Thursday, 16 July 2020 01:36

WYNN - COUNTRY MUSIC MEMORY LANE - The Judds

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A great listener, Erin asked me if I would consider doing a piece on The Judds.  Of course the answer is yes, as they were a very important part of Country Music for a long while.  I am proud to say I played all their songs for years on great radio stations across the country.

I remember riding an elevator in 1984 to the seventh floor of the Southern Hotel when I worked at WRMZ FM-100 in Columbus, Ohio as I went to work one day as a young broadcaster.  I rode up with a man, and two well-dressed women that were wearing great perfume.  No one knew who they were then, but in about a month, we would all know -  The Judds.  They recorded a decade worth of great songs, but the gift outside of the music was just as valuable.  They started to point us in a very different direction.

The mother-daughter duo (Naomi and Wynonna)  won more awards than we can list. They had a ton of big songs that took the country by storm. And they were seemingly everywhere at a time when Country Stars were having a tough time getting any real outside exposure in the main stream, except Alabama. They were glitz and glam. Their sound was for the most part simple, acoustic driven, and had incredible two-part DNA harmony.  The Judds gave us something we really needed then. They were stars!  

Again, they were paradoxical, there was no shortage of people in the 1980's that said they, "Didn't like Country."  But they liked The Judds, who were VERY country, (those non-fans just didn't know that) People liked who they were, as much as the music they made. And that is something we really needed then. The Judds were a new breed of country stardom and glamour.  Gone were the days of the Loretta Lynn dresses, and the Tammy Wynette hair.

Mama He's Crazy - As popular as any song of the 1980's

 

But they didn't go all jeans and boots like some of the other new women of the era like Sylvia, Charly McClain, or Janie Fricke.  They were a hybrid of the old, the new, and their own style, and it worked.  It was a perfect combination at the perfect time.  If you love country and are too young to remember, a Google, or YouTube search is totally worth it.

Why Not Me - Is one of my favorite Country Songs - Big Hit!

 

The hits, Rockin' With The Rhythm  / Girls Night Out  / Grandpa.... / Don't Be Cruel /  The list goes one and on and never really does end, it is very long.  They played every venue there is, and were part of a Superbowl Halftime Show. They had endorsement deals, and were always on TV in some way.  It was incredible the exposure they got, and it was all deserved, they had a national and international appeal that was undeniable.

 Had A Dream -  Their Very First Song -  Not a big hit, BUT you could hear something was different

 

The Judds disbanded from active touring when Naomi developed health issues in the early 1990's, but Wynonna went on to a really successful solo career.  They have reunited a few times, and that's fine.  But the gift they gave us was immeasurable during their run.  We needed someone to help us get noticed.  The Judds did exactly that. They were in the right place at the right time, for us, and them. They brought so many fans to us, especially women, who loved the music, the style, and the confidence The Judds brought to our format.

 Wynonna - Tell My Why - One of many solo hits for her!

 

They made it look so easy on stage with big smiles and passionate performances.  And they unquestionably influenced heavily the next wave of women in Country as much as anyone ever has. In the history of our format, they are in same breath as Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Barbara Mandrell, Reba, and a handful of others in the fact that they helped inspire an endless list of future women stars.

The Judds  -  Stars!

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