Wynonna Judd is in town for a concert at the Florida Theatre December 14th, 2014, and MetroJacksonville's Karrissa Wade spoke with her for a little down home chat about her career. Join us after the jump for the interview!
The legendary Wynonna Judd is coming to Florida Theater December 14th for her Christmas concert, and I got to speak with this iconic legend. Needless to say I was as giddy as a rooster in tube socks.
Having grown up in a small town in Tennessee, I grew up watching the Ralph Emery Show (oh hell I guess I better provide some links for people who don't know: Click on the Link Here. And that is where I first got a glimpse of the Soap Sisters amazing voice.
Yes, she and her mother started with grass roots making lye soap and singing on the show. Wynonna has never lost that sweet country girl charm. From the first time I heard her powerful voice I was hooked.
Back then, the Judds were making appearances on Ralph Emery‘s TV show (that aired live in Nashville at six in the morning). Ralph called the duo the Soap Sisters because Naomi (her mother) made lye soap and delivered it to him on the show.
The Judds are pretty much a symbol of hope that you can 'make it' for small town Tennessee. Probably because of their roots. When they got the gig singing on a morning show, Naomi was working as a nurse, emptying bedpans at Williamson County Hospital to support daughters Wynnona and Ashley.
Then all three of them found fame and success, and the love of a generation or two of young women without a prayer except talent.
Now she is back on the road with a new tour and a more genuine, natural Wynnona, and she will be in town Sunday at the Florida Theatre. You can find out more about the show and get tickets here: http://floridatheatre.com/event/wynonna-simpler-christmas/
Here is the official show description from the Florida Theatre:
"A five-time Grammy winner and New York Times bestselling author, Wynonna’s career has always revolved around telling stories. Whether she’s using her rich, commanding voice to sing one of her countless hits or sitting down for one of her many bold, honest television appearances, Wynonna always gets her point across with unflinching honesty and wisdom gained over the course of her very public life. Now in her latest venture, Wynonna – along with her band, The Big Noise – will bring A Simpler Christmas to you as she performs some of her holiday favorites as well as her greatest hits. Sit back and be reminded of the simple blessings as you ring in the holiday season."
It's funny, that no matter how far you come from the 'country' or small town Tennessee, how immediately comfortable it is speaking to someone from the same little itty bitty place. In fact, it came up in the first question I got to ask Wynonna:
"What to expect this Sunday December 14th?"
Her reply was honest and pure.
She spoke of her comedic shenanigans and hopes of the audience seeing her true vulnerable self.
She feels when she is on stage it is like home or the little old church at the end of a dirt road, a family if you will.
The audience and fans are her family. The people are her family of choice, we chose one another. For me especially thats a powerful connection. Probably for a lot of us. The only families we have are the ones we choose. Its easy to identify.
We even touched on drag performances. (for obvious reasons) The five time Grammy Award winner spoke of downsizing her look. For years she has had huge drag like hair with glitter and glam, which she is dropping for this tour to show the raw and intense side of Wynonna.
When asked what is in the future for her new tour and album, Ms. Judd replied,
“I am doing something never done in this new tour. I am giving a glimpse into my life with stories and songs. Testimonials and songs--- some not sang since 1983.
I am at a place in my life to scale down and show more of me."
(Don't panic, you can find the iconic Wynonna Judd at www.Wynonna.com.}
"What has been the highlight of your career?", I asked.
Her response was unexpected.
“Being able to say No”.
She elaborated that for years she has had to take all of the corporate sponsorships and gigs she could get, until finally she has the financial stability that lets her be able to decide what she wants to do rather than whats available.
"You take a risk saying 'no' to major financial opportunities, mergers etc. “
Her advice actually was: "Following your heart is honest. Be you. Don’t be afraid to say no to what doesn’t feel right. Freedom is independence that money can’t buy.”
Those were the highlights. To be honest in listening to the conversation and reading my notes, I realize that we probably spent too much time gossiping about the old tiny places in Tennessee. (thirty minutes more than she was actually scheduled for)
I can’t believe I have had the opportunity and honor of interviewing such an amazingly kind hearted, down to earth, and iconic person such as Mrs. Judd. Its was nice to connect with a very real person, who is still connected to the real world that she came from.
You can catch her (and me) this Sunday at the concert. With childlike awe as I get to see the amazingly talented Wynonna Judd.
Wynonna in an emotional rendition of "I Can Only Imagine".
About Karrissa Wade
Karrissa Wade is one of the most accomplished and well known drag performers in Jville. Active in politics, theatre, art and the performance and pageant circuit, she has been the host of countless charity events and benefits, and has been a correspondent for MetroJacksonville since 2008.
You can catch her regular performances at Hamburger Marys or connect with her on Facebook.