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March 6

“Why Not Me”: Behind The Judds’ Hit With A ‘Weak Title’

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“Why Not Me”: Behind The Judds’ Hit With A 'Weak Title' 1

The Judds/youtube.com

You’ve been looking for love
All around the world
Baby, don’t you know
This country girl’s still free?

Looking for love around different places but still can’t find one? Well, better rethink and recheck around you. Maybe there’s still someone out there who’s still free and available. Wanna catch up with him/her before it’s too late.

The lyrics stated earlier was a part of the song, “Why Not Me.” Familiar with this song? Well, if you are, let’s talk more about it, but if you’re not, oh, I would love to reveal more about it.

“Why Not Me”

A song penned by Harlan Howard, Sonny Throckmorton and Brent Maher, “Why Not Me” is recorded by American country music duo The Judds. Released in September 1984, it the band’s first single and title track from the album Why Not Me. The song was their second number one on the country chart. The single went to number one for two weeks and spent a total of fifteen weeks on the country chart.

Howard concocted the lyrics to “Why Not Me” around the Judds’ personalities, rather than any real-life events. Maher and Throckmorton pieced together the musical elements, and Brent then took a tape to guitarist Don Potter. The day that Maher arrived, Potter had just found a slide that he hadn’t slipped on his finger for years. When Brent played the song, Don joined in and added a bent note that became a signature in the instrumental hook.

Story behind the song…

After a huge success in the summer of 1984,” the Judds had their first no. 1 hit with the Kenny O’Dell song “Mama He’s Crazy.” After it reached the summit on Billboard’s country singles chart, RCA set them to work on a full album. After assembling material, producer Brent Maher felt they still needed something with a strong, mid-tempo groove. Hence, he turned to legendary songwriter Harlan Howard.

Harlan wanted to go fishing, but instead they decided to set up a Sunday writing session at Howard’s home. They didn’t have any strong ideas, and Harlan suggested they call Sonny Throckmorton, who had recently moved from Texas back to Nashville. He lived just a few blocks away.

Sonny protested “Man, this is Sunday,” but he came over as a favor to Harlan. He brought along the foundations of “Why Not Me.” Throckmorton had developed the melody months earlier. It had attempted to write it as “How ‘Bout Me” but never could get anything. He set it aside and forgot about it, until that day at Harlan Howard’s house.

A song with a weak title (according to the songwriter)

Meanwhile, Howard remembered hearing a couple of previously issued tunes called “What About Me,” one by Don Gibson way back in 1961, and a more recent 1973 release by Anne Murray. Both of these singles had reached the Top 30. However, by 1984, a very few people remembered them, especially the Gibson cut. However, Harlan was still familiar with those recordings. Consequently, he used that title as the basis to come up with “Why Not Me,” but he still had doubts about it.

He felt that “Why Not Me” wasn’t a great title, nor were “What About Me” or “How ‘Bout Me” for that matter. Howard explained it this way:

“To get a really good record, you’ve got to write a truly exceptional song when you’re dealing with an average title. The only thing I know to do with songs like ‘Why Not Me’ and ‘Busted’ – which I never thought was a good title – is to put the title in there often so that people remember it. The weaker the title, the more you gotta hear it.”

Harlan (who died in 1997) would be appalled by today’s barrage of low-caliber songs with weak titles and meaningless lyrics that are becoming huge hits in this modern world of sub-standard country music, which for the most part is nothing more than thinly-disguised rock.

Eventually, this hit single became the Judds’ second consecutive no.1 single (reaching the summit on December 22, 1984). This was their second consecutive Grammy award, and 1985’s “Single Of The Year” winner from the Country Music Association.

Any thoughts folks? Tell us what you think. Don’t forget to like and share this post. Share the country spirit folks! For more country reads, visit our website, https://www.countrythangdaily.com/.


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The Judds, Why Not Me


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