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March 19

Playing With the “Queen Of Hearts” Ain’t Really Smart

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“Queen of Hearts” is a country-pop song written by Hank DeVito, the pedal steel guitarist in Emmylou Harris backing group The Hot Band, and was first recorded by Dave Edmunds on his 1979 album Repeat When Necessary.

“Queen of Hearts” had its highest profile incarnation in a version by country-rock singer Juice Newton from the 1981 album Juice.

“Queen of Hearts” also gave Newton her second huge international hit.  It went to Top Ten chart positions in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and Switzerland. Her recording of the song earned Newton earned a 1982 Grammy nomination for Best Female Vocalist, Country, and Western category, “Queen of Hearts” has been a No. 14 country hit. In June 2014, Newton’s version of the song was ranked No. 92 by Rolling Stone on its list of the 100 greatest country songs of all time.

Juice Newton

Juice Newton’s real name is Judith Kay Newton from Lakehurst, NJ. She was part of the first wave of country singers raised on rock, folk-rock, and singer/songwriters, which is evident from her hit singles. “Angel of the Morning” and “Queen of Hearts,” are her two crossover hits. They have country-pop arrangements, but their roots are in ’60s pop and new wave roots rock, respectively. That’s why she managed pop crossover hits in the early ’80s and also why she was able to sustain country success throughout the decade.

Playing With the "Queen Of Hearts" Ain't Really Smart 1

Newton’s best advice

Newton, when asked about her best advice about life, she said:

Well … that you should pick something to do that you like. Before you know it, which is the only thing you are doing. And if you don’t like it, that’s a tragedy. That’s a sadness. I have a daughter, who is a writer, but she was encouraged to get a degree in business, but that was not where her heart was. I know in my gut, she will go on and be a writer. She has just the right words in her vocabulary. So … try to pick something that you really like.

Well said, keep doing what you like! And if you like to listen and learn more about our favorite classics, we’ve got what you are looking for here at Country Daily. May you find ways to fulfill things you’ve been wanting to do, fella.


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Juice Newton, Queen Of Hearts


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