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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Jamestown, New York, USA
Died in Carabassett Valley, Maine, USA  (plane crash)
Birth NameJustin Strunk Jr.

Mini Bio (1)

The country music performer Jud Strunk was born Justin Roderick Strunk, Jr. on June 11, 1936, in Jamestown, New York. He was a singer-songwriter akin to Jimmy Buffett (except Strunk sang about his adopted state of Maine rather than Key West and the tropics) who played the tenor banjo and piano. He also was an actor specializing in comedy.

In 1960, while still in his early twenties, he moved to Farmington, Maine, eventually making his home on a farm in Eustis, Maine. Strunk toured in a one-man show for the U.S. Armed Forces, after which he regularly traveled from Maine to to New York City to perform. He had a role in the Broadway musical "Beautiful Dreamer,' which led to television acting jobs in California during the early 1970's: two appearances on "Betwitched" and a regular gig on "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In."

He recorded four record albums of country music: "Downeast Viewpoint" (Columbia - 1970), "Jones' General Store" (MGM - 1971), "Daisy a Day" (MGM - 1973), and "A Semi-Reformed Tequila Crazed Gypsy Looks Back" (MCA - 1977). The albums are filled with his own songs, which evinced a political and ecological awareness. Ironically, he scored a Top 15 hit on the Pop chart with his single "Daisy a Day," a song without political import but that proved to be a good, old-fashioned tear-jerker about devoted love.

In 1974, he cracked the Top 60 on the Pop charts with his spoken-word single "My Country," and his 1975 novelty song "The Biggest Parakeets in Town" made it into the Pop Top 50. Married and divorced twice, he had three children: Rory, Jeffrey and Joel. He died from that particular bete noire of musicians, a light-plane crash, on October 15, 1981, when he was just 45 years old. His sons are trying to get a movie based on his father's life into production.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Trivia (4)

Ran for the Maine senate in 1970, losing by only one vote.
During the season (1972-1973) that he was on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1967), he had a hit single with "Daisy a Day", which went to #14 in Billboard in early '73.
After leaving show business, he started a business restoring antique airplanes. He died in a crash while test-flying one of the planes he was restoring.
On the Apollo 17 lunar mission, a tape copy of his hit single "Daisy A Day" was brought along by the astronauts, making it the first recorded song ever played on the moon.

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