The Judds, comprised of the late Naomi Judd and her daughter, Wynonna Judd, were one of the most successful acts in country music history. They signed to RCA Records in 1983 and have released five studio albums, garnered 14 No. 1 hits and won five Grammy Awards and eight CMA Awards.
The duo, hailing from Ashland, Ky., carved a path for themselves in country music, and their legend continues to this day. Throughout the years, the Judds’ songs have remained a staple on country radio stations and in country fans’ ears. After all, the genre just wouldn’t be the same without the following 10 tunes, would it?
The Judds had some fun with “Girls Night Out,” and, 30 years later, the No. 1 hit became the name of their Las Vegas residency, which kicked off on Oct. 7, 2015. Released in 1985 as the second single from Why Not Me, “Girls Night Out” is the perfect weekend anthem for any group of girlfriends ready to get out and paint the town.
“Let Me Tell You About Love” was the Judds’ 14th and final No. 1 on the country charts. It was released in 1989, as the second single from the album River of Time, and it made another appearance on the Judds’ 1991 Greatest Hits Volume Two collection. “Blue Suede Shoes” hitmaker Carl Perkins played guitar on the song’s recording.
“Love Is Alive” garnered the Judds a Grammy nomination for Best Country Song. It showcases love in its everyday appearances: at the breakfast table, and every day of the week. The Judds sing, “It’s made a happy woman out of me,” and even if you think love is dead, this song will make you believe otherwise.
This sassy number, written by Paul Kennerley, was the Judds’ lead single from Rockin’ With the Rhythm. It shot to No. 1, giving the Judds their fifth chart-topping tune, and it’s pretty easy to see why it was a hit with fans: The song speaks of a woman who’s wronged by a cheating and lying man, but it’s sung in a way that evokes interest, not pity.
The Judds released “Give a Little Love” as the first single from their Greatest Hits record in 1988. By this era, the Judds were known as one of country’s greatest duos, and “Give a Little Love” was just one more reason to love them (and give them another Grammy). It describes the ideal man — and while he could be “some big hunk” and “handsome, dark and tall,” what he really needs to do is show a little love. A squeeze and a little kiss go a long way!
“Rockin’ With the Rhythm of the Rain” became the duo’s seventh consecutive No. 1 when it dropped in May of 1986, spending 12 weeks on the country charts. It makes a rainy and dreary day seem utterly romantic, with lyrics such as, “Slide on over / Baby, hold me closer / Movin’ to and fro / Just swayin’ like a slow freight train / Rockin’ with the rhythm of the rain.”
“Why Not Me” was the Judds’ second No. 1 hit. It dominated the charts for two weeks and spent a total of 15 weeks on the country charts after its release in September of 1984, as the first single and title track from Why Not Me. Harlan Howard, Sonny Throckmorton and Brent Maher penned the hit, which asks a man why he’s searching the world for the perfect woman, when “the girl next door” is right in front of him.
This chart-topping tune was the Judds’ first-ever No. 1, and it was only the second country No. 1 sung by a female duo … ever. “Mama, He’s Crazy” captured the hearts of fans right away, with a daughter telling her mother about a man she’s met — and he’s crazy over her. The song is one of the Judds’ most recognizable hits, and it propelled them into the country music scene in a huge way. Plus, it won them a Grammy Award!
“(Grandpa) Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Ol’ Days” is the story of a granchild asking her grandfather about the “good ol’ days”: Is it true that couples stayed married, praying was the norm and fathers never left their families? Naomi Judd had recently lost her own father, Wynonna Judd’s grandfather, so this song deeply touched the duo upon first listen. It kicked of 1986, as the second single from Rockin’ With the Rhythm, and was the Judds’ sixth No. 1 song.
When it debuted in 1990, “Love Can Build a Bridge” struck a chord with country fans. Naomi Judd co-wrote the song with Paul Overstreet and John Jarvis, as a sort of goodbye to her family and fans, after revealing that she had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C and had decided to retire due to her condition. When heard through that perspective, “Love Can Build a Bridge” takes on a very special meaning; the tenderness of the song could make even a statue shed a tear or two.