Barbara Mandrell

Barbara Ann Mandrell (born December 25, 1948) is an American country music singer. She is best-known for a 1970s???1980s series of Top 10 hits and TV shows (1980-82) that helped her become one of country music's most successful female vocalists of the 1970s and 1980s.


She was the first performer and is currently the only female in country music history to win the Country Music Association's "Entertainer of the Year" award twice, and she has also won the Country Music Association's "Female Vocalist of the Year" twice.


Mandrell's first number-one hit was 1978's "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed" and immediately followed by "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right" in early 1979. Later in the year, "Years" also reached number one, as did three more singles: "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" (her signature song), then "'Till You're Gone" and "One of a Kind Pair of Fools"???between 1981 and 1983, a period also during which Mandrell received numerous industry awards and accolades.


Early life


Childhood

Born the oldest daughter into a musical family in Houston, Texas, on Christmas Day of 1948, Barbara Mandrell was already reading music and playing accordion at age five. Just six years later, she was so adept at playing steel guitar that her father brought her to a music trade convention in Chicago, where her talents caught the attention of Chet Atkins and Joe Maphis. Soon after, she became a featured performer in Maphis' Las Vegas nightclub show, followed by tours with Red Foley, Tex Ritter and Johnny Cash. Her network TV debut came on the NBC-TV program Five Star Jubilee in 1961.


While growing up, she was taught the pedal steel and lap steel guitars and many other instruments, including the accordion, saxophone and banjo. She even played steel guitar for the legendary Patsy Cline. Cline once wrote to a friend in a letter that Mandrell was "a 13 year old blonde doll that plays the steel guitar out of this world! What a show woman!" Mandrell toured as a 13-year-old with Cline, Johnny Cash and George Jones. She also played guitar for Joe Maphis in Las Vegas and even on the Town Hall Party show. A couple of years later, Barbara and her sisters, as well as her parents founded the Mandrell Family Band. With this, they toured all over the United States and Asia. The drummer in the band, Ken Dudney became Mandrell's husband shortly after she finished high school.


Career discovery

Later, Dudney enlisted in the Navy, serving as a pilot, and was sent overseas. Mandrell decided that she would become a country singer and moved to Nashville. Her father was now her manager and with his help, she signed on with Columbia Records in 1969. Over the next couple of years, Mandrell had a few minor hits. This was only showing the potential Barbara had inside of her to become successful. Her producer at the time was Billy Sherrill, who was known for producing other well-known singers in Country music like Tammy Wynette, Charlie Rich and Tanya Tucker.


Country music career


1969 ??? 1974: Country beginnings

Within 48 hours of a nightclub appearance near the Grand Ole Opry, she received offers for recording contracts from six record companies. After signing with Columbia in 1969, she notched her first chart hit, a remake of the Otis Redding classic "I've Been Loving You Too Long." In 1970, Mandrell scored the first of many Top 40 hits with "Playin' Around With Love." In the same year, she began performing with singer David Houston, and their partnership also generated considerable chart success. Mandrell's first releases earned respect from her country peers, but her first big breakthrough with the fans came in 1973 with the single "The Midnight Oil."


While under Columbia records, Mandrell worked with legendary Country producer, Billy Sherrill, who also produced Charlie Rich and Tammy Wynette. Under Sherrill's direction, Mandrell recorded a lot of Country-Soul material, which really never gained her widespread success. Her early hits included, 1971's "Tonight My Baby's Comin' Home", or 1970's "After Closing Time" (a duet with David Houston). Her records barely sold under Columbia. Sherrill later said in the book, How Nashville Became Music City, that he was continually asked every year by the other Columbia executives why he was keeping Barbara Mandrell because she wasn't selling any records. Sherrill kept Mandrell under their label until 1975.


1975 ??? 1984: Country-pop

In 1975, Mandrell jumped to the ABC/Dot label, and under the guidance of producer Tom Collins reached the Top Five for the first time with the single "Standing Room Only." After a series of successive hits, she earned her first number one with 1978's "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed," which was immediately followed by another chart-topper, "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right," in early 1979. "If Loving You Is Wrong" was also a major crossover smash, becoming Mandrell's only single to reach the Top 40 on the Pop charts, peaking at #31. The song also peaked within the Top 10 on Adult Contemporary radio stations.


During the 1980s Mandrell had more hits, including "Crackers" and "Wish You Were Here," all of these singles, and more reached the Country Top 10 and some also hit #1, including "Years". Three more singles late hit #1 ??? "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool," "'Till You're Gone," and "One of a Kind Pair of Fools" ??? between 1981 and 1983, a period during which Mandrell also received numerous industry awards and accolades. "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" is one of Mandrell's best-known songs. The best-known version of the song is the live version featuring George Jones. In 1983, she won a Grammy award for "Best Inspirational Performance" for the song, "He Set My Life to Music".


