The mother-and-daughter power duo of Naomi and Wynonna Judd gave country music in the 1980s a crucial counterpoint – when the genre was dominated by their male peers like Hank Williams Jr., Randy Travis, and George Strait. The Judds songs stole the hearts of many country fans and made them one of the biggest success stories in the genre’s history.
So, today, let’s take a look back at some of their most unforgettable duets.
1. Love Can Build a Bridge
“Love Can Build a Bridge” is definitely the one song that continues to stand out among The Judds‘ catalog. It highlights the importance of peace throughout society by always standing together. It won the Grammy for Song Of The Year in 1992.
The song was co-written by Naomi, who at the time was stricken with Hepatitis C and was believed to only have three years left to live.
2. Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days)
Starting to get weary in this modern world, the mother-daughter duo sang about the fall and neglect of traditional values, the frantic lifestyle of the day, and how progress isn’t always positive. Wynonna can’t help but ask her grandpa to tell her about “the good old days” – when couples were faithful to their promises, fathers stuck with their families, and people still say one’s prayers.
3. Mama He’s Crazy
When “Mama He’s Crazy” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, The Judds made history for being the second female duo to rank their song on top of the said chart. In addition to that, it also helped Wynona and Naomi earn their first Grammy Award.
Indeed, this country ballad quickly captured the hearts of many fans, with a daughter telling her mother about a man that’s crazy over her.
4. Why Not Me
Released as the debut single and title track off the country duo’s first full-length studio album, the song tells the story of a man who’s looking for love, far and wide – except for The Judds’ doorstep, leaving lead singer Wynonna questioning, “Why not me?”
It was written by Harlan Howard, Sonny Throckmorton, and Brent Maher. They were honored with the Song of The Year award by the Academy of Country Music Awards.
5. Girls’ Night Out
The Judds don’t need a man to have fun on a Friday night – after all, they can always get together with their girlfriends, hit up the country bars, and dance the night away. The song inspired a lot of women that they would come to the duo’s concerts, holding up signs that said, “We’re having a girls’ night out.”
6. Love Is Alive
This heartfelt country song is a great reminder that love isn’t just a dreamy thought – it’s often embodied by our partners. “Love is a man, and he’s mine,” Wynonna sings.
In addition to ranking No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, “Love Is Alive” was nominated for Best Country Song during the 1986 Grammy Awards.
7. Have Mercy
Heartbreak never sounded so upbeat or feisty. This bluesy country song is about a woman pleading for mercy after seeing her man out reveling in the arms of some little brunette. The Judds’ singing of being in misery was so on point you can’t help but sing along.
It’s no surprise the single went to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart for two weeks.
8. Rockin’ with the Rhythm of the Rain
This grooving, throwback rock n’ roll single was written by their producer Brent Maher, who based the song on a real-life scenario he would often witness whenever he’s visiting The Judds. Maher said he would always see The Judds rocking on their front porch swing while the rain rattled on their tin awning.
9. Cry Myself to Sleep
Paul Kennerley wrote this acoustic country sound and pitched it to his then-wife Emmylou Harris, who felt the song was not the right fit for her voice. Harris then suggested he see if The Judds wanted it instead. Naomi and Wynonna then picked up what Harris dropped and brought “Cry Myself to Sleep” to the top spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
10. Young Love (Strong Love)
The Judds found themselves recounting a romance between a young couple in “Young Love (Strong Love).” It started from the very first time the young woman laid eyes on the man – whose name is Billy – up until their relationship blossomed into love and to their early days of domestic bliss. The aspiring couple’s story, making it through the hard times, has truly given hope to countless others.
More of The Judds Songs That Captured Our Hearts
Truly, there’s no other duo like The Judds. Here are some more of their songs that will forever live in our hearts.
How about you, what are your favorite The Judds songs?