How Austin connected Judd to country music
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas fans remember country music legend Naomi Judd on Saturday.
The Judds singer has died aged 76, according to a statement shared by her daughters Wynonna and Ashley Judd.
Diana Ellen Judd, who later became Naomi, was born on January 11, 1946 in Ashland, Kentucky. In 1964, she married and gave birth to her first daughter at the age of 18. Two children later, Judd ended her marriage and moved to California.
Judd held various jobs to support her daughters. She worked as a waitress, secretary, and nurse while attending California’s College of Marin nursing school.
Soon after, the Judds moved on and moved to Austin, which Judd wrote about in his memoir “Love Can Build a Bridge”.
Judd was intrigued after hearing about it from a friend living in Austin. Another draw — the cowboys.
“They tipped their hats and nodded ‘Hello ma’am’ and it was love at first sight with the Lone Star State,” Judd wrote.
Early on, friends introduced him to the Broken Spoke, Soap Creek and The Armadillo for his first exposure to county music, Judd said.
While in Austin, Judd tried to find another job.
“I interviewed a meteorologist on Lyndon B. Johnson’s TV station and found a rental house in West Gibson,” Judd wrote. She didn’t want the job but wanted to pursue other dreams.
Judd’s daughter, Wynonna, wrote in her book, “Coming Home to Myself,” about her experience in Austin.
“Mom started dating the harmonica player from Asleep at the Wheel. We hung out with Jimmie Vaughn and the Fabulous Thunderbirds guys,” Wynonna wrote.
“It’s funny. I had no idea who Stevie Ray Vaughn was when I first heard him playing in the kitchen of one of the band members. I just thought they were all great guitarists.
It was in Austin that she decided to change her name from Christina Claire to Wynonna Ellen. She was inspired by her mother’s name change and was given the idea by “Asleep at the Wheel” singer Ray Benson.
“The Judds” would become big stars, later returning to appear on the music program “Austin City Limits.”