Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: The Judds, “Maybe Your Baby’s Got the Blues”

“Maybe Your Baby’s Got the Blues”

The Judds

Written by Graham Lyle and Troy Seals

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

October 9, 1987


#1 (1 week)

November 14, 1987

When Nashville finally got around to doing a Tammy Wynette tribute album, a highlight was Wynonna’s fierce, bluesy take on “Woman to Woman.” By wedding together Wynette’s whispered warnings with Wynonna’s forceful vocal, an old lyric was delivered with new confidence.

But Wy had an advantage going into that session, thanks to her lead vocals on the Judds’ “Maybe Your Baby’s Got the Blues.” This was the first time Wynonna sang a Tammy kind of advice song and brought some Memphis blues to it, and it benefited from an additional twist: the warning’s being given to a man in danger of losing his woman.

After all, it was the eighties now, and conversations that once happened over coffee at the neighbor’s house between girls could now happen between male and female colleagues at the office. It’s easy to imagine a break room where this chat his happening, perhaps inspired by a co-worker overhearing their colleagues’ worried comments on his partner’s changing behaviors.

Her vocal is one part “this is none of my business,” and two parts “but….,” with an air of “I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but I will.” Wynonna’s not a solo artist yet, but she’s sounding more like one with each Judds hit we cover.

“Maybe Your Baby’s Got the Blues” gets an A,

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. Even with as much recurrent airplay as Judds’ songs continued to get in the 90s and 2000s on the southern Minnesota radio station I grew up with, I’ve heard very little of this song since the 80s. And I can’t say I missed it. I’ll give Wynonna credit for a great vocal performance and every stanza she opens with “If you ever….” are the only moments in the song where I felt the material had a chance of lifting itself to somewhere that interested me. Certainly at no point in this three and a half minutes did the delivery annoy me the way it did on their most recent #1, but the melody falls flat and the lyrics never connected. The Judds definitely had a slump with me in 1987.

    Grade: C

  2. Hmmm I’m in between you and Mark and would give it a B. Nice song but now I remember why I didn’t think it was as great as their other songs during domination of the 80’s.

  3. As A 13 year-old boy, I was all ears for what this Judds’ hit had to say.

    Listening to it felt like a privileged primer for how to build a relationship and understand women. It hit with the emotional urgency and intimacy of personal confession and share from an older woman.

    That gently jarring instrumental stop that comes amidst the strumming guitar sounds like a foot being firmly put down, demanding I listen to what is being said.

    Songs like this were part of my emotional teenage education though country music correspondence.

    I adore this Judds’ hit.

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