In 1980 Barbara became the third woman to win the Entertainer of the Year award from the Country Music Association. She repeated history again in 1981 by winning this award for the second time. This was unprecedented as in the several years prior to her, it was understood that it only went to an artist once - but she nabbed it a 2nd year in a row with her non-stop touring, hit records, and popular TV show. This began the huge array of awards and accolades she would win: several CMA, ACM, and MCN awards, 7 American Music Awards, and 9 People's Choice, making her one of the most awarded country acts in history.


A collection of duets with Lee Greenwood, Meant for Each Other, followed in 1984. From the duet album, Greenwood and Mandrell had a series of hits on the Country charts between 1984 and 1985, including the Top 5 hit, "To Me", and the Top 20 "It Should Have Been Love By Now".


Also in 1984, she opened a fan-based attraction across from the Country Music Hall of Fame in the heart of music row in Nashville called Barbara Mandrell Country.


1984: Motor vehicle accident

While Mandrell was at the peak of her popularity, she had a major setback when she was involved in a serious automobile accident on September 11, 1984. According to Toni Reinhold in Redbook magazine, the singer "sustained multiple fractures in her right leg, including a broken thigh bone, knee and ankle. She also suffered lacerations and abrasions and a severe concussion that caused temporary memory loss, confusion and speech difficulties." Though after a year and a half of rehabilitation she recovered and returned to recording and performing, Mandrell has told interviewers that the accident made her reassess her priorities; thus she spends more time with her family and limits the number of concerts and recording dates. Mandrell is now a confirmed seatbelt advocate.


On a side note, during the recuperation period, Mandrell was unable to work and therefore needed to collect on her insurance to pay for medical bills, and to keep her band paid. Mandrell was informed that under Tennessee law, she had to sue the estate of the other driver in order to collect. It went misunderstood for years - until she was allowed to clarify in 1990 on the The Oprah Winfrey Show.


1985 ??? 1989: Return to music after accident

Mandrell returned in 1985, and continued to have hits among the Top 10 on the Country charts, including "There's No Love In Tennessee", "Angel In Your Arms", and "Fast Lanes and Country Roads". In 1986, she teamed up with the Oak Ridge Boys for a duet "When You Get to the Heart", which reached the Top 20.


Beginning in 1986, the country music landscape had changed dramatically, with the "new traditionalist" movement gaining dominance while the glitzier, more pop-influenced music Mandrell favored began falling out of favor. Her popularity began to fade by the end of the decade. Mandrell had her last charting Country singles from the album, I'll Be Your Jukebox Tonight, "I Wish That I Could Fall In Love Today" (#5) in the autumn of 1988, and "My Train of Thought" (#19) in the spring of 1989.


1990 ??? present: Current music career

As the 1980s became the 1990s, she began focusing almost exclusively on live performing, where she remained a significant draw. In 1990, she released the album Morning Sun, which featured a duet performance of "Crazy Arms" with Ray Price and a remake of Price's "You Wouldn't Know Love if It Looked You in the Eye." By contrast, on this same album, she covered a then-recent R&B hit for newcomer Karyn White, I'm Not Your Superwoman. Although she did not achieve her earlier chart success, Mandrell continued to release albums and singles until 1992. In 1997, Mandrell released her last studio album to date, It Works for Me after a five year hiatus. Also that year she shocked fans by stating she was leaving her Country music career and moving more into her acting career. She held her last concert at the Grand Ole Opry in October 1997, and it was televised on TNN to huge ratings. The title of the show was "The Last Dance." She continues to be a member of the Opry today.


In October 1999 she was inducted into the "Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame" with other artists, Andy Griffith, Loretta Lynn, Gary S. Paxton, David L Cook, Lulu Roman and Jimmie Snow.


On , 2006 Mandrell was honored with the release of a new tribute album titled She Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool: A Tribute To Barbara Mandrell on BNA Records. The album debuted on Billboard's Country Album's chart at #25, her first album to chart since 1991's Key's In The Mailbox. The album featured many Country artists (Reba McEntire, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, LeAnn Rimes, Brad Paisley and Gretchen Wilson). GAC (Great American Country channel) had several specials throughout October to promote the album. Mandrell also hosted the Grand Ole Opry live on , where several of the artists on the album sang many of her classics.


On , 2006, Mandrell made an appearance on the 40th Annual CMA Awards. She presented the same award she won 2 consecutive years, Entertainer of the Year, to Kenny Chesney to close the show.


Time Life has recently released a DVD collection called The Best of Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters on , 2007, and that features over 40 guest musical performances including Country superstars Johnny Cash, Alabama, Marty Robbins, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, The Statler Brothers, Ray Charles, John Schneider, Glen Campbell and many more, as well as comedy legends such as Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller and Andy Kaufman. Many fans of the original series have expressed disappointment over the fact that the DVD release is heavily edited and omits most of the opening numbers and family oriented sketch comedy which rounded out the series.


On November 5, 2007, Mandrell, along with Vince Gill and Rodney Crowell, was awarded a star on Nashville's "Walk of Fame."


