Why Not Me

Album: Why Not Me (1984)
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Songfacts®:

  • After the success of their EP Wynonna & Naomi, which featured their first #1 Country single, "Mama He's Crazy," the mother-daughter duo got to work on their first full-length album, Why Not Me.

    The Judds second #1, the title track spent two weeks at the top of the Country chart. It was penned by the duo's producer Brent Maher with Harlan Howard and Sonny Throckmorton. The three songwriters were honored with the Song of The Year award by the ACM.
  • The song was written towards the end of the recording of the Why Not Me album. "I knew we needed one more uptempo tune for the album," Maher recalled to Songwriter Universe. "So I called up Harlan Howard and asked if we could get together to write a song that weekend."

    "On Sunday we got together at Harlan's house, and Sonny Throckmorton also came over to write with us," he continued. "Sonny and I worked on the melody and Harlan worked on the lyrics. Harlan said 'Why Not Me' wasn't a great title, so the rest of the song had to be killer. We finished the song in one day."
  • Throckmorton really didn't want to drag himself to a songwriting session on a Sunday, but he figured he'd finally get a chance to use an idea he had been kicking around for a while. "I had the melody for a long time," he recalled. "I had reached a point in my career where I just kind of quit workin' at it that much. I was tryin' to write it as 'How 'Bout Me,' but I couldn't ever get anything."
  • When you're stuck with a boring title, repetition is key, according to Howard. "To get a really good record, you've gotta write a hell of a song when you're dealing with a title that average," he explained in The Billboard Book Of #1 Country Hits. "The only thing I know to do with songs like 'Why Not Me' or 'Busted' - which I never thought was a good title - is to put the title in there often so that people remember it. The weaker the title, the more you gotta hear it."
  • The song is about a man who's looking for love everywhere but The Judds' doorstep, which leaves lead singer Wynonna wondering, "Why not me?" Howard said that the lyrics weren't written from a biographical standpoint, but were tailored to the duo's personalities.
  • Some of the key sonic elements of the track came together after Maher played the tune for guitarist Don Potter. Potter, who had just found a slide he hadn't used in years, spontaneously created the bent note for the instrumental hook. The producer also handed his six-string over to keyboardist Bobby Ogdin, who slapped the back of it in place of a kick drum.
  • This was used in the 1989 TV movie The Outside Woman, starring Sharon Gless.
  • This earned The Judds the Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1986.
  • Emily Ann Roberts covered this on season 9 of The Voice in 2015. Her version went to #10 on the iTunes chart.

Comments: 1

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaWonder who played lead guitar on this song, really love it.
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