Top 10 Judds Songs
America fell in love with the mother-daughter duo the Judds in the 1980s. A combination of acoustic-bluesy driven songs with passionate lyrics coupled with their rags-to-riches story seemed to make everyone a fan. A single mom, Naomi, with the dream of a better life for her family, moved to Nashville. Realizing her daughter Wynonna’s talents, she tried looking for a record deal with little success. However, taking a job as a nurse to pay the bills led to a chance meeting with producer Brent Maher’s wife, who was admitted as a patient in Naomi’s care. The hopeful mother presented a demo tape that Mrs. Maher took home to her husband. As history has recorded, Brent Maher was impressed and took The Judds to RCA for a live audition with the label, who signed them immediately. From the small town of Ashland, Kentucky to the Grammy Awards, this list represents the songs that make up their incredible journey. From the first single ‘Had A Dream (For The Heart)’ to the farewell smash ‘Love Can Build A Bridge,’ these are the Top 10 Judds songs.
Although this song barely broke the Top 20, ‘Had A Dream (For The Heart)’ is one of the most important songs in The Judds’ catalog. Released as their very first single for RCA in 1983, the Elvis cover would introduce the world to the music of a duo that would become the hottest act in Country Music by the mid-‘80s. Appropriately, the song was used as the opening number on The Judds’ ‘Last Encore’ reunion tour.
‘Guardian Angels’ is a gem in The Judds’ repertoire. The song was a perfect fit for the family duo, as it pays homage to their own family tree. The theme of love and reminiscing are the centerpiece of many Judds favorites, making this song a must on our list of the Top 10 Judds songs. The album’s title track ‘River Of Time,’ never released as a single, could have just as easily been another hit off this fine collection of music.
By the time ‘Give A Little Love’ was released, The Judds had already conquered the music world with just about every award possible for the powerhouse duo. The song was actually recorded as a new single to be included on their first ‘Greatest Hits’ album. The tune describes what love should really be about, a conversation that any mother-daughter might have. The sassy song about finding the right man was a great fit for the pair. Lyrics like ‘Mama didn’t raise no fool’ made this a perfect song for The Judds chemistry in concert.
At the height of their commercial career, ‘Rockin’ With The Rhythm’ was a fun title track to a hit album that spawned three massive Judds hits, including ‘Have Mercy’ and ‘Grandpa.’ The single would become their seventh consecutive No. 1 Billboard single, out of eight, in the mid-‘80s. The hot streak was interrupted by a cover of the Elvis classic ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ which stalled at No. 10 in 1987.
One year after being named Country Music’s best newcomers, by winning the CMA’s Horizon Award, The Judds confirmed the voter’s decision by landing a string of No. 1 hits. ‘Have Mercy’ actually landed at the top for two weeks in 1985. The sassy delivery, about a woman who's done wrong, was a perfect fit for the soulful voice of the youngest Judd, Wynonna. According to songwriter Paul Kennerly, he believed Wynonna wanted to cut the song after hearing the line ‘I could hear you was playin’ Haggard and Jones.’ This popular 45 record is a must on our list of the Top 10 Judds songs.
The sweet story song ‘Young Love (Strong Love)’ reflects the classic love story that comes to life in many small towns in America. Penned by The Judds’ producer Brent Maher and Paul Kennerly, who wrote many Judds’ classics like ‘Give A Little Love’ and ‘Have Mercy,’ the song hit No. 1 in 1989. To avoid confusion with the Sonny James classic of the same name, the subtitle ‘Strong Love’ was added after the record was released.
After breaking through with their first No. 1 ‘Mama, He’s Crazy,’ The Judds grabbed their second chart topper compliments of Country Music Hall of Fame writer Harlan Howard. Once married to Grand Ole Opry star Jan Howard, the songwriter had already created the country classics ‘Heartaches By The Number’ ‘I Fall To Pieces’ ‘Pick Me Up On Your Way Down’ and ‘Busted.’ It’s no wonder this composition, finished off by Sonny Throckmorton and Brent Maher, became one of the most played songs on Country radio in the mid-‘80s.
‘Mama, He’s Crazy’ has the distinction of being The Judds first No. 1 single. The song came to life when songwriter Kenny O’Dell was watching a short-lived daytime soap called ‘Texas,’ a take-off of ‘Dallas.’ O’Dell had a mission to write down catchy and clever lines from the dialogue to help him create songs. On the day he was watching, the phrase ‘Mama, He’s Crazy’ was used as a line in the show, and the result was an idea to write a song specifically for the mother-daughter duo. After it's release, The Judds were moving up to the ‘A’ list in Country Music.
After becoming the biggest act in Country Music and one of the best selling acts in any genre, The Judds were forced with a tragedy. In 1991, mother Naomi announced that she was diagnosed with chronic hepatitis and would be forced to retire. Naomi wanted to write a song for The Judds farewell tour, and the result was ‘Love Can Build A Bridge,’ co-written with Paul Overstreet and John Jarvis. The title was also used in a book and movie about The Judds.
Jamie O’Hara, half of the duo The O’Kanes, wrote ‘Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Old Days)’ even though he never knew his grandparents. According to Tom Roland’s ‘Billboard Book Of No. 1 Hits,’ O’hara said he admitted that his grandparents had passed before he was born, and the song was therapeutic, suggesting that it filled a void in his personal life. The timing was incredible, upon hearing the song for the first time, Naomi had just lost her own father, Wynonna’s grandfather, and the girls just ‘fell to pieces.’ The song was both a CMA and Grammy Winner and tops our list of the Top 10 Judds songs.