On May 17, 2009, Mandrell was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame along with Roy Clark and Charlie McCoy.


Acting career


In 1980, the TV program Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters premiered on NBC. In addition to hosts Barbara, Louise, and Irlene Mandrell, the show featured musical guests and comedy sketches. Each broadcast also closed with a gospel song, and in 1982 Mandrell released her own inspirational album, He Set My Life to Music. As a result of her busy schedule, she began suffering from vocal strain, and on doctor's orders pulled the plug on the television program in 1982. In 1983, she premiered The Lady Is a Champ, a Las Vegas stage show.


Barbara also focused more on acting. Barbara had the starring role in Burning Rage alongside Tom Wopat in 1984 just prior to her car accident. Later, she also had starring guest roles on hit shows such as Empty Nest, Diagnosis: Murder, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, The Commish, Baywatch, and Walker, Texas Ranger. She even had a recurring featured role in the late 90's on Aaron Spelling's daytime drama, Sunset Beach.


Many of these performances can be caught on late-night television or on the DVD box sets of the respective shows. In 1990, she wrote an autobiography called Get to the Heart: My Story, which was a New York Times Bestseller for over 3 months, and in 1997 became a highly rated CBS TV movie of the week starring Maureen McCormick (Marcia on "The Brady Bunch"). Barbara faithfully made the talk show rounds to promote her autobiography on shows such as "Sally Jessy Rapha?Ğl show", "Geraldo", and The Oprah Winfrey Show - whom she shared the "Woman of the World" honor with in 1992. In primetime, she sat on the couches of the "The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson", Ralph Emery's Nashville Now, and she even "rapped" during one of her 3 memorable "Arsenio" visits.


Personal life


Mandrell's daughter Jaime Dudney was Miss Tennessee Teen USA 1993 and placed in the semi-finals at Miss Teen USA 1993. Jaime was Miss Golden Globe in 1996, following a long line of tradition where one son and one daughter of famous parents present the Golden statues. Following this, Jaime played her Aunt Irlene in "Get to the Heart (The Barbara Mandrell Story)" and was seen on the long running CBS daytime drama, As The World Turns, from June 1998 - January 2000.


Awards


Year
Award
Category
2009
Country Music Association
Induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame
2008
People Magazine
Ranked in "100 Most Beautiful at any age" list
2007
People Magazine
Ranked in "100 Most Beautiful" list
2005
Academy of Country Music
Triple Crown Award
2002
CMT's "40 Greatest Women of Country Music"
Rank - #38
2001
Academy of Country Music Awards
Pioneer Award
1999
Country-Gospel Music Hall of Fame
Elected to the Country-Gospel Hall of Fame
1992
Woman of the World
Woman of the World Award (tied w/ Oprah Winfrey)
1991
TNN/Music City News Awards
Minnie Pearl Award
1987
People's Choice Award
All-Around Female Performer
1987
American Music Awards
Favorite Female Country Artist
1986
People's Choice Awards
All-Around Female Performer
1985
People's Choice Awards
Favorite All-Around Female Performer
1985
People's Choice Awards
Favorite Female Musical Performer
1985
American Music Awards
Favorite Female Country Artist
1985
Music City News Country
Living Legend Award
1984
People's Choice Awards
Favorite All-Around Female Musical Performer
1984
American Music Awards
Favorite Female Country Artist
1984
Grammy Awards
Best Soul Gospel Duo Performance - "I'm So Glad We're Standing Here Today" (w/ Bobby Jones)
1983
People's Choice Awards
Favorite All-Around Female Performer
1983
American Music Awards
Favorite Female Country Artist
1983
Grammy Awards
Best Inspirational Performance - "He Set My Life to Music"
1982
People's Choice Awards
Favorite All-Around Female Performer
1982
People's Choice Awards
Favorite Female Personality
1982
People's Choice Awards
Favorite Female Musical Performer
1982
Music City News Country
Female Artist of the Year
1982
Music City News Country
Instrumentalist of the Year
1981
Academy of Country Music Awards
Top Female Vocalist
1981
Country Music Association Awards
Entertainer of the Year
1981
Country Music Association Awards
Female Vocalist of the Year
1981
American Music Awards
Favorite Female Country Artist
1981
Music City News Country
Comedian of the Year
1981
Music City News Country
Female Artist of the Year
1981
Music City News Country
Instrumentalist of the Year
1981
People Magazine
25 Most Intriguing List
1980
Academy of Country Music Awards
Entertainer of the Year
1980
Country Music Association Awards
Entertainer of the Year
1980
American Music Awards
Favorite Country Single - "Sleeping Single In a Double Bed"
1979
Music City News Country
Female Artist of the Year
1979
Country Music Association Awards
Female Vocalist of the Year
1978
Academy of Country Music Awards
Top Female Vocalist
1976
Music City News Country
Most Promising Female Artist of the Year
1971
Academy of Country Music Awards
Top New Female Vocalist

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Original Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara Mandrell