Jud Strunk was born Justin Roderick Strunk, Jr. on June 11, 1936 in Jamestown, New York. He was raised in Buffalo, NY where as a small boy his showmanship became evident. In his early 20s, Jud moved to Farmington, Maine, eventually making his home in Eustis, ME. He toured as a one-man show for the U.S. Armed Forces and also had a role in the Broadway musical “Beautiful Dreamer”. This eventually led to television acting jobs in California, where he appeared on “Bewitched” and landed a regular gig on “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In.”
He released his debut album, “Downeast Viewpoint”, in 1970 followed by “Jones General Store” in 1971. The album “Daisy A Day” was released in 1973. The title song proved to be his biggest hit, making the Top 15 on the pop charts and the Top 40 on the country charts. On the Apollo 17 lunar mission, a tape copy of “Daisy A Day” was brought along by the astronauts, making it the first recorded song ever played on the moon. In 1974, he had a hit with his spoken-word single “My Country.” He had three more humorous songs that made it into the country music charts and toured with the Andy Williams Show. In 1977, Strunk and his Coplin Kitchen Band released “A Semi-Reformed Tequila Crazed Gypsy Looks Back.”
Jud Strunk became of folk hero of sorts in Maine. In 1970, he lost the election for a Senate seat in the State Legislature by one vote. Strunk was a private pilot and after leaving show business, he began restoring antique airplanes. On October 15, 1981, he suffered a heart attack while taking off in one of his restored airplanes in Carrabassett Valley, ME and was killed instantly along with his passenger. He was 45 years old. He is survived by three sons: Rory, Jeff & Joel.