The Judds more than earned their place in the country music history books. The mother-daughter duo dominated charts and awards shows from the mid-eighties into the early nineties. They amassed 14 number-one singles, five Grammy Awards, nine CMA Awards, and seven ACM Awards. Additionally, they revived the tradition of the permanent duo in country music. More importantly, though, Naomi and Wynonna influenced and impacted countless artists and fans. The music they released left a lasting impact.
With his new eight-part Apple Music series Neon Songbook Radio, journalist and Apple Music radio presenter Hunter Kelly will celebrate the legacy of The Judds. The series will dig deep into their career. It will cover the early days of their meteoric rise to their induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame earlier this year.
Fans of the Judds will hear the stories behind the writing and recording of some of their biggest hits. Some guests will add a little depth to the conversation. For instance, Brent Maher and Don Potter who both regularly collaborated with The Judds will make appearances. Also, Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Raitt will appear in some episodes. The beating heart of Neon Songbook Radio will be Kelly’s interviews with Naomi and Wynonna.
According to Music Row, Hunter Kelly grew close to Naomi and Wynonna in recent years. As a result, he was able to pick their brains on a wide range of topics. Additionally, he’s a lifelong fan of The Judds.
Hunter Kelly on Exploring The Judds’ Career
“Getting Naomi and Wynonna to the point of being able to talk about these songs and really honor the music in this way means the world to me,” Kelly said about the show. He added, “Some of these interviews were done a few years ago, and I’m far enough away from them that when I come back I’m like ‘Wow, this is really a once-in-a-lifetime chance to tell this story with Wynonna and Naomi.’”
Hunter Kelly went on to say that he wants Neon Songbook Radio to be an “ongoing celebration” of Wynonna and Naomi’s immense talent. “I want to celebrate everything that Wynonna does going forward, but also Naomi’s quirkiness, her drive, her ambition, and her place as a songwriter. I don’t think she gets enough credit for that.”
Overall, Kelly said, “My hope for this project is for The Judds’ music to be elevated to a new level.”
Listen to Neon Songbook Radio
You can check out Neon Songbook Radio for free biweekly on Saturdays at 11 am Eastern Time on Apple Music Country. The first episode “Becoming the Judds” aired on August 13th. The second episode “Becoming a Band” will air on August 27th. Additionally, Apple Music subscribers can listen to all eight episodes on demand.