How long ago and far away 1984 seems. That was the year that The Judds hit it big with their chart-topping song, “Mama He’s Crazy,” which reached #1 on the Billboard charts and was just the beginning for The Judds. For the next six years, they continued to make fabulous music, culminating in 14 #1 hits until Naomi announced her retirement in 1990 due to Hepatitis C.
As you may know, Naomi Judd died on April 30, 2022 after a long struggle with mental illness. This was just days before she and daughter Wynonna were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The career of The Judds almost seems to mark the time that my own interest in country music came and went. While I listened before (more due to the fact that radio stations in our West Virginia valley more often than not only played country music) and somewhat after, it seemed that country music was on its way to becoming something frequently generic and bland, despite being exceedingly well-produced.
But The Judds. Wow. With Wynonna’s beautiful and sometimes growly alto and Naomi’s harmony, they were something else. It didn’t hurt that they were both auburn haired beauties who looked more like sisters than mother and daughter. And, still, despite the passage of years, if I hear one of their songs, I can sing along to the music, somehow remembering all of the lyrics, like it was yesterday.
It was announced earlier this year that they would tour later this year. We can only imagine what might have come of that.
Rest in peace Naomi. January 11, 1946 – April 30, 2022.
I’ve never been so in love
He beats all I’ve ever seen
And mama, he’s crazy, he’s crazy over meSongwriters: Kenny O’dell