Cledus T. Judd was ready to retire when he moved to the Tri-State to be near his daughter.
It was his daughter who insisted he keep working.
“She said she wanted me to keep making people laugh,” he said, and he has.
Sometimes called the Weird Al Yankovic of country music, Georgia native Judd is known for his parodies of popular country music songs as well as original comic tunes. He has released nine studio albums and two EPs, and several of their singles have entered the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. His highest chart peak is the No. 48 “I Love NASCAR,” a parody of Toby Keith's 2003 single “I Love This Bar.”
He recently spent some time in the studio recording three new tunes and this month traveled the Tri-State filming for videos that will appear on YouTube.com. One of the new songs is a parody of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”
He has a recording deal with Warner Bros., a management deal with Nashville-based Average Joe and he’s represented by Buddy Lee Attractions, also of Nashville. There’s a reality television show in the works for him and he’s co-hosting the morning radio show on WTCR. He hopes to do a show at the Paramount Arts Center some day; meanwhile, on March 8, he will present a comedy show with his friend and standup comedian Vic Clevenger at the Mardi Gras Casino in Cross Lanes, W.Va.
“You’ll probably have to have an interpreter with our accents like they are,” he said of his fellow Southerner. “But Vic is more of a standup comic and I’m more of a musical comic kind of weaving a story in and out, so we will work better together.”
Judd said he’s looking forward to playing the casino, but was loathe to discuss how much he gambles.
“I like that atmosphere. I like the bells and whistles,” he said, admitting he enjoys a little gambling when he’s around it.
However, he never gambles with his relationship with his daughter. He moved to the Tri-State to be closer to the 9-year-old whose mother is country singer and radio personality Julie Reeves and he’s happy he did.
“I could never ask to be accepted into a community more than I have been here,” he said of the Tri-State. “This is home. This will always be home from now on. My daughter’s here and I want to continue to be a part of her life.”
Even though he’s not a teenager yet, Judd said she’s already embarrassed by him at times.
“I’ve get 25 videos ... her godfather is the lead singer from Rascal Flatts but when I start singing, she’ll say, ‘Shut up, Dad!” he joked.
He’s pleased she’s spending her childhood here.
“I have lived all over the country. I’ve been in 48 states. I’ve never lived in a more accommodating area than the Tri-State,” he said. “These are the friendliest and kindest people I’ve ever been around.”
Judd said he has no intention of leaving.
“This is where I’ll be,” he said. “If I have to sell couches at Big Sandy, I’m here. I won’t leave.”
The Cledus and Clevenger No Twerking Show will be at 8 and 10 p.m. March 8 in the Big Easy Lounge at the Mardis Gras Casino in Cross Lanes, W.Va. Tickets, which are $15 in advance, are available at mardigrascasino.com.
LEE WARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2661.