Naomi Judd - vocals; Wynonna Judd - vocals, guitar; O' Dell - pedal steel, dobro; Skeeter - guitar; Cousin Elmo - drums; Tabah - bass; Cleon Leon - keyboards
This recording is a look back into the dawn of The Judds and their early efforts to capture the hearts and ears of America's country music fans. The show is also historical since it coincides with the birth of the country music boom in Branson, MO., generally regarded today as the Las Vegas of country music.
The mother-daugther duo had recently been discoved by Nashville's top producer Brian Maher (his daughter had been a patient of Naomi, who worked as a nurse in a Nashville hospital). Maher arranged for an audition with RCA Records, who signed them in 1983. They were still very much in the mode of getting their act seen and their music heard when this show was captured for the Silver Eagle Cross Country Radio Show.
In the studio, the group had had the luxury of Nashville's finest studio players and producers. Live, however, it was a different game. The women didn't have a tremendous amount of touring experience when this show was recorded and it is clear they were still a few years away from the point where they could control an entire arena of fans, simply by sending out a little stage chatter.
Still, there is a sweet innocence in this recording and its ability to convey the fact that The Judds were still finding their way around the performance stage. Most of the material is from group's first two RCA albums, although there is a spirited cover of Little Richard's "Rip It Up." Other highlights include: "Girls Night Out," "Mama He's Crazy," "Rip It Up," "Strange One," "John Deere Tractor," and the gospel-tinged, "Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan."
Of course, The Judds would go on to become the best selling country music act of the 1980s, and one of the most award-winning country music acts of all time. By the early 90s, the duo was forced to abandon their career as a recording and touring act while mother Naomi Judd battled Hepatitis C.
Wynona Judd launched a solo career and continued with the commercial and critical success she had experience with her mother. Her hits, such as "No One in the World," had a decidedly more rock edge and enabled her to crossover to an event bigger adult pop audience than she had reached with the duo. The team reunited in 2004 for a one-off reunion tour, which was both a critical and commercial success.