May 12, 2022

Country & Gospel Artists Pay Their Respects at Naomi Judd's Private Memorial Service

 

Country and Gospel artists gathered to honor Naomi Judd's life at a private service on Saturday (May 7) in Nashville. Naomi, one half of country music duo The Judds, died on April 30. She was 76. Besides their big country hits, the Judds were also known for recording gospel leaning tunes such as "Guardian Angels," "When King Jesus Calls His Children Home," "Love Can Build a Bridge," "I Know Where I'm Going," and many others.  


"We are family," Dolly Parton said, welcoming attendees. "And when it's family, you forgive them for they know not what they do. When it's family, you accept them because you have no choice but to. When it's family, they're a mirror of the worst and best in you. You're always trying to do your best, and they always put you to the test, and you pray for God to do the rest." 


Judd had planned her own service in advance, and the music slanted heavily toward gospel standards. According to Taste of Country, Dan Scott, who had served as a pastor at Christ Church Nashville where Naomi Judd attended church, sang "Ain't No Grave" and Ricky Skaggs performed "Talk About Suffering."


Naomi's husband, Larry Strickland, joined the Imperials to sing bass as they performed "Sweet, Sweet Spirit," while the Oak Ridge Boys sang "Farther Along" and "Amazing Grace." The Isaacs performed "Mama's Teaching Angels How to Sing," "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow" and "It Is Well With My Soul."


"I'm grateful I don't have to sing 'Go Rest High on That Mountain' today," Vince Gill said. Instead, Naomi had requested he sing the Stanley Brothers' "Drifting Too Far From the Shore," a song he said Skaggs had taught him when they were teenagers in a bluegrass band together.


Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead performed "Ripple," followed by gospel singer Guy Penrod, who sang "Knowing What I Know About Heaven."


Brandi Carlile closed by singing "Love Can Build a Bridge." Before she sang, Carlile recalled that The Judds were her first concert, as well as her second and her third. She and her mother had to leave one of those shows early, she said, and Naomi noticed and waved as she saw 7-year-old Brandi walking past the stage and looking back.


Naomi's brother, Mark Judd, delivered her eulogy before Wynonna and Ashley took the stage.