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Mandrell, Barbara

Barbara Mandrell

Country singer, instrumentalist

One of the hottest artists in country music during the 1970s and 1980s, Barbara Mandrell is best remembered for such hits as "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed," "I Don't Want to Be Right," and "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool." A multi-talented instrumentalist, Mandrell played accordion, bass guitar, banjo, guitar, mandolin, pedal steel guitar, dobro, and saxophone, often doing so during the course of one number. Renowned as an entertainer's entertainer, she garnered numerous awards, including the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year in 1980 and the People's Choice Award for Favorite All-Around Female Entertainer for six consecutive years beginning in 1982. At her peak, Mandrell also hosted her own variety show, Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters, with her sisters, Louise and Irlene, from 1980-82. She remained a major concernt draw well into the late 1980s, when a car accident nearly took her life.

Mandrell was born on Christmas Day, 1948, in Houston, Texas. Her father, Irby Mandrell, owned a music shop, and her mother, the former Mary McGill, was a music teacher. Early in her childhood, Barbara became interested in music. The first instrument she learned to play was the accordion, which she played at her family's church when she was only five. Once she grew a little older, the youngster took pedal steel guitar lessons from family friend Norman Hamlet, famed in country circles for his ability with the instrument. By the time Mandrell was eleven years old, she was paid to demonstrate steel guitars at a music trade show in Chicago that she attended with her father. When they returned to Oceanside, California, where they had moved from Houston, country performer and double-neck guitar virtuoso Joe Maphis got her a job as a regular on a local country variety show, Town Hall Party. The following year she performed on the nationwide ABC television show Five Star Jubilee. Subsequently, Mandrell took part in a three-week tour of the Southwest with country greats such as Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and George Jones. Meanwhile, she added to her repertoire of instruments, which now included saxophone, banjo, guitar, dobro, mandolin, and bass, in addition to the accordion and the pedal steel guitar.

But country music was not as popular in 1960 as it was to become in later decades, and Mandrell suffered socially for her childhood stardom in the field. She told Country Music reporter Michael Bane that after "doing a four-hour live television show … I would go back to school on Monday and the kids would yell ‘Yee-haw!’ or ‘Hillbilly!’—poking fun at me. It continued through high school." During some of these high school years she managed to find the time to travel with her father's band, entertaining U.S. servicemen stationed in the Pacific and the Far East.

Mandrell first recorded for Joe Maphis's Mosrite label in 1963, while appearing on West Coast television. At age 16 she was crowned "Miss Oceanside." Mandrell had intended to curtail her performing when she married Ken Dudney in 1967, but this was not to be. Fearing loneliness when Dudney was shipped overseas for Air Force duty, she decided to live with her parents for the duration of his assignment—and her father had taken a job in Nashville. When she accompanied him to a Grand Ole Opry show, Mandrell was filled with determination to become a major country star, and landed a spot with a Nashville band called the Curly Chalker Trio. She played steel guitar and sang, and when producer Billy Sherrill of Columbia Records sat in on their show, he signed Mandrell to a recording contract in 1969.

Mandrell's first releases blended soul with countrypolitan on her remakes of Roy Head's "Treat Her Right," Show Tex's "Show Me," and Aretha Franklin's "Do Right Woman—Do Right Man." These moderately successful sides remained crowd-pleasing staples of her show for years to come, but her first big breakthrough with country fans came in 1973 with the single "Midnight Angel." As she recalled for Bane, the cheating song struck a chord with her female audiences: "To my knowledge, that was the first time a girl had said, ‘Say, I'll cheat.’ It had always been him who was slipping around. … The timing was right on." Mandrell followed with other hits throughout the 1970s, including "Standing Room Only," "That's What Friends Are For," and "Love Is Thin Ice." She had big smashes with "Married, But Not to Each Other" in 1977 and "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed" in 1979. The latter was voted Single of the Year by the American Music Awards, but that wasn't enough for Mandrell; she quickly scored two more hits with "I Don't Want to Be Right" and "Fooled by a Feeling."

