Sunday, October 1, 2023

Judd Concert Marks 50 Years of Music in Murphy Center


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Story and Photo by Jordan Reining | Contributing Writer

Country Music Television and Middle Tennessee State University partnered together for an iconic night of country music and anniversaries at Murphy Center on Thursday, Nov. 3. 

Wynonna Judd, a part of The Judd’s duo, invited fellow country artists Ashley McBryde, Brandi Carlile, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town and Martina McBride to honor her mother nearly 31 years after their last performance together here at MTSU.  

The historic 1991 performance was held at Murphy Center and marked the end of The Judd’s farewell tour. 

Thursday’s performance also helped kickoff the 50th anniversary of Murphy Center, which was built in 1972 and has hosted a roster of famed musical shows in its past. 

Murphy Center, lit up on Nov. 3.

Different artists performed throughout the night alongside Wynonna, McBryde filled in for Naomi Judd, who passed away earlier this year.  

The concert was held a week after Wynonna announced the addition of 15 more shows to continue ‘The Judd’s: The Final Tour’ in 2023. 

Ashley McBryde performed during select stops during ‘The Final Tour’ and is set to perform during the additional dates as well.  

In preparing for the concert, McBryde repeatedly listened to the setlist and watched concert videos to know what to expect. 

“The Judd’s music has been in my life my whole life,” said McBryde, “you think you know every Judd song; do you know every single note that Ms. Naomi sang perfectly?” 

During her preparation, McBryde said Brandi Carlile helped her by sending videos and notes on what to look out for. 

The performance opened with Wynonna performing a few songs on her own and she was then joined by Martina McBride for the first duo of the night.  

Philip Sweet, a member of ‘Little Big Town’, was most excited to perform ‘Love Is Alive’. The group went on stage to join Wynonna in singing the track. 

At the end of the concert, Wynonna was accompanied by all her special guests, along with some MTSU students who served as the chorus, to sing ‘Love Can Build A Bridge’.  

During the performance, Wynonna talked to the audience about what it means to her to be able to perform for her fans. 

“You still know the words! That’s about as good as it gets y’all,” Wynonna said.  

The audience could be heard singing along to her songs the entire concert, filling the air with sound. 

To contact Lifestyles Editor Ethan Pickering, email

For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News 

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