Cledus T. Judd Biography

Barry Poole, 18 December 1964, Crowe Springs, Georgia, USA. A rather unlikely star of the 90s and 00s country scene, Cledus ‘T’ Judd (No Relation) has won many admirers for his cheeky renditions of current hits, and his merciless lampooning of the Nashville hierarchy. After high school, he briefly flirted with a career as a professional basketball player before dropping out of his scholarship to attend the Roffler Hair Design College. Based at the Don Shaw Hairdressers in Atlanta, he began competing in international hairstyling events. At this time he began to write his first ‘country rap’ songs, which he would improvise over country records in talent contests. He subsequently moved to Nashville where he continued to work as a hairdresser, but he also sent in his songs to radio for the first time. The first two songs to receive extensive airplay were ‘Indian In-Laws’ (based on Tim McGraw’s ‘Indian Outlaw’) and ‘Gone Funky’ (based on Alan Jackson’s ‘Gone Country’). As a result Judd was signed by the Walter Yetnikoff -backed independent label Razor & Tie. Within a few months of his impersonations/parodies airing on radio, being the subject of Judd’s humorous attack had become one of the acid tests of an artist’s popularity and name recognition. One of his victims, Shania Twain, was so charmed by Judd she agreed to appear in the video for his 1996 single, ‘(She’s Got A Butt) Bigger Than The Beatles’, a parody of the Joe Diffie hit, ‘Bigger Than The Beatles’. Judd also secured a four-night support slot to Tammy Wynette in Las Vegas, as many proclaimed him as the ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic of country music. By the end of the decade he had secured a major label recording contract with Monument Records, for whom he debuted with Just Another Day In Parodies. In the process he dropped the No Relation tag from his name. Later albums appeared through Koch Records.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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