During the 1980s Mandrell had more hits, including "Years," "Crackers," and "Wish You Were Here," but her best loved song from that era was her duet with George Jones on "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool," and her newfound popularity on television allowed her to make such a sweetly sung boast. Supported by her two sisters, Louise and Irlene, who were also talented on a wide variety of instruments, the show Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters lasted two seasons, after which her doctor ordered the perfectionist star to slow down. Sister Louise, younger by six years, went on to fashion a nice string of hits for RCA from 1982 to 1987. Irlene went on to regular roles on the syndicated Hee Haw and The Love Boat. The increased recognition brought eldest sister Barbara Mandrell six consecutive People's Choice Awards for Favorite All-Around Female Entertainer during the span from 1982 to 1987. Moreover, the singer's heartfelt foray into gospel music won her two Grammy Awards in 1982 and 1983, respectively.

For the Record …

Born December 25, 1948, in Houston, Texas; daughter of Irby (a music shop owner, entertainer, and talent manager) and Mary (a music teacher; maiden name, McGill) Mandrell; married, husband's name Ken Dudney; children: Matthew, Jaime (daughter), Nathaniel.

Multi-instrumentalist, singer, and actress; toured with country stars Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and George Jones, c. 1962; entertained U.S. Armed Forces with father's band in the Pacific and Far East, c. 1965; played and sang with the Curly Chalker Trio, c. 1969; recording artist and concert performer, 1969-2006; wrote autobiography with George Vescey, 1990; appeared in movie version of book, Get to the Heart—The Barbara Mandrell Story, 1997; officially retired from active performing, 2006.

Awards: Music City News Awards: Best Female Vocalist, 1979; Female Vocalist and Musician of the Year, 1981; Best Comedy Act and Best TV Series, for Barbara Mandrell & the Mandrell Sisters, 1981; Female Vocalist of the Year, Musician of the Year, and Best TV series, 1982; Cashbox Awards: Female Entertainer, Female Vocalist of the Year, and Outstanding Artistic Achievement, 1979; Entertainer of the Year, 1981; Billboard magazine: Single of the Year, for "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed," 1979; Top Female Singles Artist, 1981; American Music Awards: Single of the Year, for "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed," 1979; Favorite Female Country Music Vocalist, 1982; Favorite Country Music Vocalist, 1983; Country Music Association Awards: Female Vocalist of the Year, 1979; Entertainer of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year, 1981; Academy of Country Music Awards: Female Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year, 1979; Entertainer of the Year and Top Female Vocalist of the Year, 1981; Country Style Magazine, Female Vocalist of the Year, 1980; Record World Magazine, Top Female Vocalist, 1981; Grammy Award for Best Gospel or Other Including Sacred, Religious or inspirational Recordings, 1982; Grammy Award, Best Soul Gospel Performance By A Duo, Choir, or Chorus, for "I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today," 1983; six consecutive People's Choice Awards for Favorite All-Around Female Entertainer, 1982-87.

Addresses: Website—Official artist website: http://www.barbara-mandrell.com.

At the peak of her popularity, Mandrell had a major setback when she was involved in a serious automobile accident in 1984. According to Toni Reinhold in Redbook, 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." After a year and a half of rehabilitation, she recovered and returned to recording and performing, but the accident made her reassess her priorities; after that she spent more time with her family and limited the number of concerts and recording dates. After label hopping from MCA to EMI and Capitol, Mandrell's string of hits appeared to be over. She continued to be active, however, and began work on an autobiography. In 1990 she released the album Morning Sun, which featured a duet performance of "Crazy Arms" with Ray Price and a remake of that singer's "You Wouldn't Know Love if It Looked You in the Eye."

For a time Mandrell accepted occasional acting parts on such episodic television shows as The Rockford Files and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, or made-for-TV movies like Burning Cage, but the the profoundly religious entertainer would never accept any role that conflicted with her deeply held values. Still a powerhouse on stage, Mandrell and her band the Do-Rite Boys played Las Vegas and other high profile venues. By 2006 the Nashville establishment had begun to appreciate the doors she had opened for today's country and pop performers. Both CMT and GAC ran tribute specials, and BNA Entertainment enlisted the likes of Reba McIntyre, Brad Paisley, Gretchen Wilson, Sara Evens, Willie Nelson, Lorrie Morgan, Dierks Bently and Cece Winans, to redo her classic hits for a tribute set titled She Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool. But don't look for her to make a comeback anytime soon. "So far my retirement has been a remarkable and wonderful time of my life, too," she wrote on her website. "I'm so very happy and satisfied with the day to day challenges that being a homemaker sends my way. I thank God for all of his blessings."

Selected discography

Singles

"Playing Around With Love," Columbia, 1970.

(With David Houston) "After Closing Time," Epic, 1970.

