weakness (Live)

10. Give A Little Love (Live)

11. River Of Time (Live)

12. I Know Where I'm Going (Live)

Disc 2

1. The Wyld Unknown (Live)

2. Rock Bottom (Live)

3. Can't Nobody Love You (Like I Do) (Live)

4. Tuff Enuff (Live)

5. Come Some Rainy Day (Live)

6. Had A Dream (For The Heart) (Live)

7. Mama He's Crazy (Live)

8. Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout The Good Old Days) (Live)

9. Why Not Me (Live)

10. Auld Lang Syne (Live)

11. Freedom (Live)

x

Track List: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2

1. Let Me Tell You About Love

2. John Deere Tractor

3. Turn It Loose

4. Young Love (Strong Love)

5. Born To Be Blue

6. I Know Where I'm Going

7. Had A Dream (For The Heart)

8. Guardian Angels

9. Maybe Your Baby's Got The Blues

10. Love Can Build A Bridge

x

Track List: Spiritual Reflections

1. When King Jesus Calls His Children Home

2. Guardian Angels

3. The Sweetest Gift

4. Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem

5. Love Can Build A Bridge

6. Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan?

7. I Know Where I'm Going

8. Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout The Good Old Days)

9. River Of Time

10. Who Is This Babe

x

Track List: Love Can Build A Bridge

1. Born To Be Blue

2. Calling In The Wind

3. In My Dreams

4. Rompin' Stompin' Blues

5. Love Can Build A Bridge

6. This Country's Rockin'

7. One Hundred And Two

8. John Deere Tractor

9. Talk About Love

10. Are The Roses Not Blooming

x

Track List: River Of Time

1. One Man Woman

2. Young Love

3. Not My Baby

4. Let Me Tell You About Love

5. Sleepless Nights

6. Water Of Love

7. River Of Time

8. Cadillac Red

9. Do I Dare

10. Guardian Angel

x

Track List: The Greatest Hits

1. Why Not Me

2. Rockin' With The Rhythm Of The Rain

3. Mama He's Crazy

4. Give A Little Love

5. Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout The Good Old Days)

6. Girls Night Out

7. Change Of Heart

8. Have Mercy

9. Cry Myself To Sleep

10. Love Is Alive

x

Track List: Heartland

1. Don't Be Cruel

2. I'm Falling In Love Tonight

3. Turn It Loose

4. Old Pictures

5. Cow Cow Boogie

6. Maybe Your Baby's Got The Blues

7. I Know Where I'm Going

8. Why Don't You Believe Me

9. The Sweetest Gift

x

Track List: Rockin' With The Rhythm

1. Have Mercy

2. Grandpa

3. Working In The Coal Mine

4. If I Were You

5. Rockin' With The Rhythm Of The Rain

6. Tears For You

7. Cry Myself To Sleep

8. River Roll On

9. I Wish She Wouldn't Treat You That Way

10. Dream Chaser

x

Track List: Why Not Me?

1. Why Not Me

2. Mr. Pain

3. Drops Of Water

4. Sleeping Heart

5. My Baby's Gone

6. Bye Bye Baby Blues

7. Girls Night Out

8. Love Is Alive

9. Endless Sleep

10. Mama He's Crazy

x

Track List: Wynonna & Naomi

1. Had A Dream (For The Heart)

2. John Deere Tractor

3. Isn't He A Strange One

4. Mama He's Crazy

5. Change Of Heart

6. Blue Nun Café

7. Cry Myself To Sleep

8. Dream Chaser

Comments

Report as inappropriate
bwellsandt
Naomi and Wynonna you are both very beautiful women and sound great together! Love your music always!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO X O X O .
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bwellsandt
Naomi and Wynonna you ladies sound great together and Wynonna you are a very pretty lady!!
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Holly and the other hand, I am a beautiful day. You you can be used to be a good time to get the best yo-yo the first to offer a
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Don't read this.If you type this on 15 more songs you will be kissed by the love of your life on Friday.If you ignore this you will have bad luck.
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cathyrobinso n 7 3 8
Never find another great team love em and this song God bless them!!!!❤!
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i like there song love can build a bridge
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i have always liked them there my favorite
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bikeday13
The Judds would say "F**k Donald Trump"
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My 4 yr. old niece (lived with) always wanted to dance to Grandpa. I would hold her and dance and we would sing. Precious memories.
Report as inappropriate
I love Naomi Judd and wynonna Judd and I was born in 200 my name is claudiaLshru m and I really want wynonna Judd and her mother in a owosso to sing for me on my 16 birthday and I really want to sing with the Judas I love them so mouch I listen to wynonna Judd and Naomi. Every day
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Uptown meatloaf����
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Why does it seem that guy's only realize how much they love someone who has already left. If I had knew all that i would lose and knew that i needed nothing but her. A broken heart that will never go away. I am realizing that i have to live with a memory and i will never be the same as I was.
Report as inappropriate
josejmadriga l 3
oobnonbobbob o b o b b o o b o b
Report as inappropriate
Reminds me of my driving days in my college years.
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Love them, reminds me of my sister and I singing riding down the road, xo
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bikeday13
Naomi is so beautiful... n e v e r - e n d i n g crush❤
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They have three things that modern country music does NOT, for the most part, have -- Melody. harmony and good song writing.
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Was raised with these songs so many memories love the Judd's!
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What an amazing hard fought road to fame, country strong
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Always love The Judds!
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I love this song because my bestfriend cusoin sing this song :)
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?
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How do I get it
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I want love is alive
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Have Mercy you woman are true country at.the best
Report as inappropriate
Remember when they were ripping up the charts
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I love the Judds, they are amazing! My favorite song by them mis Grandpa.
Report as inappropriate
allybugb
allyson
Report as inappropriate
One of the best country duets offf all
Report as inappropriate
Real country music is wat dis is. Now a days country is either pop country or tries 2 b rockish. I love The Judds!!! Their music eases my heart.
Report as inappropriate
I love the Judds
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Love to hear these ladies sing. Never get tired of em
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vstone5
I love this song Grandpa Thank you Judd's!
Report as inappropriate
I love the judds listen to these ladies with my granny shoot still got the Cassette. From the begging of there career
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Judd's I love all her song.(.why not me);)best ever!!!!!!!! ! ! !
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Love the judds
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Dr.sam
Report as inappropriate
love this song
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Love this song
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lucy Carla bruce
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wynonna and her mother
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How could you not just love their voices they speak / sing for themselves. :o))
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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this do don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this so scary because it actually works
Report as inappropriate
Love this song!!! Will always be!!
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I love them. They are soooo good!!! My friends think i'm crazy for listening to them. But they just don't know a great singer when hey hear one.
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Women of faith love and hope.beautif u l voices that have endured much!!!
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I love the Judds!!
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The judds are great singers.
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rebalparker
I love all of there music. I have some of there music and they have a movie and its good.
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rebalparker
I love this song.
Show more

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