Do You Remember The Original Line-Up of The Judds?
The Judds were one of the biggest country acts of the 80s, amassing 14 number one singles across six albums, winning five Grammys and eight CMA Awards along the way. But before the line-up we know and love was finalized, Naomi and her daughter Wynonna had several other bandmates. We'll highlight their contributions to the band, and why they left to pursue other interests.
1 - Ashley Judd
The other Judd daughter was only in the band for one rehearsal session. She was only 14 at the time, and stormed off when she found out she wasn't invited to be part of the Go-Go's. She stomped out of the room, screaming "I HATE YOU MOM! YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND ME!" (teenagers, right?!) Ashley went on to become an acclaimed actress, earning two Emmy nominations.
2 - Judd Hirsch
In 1983, after he completed his Emmy winning run on the classic show Taxi, Judd Hirsch thought to himself "Hey, I've got the whole acting thing down. I should try this singing thing." He stepped into the studio to lend his vocals to "Mama He's Crazy," but after a disastrous recording session, he vowed never to set foot in a recording booth again. He later won two Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Play.
3 - Judd Nelson
Judd Nelson was a struggling actor in the early 80s, still a few years off his big break in The Breakfast Club. He wrote songs for the band, but after they rejected "Don't You Forget About Me" for being "too high school-ish" he abruptly quit, sold the song to The Simple Minds, and partnered up with John Hughes.
4 - Judd Apatow
Before becoming the arbiter of all things comedy in the past 25 years with Freaks & Geeks on TV, and The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and This Is 40 at the cinemas, Judd Apatow played banjo for The Judds. One day he broke a string, went down to the store to get more. He got sidetracked by an Improv Theatre and the rest is comedy history.
5 - Paul Rudd
Paul Rudd came the closest to actually being on the record. You see, Paul Rudd, ever the jokester, told Naomi and Wynonna his name was Paul Judd, just so he could be in the band. They got all the way to the signing of the contracts, and that's where he messed up. He signed "Paul Rudd" not "Paul Judd," and when they noticed his cursive "J" looked too much like an "R," he was fired on the spot. Poor guy.
As you can see, everything worked out in the end for everybody. Everybody has gone on to success and acclaim. I'm personally happy with the way things worked out, but I still stop to ponder what might have been....