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Juice Newton

Background information
Birth name Judith Kay Newton
Born February 18, 1952 (1952-02-18) (age 57)
Origin Lakehurst, New Jersey
Genres Country, pop, rock
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1975–present
Labels Capitol Records, RCA Records
Associated acts Dolly Parton, Rosanne Cash, Crystal Gayle, Alabama (band), Eddie Rabbitt

Juice Newton (born Judith Kay Newton February 18, 1952 in Lakehurst, New Jersey[1]) is an American Pop music and Country singer, songwriter and guitarist. To date, Newton has received five Grammy Award nominations in the Pop and Country Best Female Vocalist categories (winning once in 1983), as well as a CMA Award for Best New Female Artist and two Billboard Female Album Artist of the Year awards (won consecutively). She has several Gold and Platinum records to her credit, including Juice, Quiet Lies and her first Greatest Hits album. During the 1980s, Newton charted 14 Top-10 hits across the Billboard Country, AC, and Hot 100 charts, with many of the recordings achieving crossover success and six of the songs hitting the Number One position.


Early career

Newton graduated from First Colonial High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In the early 1970s, Newton, Otha Young and Tom Kealey formed a band that would eventually be called Juice Newton and Silver Spur that was signed to RCA Records. The group released two RCA albums (in 1975 and 1976) and scored only one charting country single with "Love Is a Word". The band signed with Capitol Records in 1977, but disbanded shortly after releasing one album for the label. In 1978, Newton went solo (but remained with Capitol Records), although Silver Spur would remain the name of her backup band until 1982. Later in 1977, the one-off single "It's a Heartache" became Newton's first solo record and a major hit in Mexico, where it was eventually certified Gold. In 1978, Newton released the song in the United States, and it became the first of her 11 "Hot 100" pop hits. Also in 1978 The Carpenters version of the Newton/Young-penned song "Sweet Sweet Smile", which reached the Top 10 on both the Country and Adult Contemporary charts, and #44 on the Hot 100 chart.

Newton's solo debut album, Well Kept Secret, was released later in 1978. The album cultivated a rock sound, and it stands as Newton's most rock-oriented record, to date. Neither the record nor its sole single ("Hey Baby") charted, though Capitol Records proceeded to renew Newton's contract. Capitol's investment in Newton began to pay off in 1979, when Newton had her first Top-40 Country hit with "Let's Keep It That Way" (another one-off single). Later that year, the album Take Heart featured five modestly charting singles: "Until Tonight", "Any Way That You Want Me", "You Fill My Life", "Lay Back In The Arms of Someone" and "Sunshine". The latter became Newton's second top-40 single on the country charts (in 1980), with "You Fill My Life" reaching #41 and "Until Tonight" reaching #42. Both of Newton's initial solo efforts performed with modest success but failed to have lasting impacts on the album charts.

Early 1980s pop music success

In 1981, Newton's third solo album, simply titled Juice, was released. It spawned three consecutive Top-10 pop hits: "Angel of the Morning" (written by Chip Taylor); "Queen of Hearts"; and an updated version of "The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)" (the original version appeared on the 1975 Silver Spur debut album), which earned Newton the first of several #1 Country singles. A fourth Country hit, "Ride 'Em Cowboy", was culled from Juice in 1984 to support Newton's first Greatest Hits album.

Juice sold more than a million copies in the United States and 300,000 copies in Canada. "Angel of the Morning" and "The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)" each reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, where Newton would chart regularly for the next several years. In 1982, Newton received two Grammy nominations for Best Female Vocalist: one for "Angel of the Morning" in the Pop category, and another for "Queen of Hearts" in Country. These two singles became her biggest sellers in the United States, each earning RIAA Gold certification. (Note: in 1981 and 1982, when these singles were certified, the RIAA standard for Gold singles was "more than 1 million copies sold"; in 1989, RIAA lowered the standard to 500,000 for Gold single certifications.) The songs were also sizable hits in Australia, Germany, Holland and other countries. While "The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)" failed to receive a U.S. certification, the song's popularity propelled album sales from Gold to Platinum, and the recording remained in the Top 40 (of the Hot 100) for 18 weeks.

In the spring of 1982 Newton released her fourth solo album Quiet Lies, which was certified Gold in the United States that summer. The album went platinum in Canada (100,000 copies). From Quiet Lies came the Top-10 Pop and Adult Contemporary hit "Love's Been a Little Bit Hard on Me" (which garnered her another Pop Female Vocalist Grammy nomination). "Break It to Me Gently" was the second single and hit #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, #2 on the Billboard Country chart, and #11 on the Hot 100. The recording, a contemporary remake of a Brenda Lee hit from the '60s, won Newton her first Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, beating out contemporaries Dolly Parton, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris and Sylvia. The third and final single from the album was "Heart of the Night", which, in early 1983, reached #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart (making it her sixth consecutive Top-5 hit on that chart) and climbed to #25 on the Hot 100. The album also garnered Newton an award from Australia as the "Top International Country Artist" for the continent. Also, in 1982, Newton toured with country band Alabama on the "Salem Spirit" double-headliner tour. (Various acts opened for Newton and Alabama.)

