Naomi Judd - vocals; Wynona Judd - vocals, guitar; Lee Carroll - keyboards; Steve Sheehan - guitar, vocals; Kip Ranks - drums; Mike Webber - bass; Charlie Wetton- pedal steel, dobro
Recorded at the dawn of the Branson, Missouri entertainment boom, this live radio broadcast from the famed mother/daughter duo performed for the Silver Eagle Cross Country Radio Concert series was done at the onset of their career. The group had begun a leg of touring to promote their first LP, The Judds.
The ladies were still learning their way around the stage and were clearly a little nervous to be performing for such a large national radio audience, but they hold up well and provide exceptional vocals. They show demonstrates how well-rounded their musical sets were back then, with a healthy mix of up-tempo country rockers, sad ballads, and pop-influenced country. "Girls Night Out," "Blue Nun Cafe," "Mama He's Crazy," and "Love Is Alive," still hold up today, nearly a quarter of a century after this recording was made.
Clearly a country act, however, The Judds were one of the earliest groups to overtly incorporate pop, rock, and many other musical influences into most of the songs they did. For this show, they do a crowd-pleasing remake of Little Richard's 1956 rock 'n' roll classic, "Rip It Up," as well as a gospel send-up of "Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan," which closes the performance.
The mother-daughter duo had been discovered by Nashville's top producer Brian Maher, whose daughter had been a patient of Naomi's, who worked as a nurse in a Nashville hospital. Maher arranged for an audition with RCA Records, who signed them in 1983. Within a year, they were charting with hit songs. 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 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 even bigger adult pop audience than she had reached as part of the duo. The team reunited in 2004 for a one-off reunion tour, which was both a critical and commercial success.