Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: The Judds, “Cry Myself to Sleep”

“Cry Myself to Sleep”

The Judds

Written by Paul Kennerley

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

December 5, 1986


#1 (1 week)

January 24, 1987

The legendary early run of the Judds wraps up with their eighth consecutive No. 1 single, “Cry Myself to Sleep.”

“Sleep” and its seven predecessors were all so strong that they were enough to form the core of the duo’s first hits collection, amplified by two additional tracks.  The delirious highs that they established with their debut EP and first two studio albums wasn’t sustainable, but “Cry Myself to Sleep” is every bit as good as the other singles from this era.

It’s a slow burn of a record, establishing tension that is never relieved.  The restraint of the production mirrors the bitterness that’s being swallowed, as if the band is also barely keeping itself together as it waits for the sweet release of private tears before bed. Wynonna’s frustration is kept on a leash, with her letting out an irritated growl here and there while she sings through clenched teeth.

More so than any single yet, Wynonna’s approach to her solo material is telegraphed by this tightly controlled performance.  She’s got real soul, and the constraints of singing traditional country with her mother could only keep a lid on that for so long.

“Cry Myself to Sleep” gets an A.

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

Previous: Michael Johnson, “Give Me Wings” |

Next: Don Williams, “Then it’s Love”

Open in Spotify

1 Comment

  1. Listening to the barely contained potential energy of Wynonna’s vocals while singing with her mom was like watching a fuse slowly burn down on a stick of dynamite. There is a palpable tension and expectation to her performance here. Something is about to go boom in the best way possible.

    Even on a song about crying herself to sleep Wynonna sounds dangerous and volatile, feral almost.

    A slow burn of a song, indeed!

    It’s wild how crazy good the Judds were during this run.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.