The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will take a fresh look at the story of The Judds—mother Naomi and daughter Wynonna—using rare artifacts, original manuscripts, unpublished photos and keepsake costumes in an exhibit titled The Judds: Dream Chasers. The exhibit opens Aug. 10, 2018 and continues through July 14, 2019.
The exhibit will follow the popular duo from their mother-and-child beginnings as Diana Judd and daughter Christina Ciminella to their chart-topping career peak as one of the most successful duos in country music history. In the Eighties and early Nineties, The Judds scored twenty Top Ten hits, including fourteen No. 1s. They were popular with their industry peers, too, winning five GRAMMY®, nine CMA and seven ACM awards.
According to museum CEO Kyle Young, “Country music hall of fame member Tom T. Hall, who hailed from The Judds’ home territory of eastern Kentucky, sang, ‘It’s a million miles to the city, from the hills and the valleys we know/ It’s a million miles to the city, and someday we all want to go.’ This is a million-mile story, told with heart and soul, about a miraculous, fortunate, and harmonious journey.”
The Judds’ music is characterized by distinctive harmonies and Wynonna’s powerful lead voice, offered in a spare, acoustic accompaniment that incorporates elements of traditional folk, blues and family harmony. Their songs feature themes of family, love, longing, independence, and spirituality. In collaboration with producer Brent Maher and guitarist Don Potter, The Judds created a sound that was simultaneously traditional and groundbreaking.
“The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is sacred ground, regarded with reverence and respect,” said Naomi Judd. “I am so overjoyed to have The Judds’ career encapsulated in this new exhibit. I’m so proud of all the success Wynonna has accomplished and we owe everything to the fans who welcomed The Judds music into their homes.”
“I am truly humbled and grateful to partner with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to honor The Judds’ legacy and relive some of the special moments we shared with our fans,” added Wynonna Judd. “What an honor.”
Among the artifacts featured in The Judds: Dream Chasers are:
-Velvet jacket embellished with bugle beading and sequins, worn by Wynonna Judd on The Judds’ farewell concert in December 1991. The concert was taped for a television special broadcast a week later
-Lyrics to the song released by The Judds as “Rockin’ with the Rhythm of the Rain,” handwritten by Don Schlitz, who co-wrote the song with Brent Maher. The song went to #1 and appeared on The Judds’ second album, Rockin’ with the Rhythm (1985).
-1996 Gibson Custom Shop ES-336 electric guitar used by Wynonna Judd in her solo concerts
-Nurse’s uniform worn by Naomi Judd when she worked as a registered nurse
-Certificate presented to seventeen-year-old Naomi Judd for her volunteer work as a Candy Striper at King’s Daughters Hospital in Ashland, Kentucky
-Hohner harmonicas and cigar box owned by Naomi Judd, who began playing harmonica in the 1970s
-Note to Santa Claus, written by Naomi Judd and her siblings when they were children.
Music industry awards:
GRAMMY®, for Best Country Song (1991) for “Love Can Build a Bridge,” presented to songwriters John Jarvis, Naomi Judd, and Paul Overstreet CMA Horizon Award presented to The Judds in 1984 ACM Top Vocal Duet Award presented to The Judds in 1990
-Silk jacket embellished with beaded stars and worn by Wynonna Judd at the 1991 ACM Awards
-Kaat Tilley gown worn by Naomi Judd during The Judds’ nine-show residency in Las Vegas, October 2015
-The Judds’ exhibition joins several new 2018 exhibitions including American Currents: The Music of 2017, Outlaws and Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ‘70s, Little Big Town: The Power of Four, Ralph Stanley: Voices from on High, and an upcoming exhibit featuring Emmylou Harris (opening October 2, 2018).
For more information about this exhibition, visit countrymusichalloffame.org.
About Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum:
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum collects, preserves, and interprets country music and its history for the education and entertainment of diverse audiences. In exhibits, publications, and educational programs, the museum explores the cultural importance and enduring beauty of the art form. The museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and for the last three years welcomed over one million patrons, placing it among the most visited museums in the U.S. The Country Music Foundation operates Historic RCA Studio BTM, Hatch Show Print® poster shop, CMF Records, the Frist Library and Archive, and CMF Press. Museum programs are supported by Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts. More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at www.countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.
About The Judds:
Hailing from the Appalachian foothills of Ashland, Ky., mother and daughter duo The Judds were discovered by RCA Nashville label head Joe Galante in 1983, after they landed a guest spot on WSM-TV’s Ralph Emery Show. The Judds made their Billboard country chart debut at the end of that year, with “Had a Dream (for the Heart),” and they were on their way to a history -making career. For the rest of the 1980s, every Judds single released by RCA went to the Billboard Top Ten, with 14 going all the way to No. 1. In 1991 when Naomi’s diagnosis of hepatitis C forced her to retire from the road, The Judds embarked on a farewell tour. The following year, Wynonna launched her solo career with a self-titled album that went 5x platinum. Her first three singles reached No. 1 on the country charts and she has become a country icon in her own right. Naomi focused on her health, beating the disease, writing several New York Times best sellers and becoming a popular motivational speaker. Recently, Naomi released the paperback version of River of Time: My Descent Into Depression and How I Emerged With Hope.
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