The direction for Newton's sixth (and final) Capitol album, 1983's Dirty Looks, was decidedly more rock-oriented and experimental than her with "Tell Her No" (usual blending of folk, pop and country styles. The album spawned a moderate-sized hit (#27 Pop/#14 AC) and the title track, a rock-edged number that charted low in the Hot 100. The single "Stranger at My Door" hit the country charts, but had a brief run. The album was a moderate success, selling more than 300,000 copies in the United States and going Gold in Canada (50,000 copies). (The song "Dirty Looks" was written by Dave Robbins and Van Stephenson, who would later become part of the Country group Blackhawk in the '90s. The pair also wrote Newton's '84 country single "Restless Heart.")

According to a 1984 front-page article in Billboard magazine, changes at Capitol led Newton to return to RCA. The 1984 album "Can't Wait All Night" continued with a rock-oriented sound. The launch single "A Little Love" and the title track (which was written for Newton by Bryan Adams) became her final charting pop singles to date, reaching #44 and #66, respectively; while "Restless Heart" made it to #57 on the country chart. "A Little Love" became Newton's seventh and final Top-10 hit on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart to date, reaching the #7 spot. (Newton's final double-header "Salem Spirit" tour with Alabama took place during this time, with Bill Medley (of the Righteous Brothers) as the opening act.)

Career evolution: from pop to country

In 1985, Newton's waning popularity was revitalized with the release of the Old Flame album, which reached #12 on the Billboard chart and featured six Top-10 country hits, including the #1s "You Make Me Want to Make You Mine", "Hurt" and "Both to Each Other (Friends and Lovers)" (with Eddie Rabbitt). (Note: The duet was released to the public before the pop version "Friends and Lovers" by Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson; the pop version was released to radio and stores two weeks after Newton and Rabbitt's version first appeared, even though it was recorded first. Newton's version was originally available only on a special edition of the Old Flame album and on the Eddie Rabbitt album Rabbitt Traxx.) The "Old Flame" album produced hit singles for more than sixteen months, with the final release being "What Can I Do with My Heart" (written by Otha Young), which reached the Top Ten in early 1987.

Newton returned to the Top 10 in 1988 with "Tell Me True" from her 1987 album Emotion. The album's lead single, the progressive-country tune "First Time Caller", released in 1989, stalled at #24.

Newton's final album of the decade Ain't Gonna Cry (1989) was not promoted by the label and did not chart, but it did spawn her final Top-40 country hit to date, "When Love Comes Around the Bend," which RCA refused to release as a single to stores because Newton's contract had not been renewed.

After being dropped by the RCA label in 1989 (along with several other country-based artists, including Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers), Newton took time to focus on her family life with husband Tom Goodspeed in San Diego, California where they still reside. Juice took a hiatus from recording albums, touring sporadically until the late 1990s when she released the albums "The Trouble with Angels" and "American Girl".

Juice Newton, San Diego, 2009

Highlights: 1990s to today

In 1994, Newton contributed a track called "Lovers of One Day" to the Edith Piaf tribute album, which also included songs by Pat Benatar and Donna Summer.

In 1995, Newton recorded a double-album of pop duets (which was slated to be sold via info-mercial), but the project was riddled with legal issues, resulting in a low-impact, "accidental" release of the "Platinum & Gold" series of duets in the early 2000s (the CD set was released without Newton's permission). Subsequently, bootleg CDs including most of the duets turned up on U.S. store shelves as "Gold & Platinum, Volumes 7 and 8". Those CDs also contain 1995 solo versions of three of Newton's pop hits ("Angel of the Morning", "Love's Been a Little Bit Hard on Me" and "Queen of Hearts"). Newton's duet partners included Willie Nelson, Melissa Manchester, the Pointer Sisters and Frankie Valli.

In 1998, Newton released "The Trouble with Angels", a collection of seven re-recorded hits and three new songs, including the single "When I Get Over You". The 1998 effort was quickly followed by American Girl in 1999, which was Newton's first album of all-new material since 1989 and featured the single "They Never Made It to Memphis". The collection featured tracks written by Otha Young, Freddie Mercury, Nanci Griffith, Tom Petty and Newton herself.

Every Road Leads Back to You (which consists of live material and a bonus EP of four studio recordings of original songs) was released in 2002 with an accompanying DVD. And American Girl Vol. II, which is sold exclusively on and at Newton's live shows, was released in 2003 and reissued in 2006.

In 2005, Juice Newton appeared on the TV show "Hit Me Baby One More Time" on which she performed a folk-rock rendition of Ashlee Simpson's "Pieces Of Me" and a truncated version of "Queen of Hearts"; online voters selected Newton's performance as their favorite of the five acts that appeared on the episode. In the mid-2000s, Newton also contributed tracks to the albums "An All-Star Tribute To Cher" ("Reason to Believe") and "An All-Star Tribute to Shania Twain" ("Come On Over").

On November 15, 2007, Newton released The Gift of Christmas, her first Christmas album. The 12-song album includes a new version of Newton's "Christmas Needs Love to Be Christmas" and the classic "Mary's Boy Child", as well as a special Christmas version of "For Believers", an Otha Young-penned song first recorded in 1983 for the Dirty Looks album.

On August 6, 2009, Newton's longtime musical partner Otha Young died of cancer. The pair worked together for 37 years.



  1. ^ "TAKE FIVE: juice newton", Las Vegas Sun, January 2, 2007. Accessed January 2, 2008. "Newton, a 54-year-old native of Lakehurst, NJ, performs Friday through Sunday".

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