AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas fans are remembering country music legend Naomi Judd Saturday.
The Judds singer died at the age of 76, according a statement shared by her daughters Wynonna and Ashley Judd.
Diana Ellen Judd, who would later go by Naomi, was born Jan. 11, 1946, in Ashland, Kentucky. In 1964, she got married and gave birth to her first daughter when she was 18. Two kids later, Judd ended her marriage and moved to California.
Judd worked various jobs to support her daughters. She worked as a waitress, secretary and nurse while attending nursing school at California’s College of Marin.
Soon later, the Judds picked up and moved to Austin, something Judd wrote about in her memoir “Love Can Build a Bridge.”
Judd was intrigued after hearing about it from a friend living in Austin. Another draw — the cowboys.
“They tipped their hats and nodded a “Howdy ma’am,” and it was love at first sight with the Lone Star State,” Judd wrote.
Early on, friends introduced her to the Broken Spoke, Soap Creek and The Armadillo for her first exposure to county music, Judd said.
While in Austin, Judd tried to pick up another job.
“I interviewed for weather girl on Lyndon B. Johnson’s TV station and found a rental house on West Gibson,” Judd wrote. She didn’t want the job but wanted to chase other dreams.
Judd’s daughter Wynonna wrote in her book, “Coming Home to Myself,” about her experience in Austin.
“Mom started dating the harmonica player from Asleep at the Wheel. We hung out with Jimmie Vaughn and the guys in the Fabulous Thunderbirds,” Wynonna wrote.
“It’s funny. I didn’t have any idea who Stevie Ray Vaughn was when I first heard him jam in the kitchen of one of the band members. I just thought they were all great guitar players.”
It was in Austin when she decided to change her name from Christina Claire to Wynonna Ellen. She was inspired by her mother’s name change and given the idea from “Asleep at the Wheel” singer Ray Benson.
“The Judds” would go on to become big stars, later returning to appear on the music program “Austin City Limits.”