"Do Right Woman - Do Right Man," Columbia, 1971.

"Treat Him Right," Columbia, 1971.

(With Houston) "We've Got Everything But Love" Epic, 1971.

"Tonight My Baby's Coming Home," Columbia, 1972.

"Show Me," Columbia, 1972.

"Give a Little, Take a Little," Columbia, 1973.

"Midnight Oil," Columbia, 1973.

(With Houston) "I Love You, I Love You," Epic, 1974.

(With Houston) "Ten Commandments of Love," Epic, 1974.

"This Time I Almost Made It," Columbia, 1974.

"Standing Room Only," ABC/Dot, 1975.

"That's What Friends Are For," ABC/Dot, 1976.

"Love Is Thin Ice," ABC/Dot, 1976.

"Woman to Woman," ABC/Dot, 1977.

"Married, But Not to Each Other," ABC/Dot 1977.

"Hold Me," ABC/Dot, 1977.

"Tonight," ABC, 1978.

"Sleeping Single in a Double Bed," ABC, 1979.

"I Don't Want to Be Right," ABC, 1979.

"Fooled by a Feeling," MCA, 1979.

"Years," MCA, 1980.

"Crackers," MCA, 1980.

"The Best of Strangers," MCA, 1980.

"Love Is Fair"/"Sometimes, Somewhere, Somehow," MCA, 1981.

"Wish You Were Here," MCA, 1981.

(With George Jones) "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool," MCA, 1981.

"'Till You're Gone," MCA, 1982.

"Operator, Long Distance Please," MCA, 1982.

"In Times Like These," MCA, 1983.

"One of a Kind Pair of Fools," MCA, 1983.

"Happy Birthday Dear Heartache," MCA, 1984.

"Only a Lonely Heart Knows," MCA, 1984.

(With Lee Greenwood) "To Me," MCA, 1984.

"Crossword Puzzle," MCA, 1984.

(With Greenwood) "It Should Have Been Love By Now," MCA, 1985.

"There's No Love in Tennessee," MCA, 1985.

"Angel in Your Arms" MCA, 1985.

"Fast Lanes and Country Roads," MCA, 1985.

(With the Oak Ridge Boys) "When You Get to the Heart," MCA, 1986.

"No One Mends a Broken Heart Like You," MCA, 1986.

"Child Support," EMI America, 1987.

"I Wish That I Could Fall in Love Today," Capitol, 1988.

"My Train of Thought," Capitol, 1989.

(With Ray Price) "Crazy Arms," Capitol, 1990.

"You Wouldn't Know Love if It Looked You in the Eye," Capitol, 1990.

Albums

Treat Him Right, Columbia, 1971.

(With Houston) Perfect Match, Epic, 1973.

This Time I Almost Made It, Columbia, 1974.

This Is Barbara Mandrell, MCA, 1976.

Midnight Angel, MCA, 1977.

Lovers, Friends, and Strangers, MCA, 1977.

Loves Ups and Downs, MCA, 1978.

Moods, MCA, c. 1978.

Best of Barbara Mandrell, MCA, 1979.

Just for the Record, MCA, 1979.

Love Is Fair, MCA, 1980.

Barbara Mandrell Live, MCA, 1981.

Looking Back, Columbia, 1981.

He Set My Life to Music, MCA, 1982.

In Black & White, MCA, 1982.

Spun Gold, MCA, 1983.

Barbara Mandrell, MCA, 1984.

Christmas at Our House, MCA, 1984.

Clean Cut, MCA, 1984.

Meant for Each Other, MCA, 1984.

Get to the Heart, MCA, 1985.

Greatest Hits, MCA, 1985.

Moments, MCA, 1986.

Sure Feels Good, EMI America, 1987.

I'll Be Your Jukebox Tonight, Capitol, 1988.

Morning Sun, Capitol, 1990.

Key's in the Mailbox, Liberty, 1991.

No Nonsense, Liberty, 1991.

The Collection, Capitol, 1995.

Ultimate, Bransounds, 1995.

It Works for Me, Razor & Tie, 1997.

Branson City Limits [live], Unison, 1998.

Sisters in Song, Sony, 1999.

20th Century Masters—The Millenium Collection: The Best of Barbara Mandrell, MCA, 2000.

The Midnight Oil/Treat Him Right, Collectables, 2000.

Columbia/Epic Singles 1969-75, WestSide, 2002.

Best of Barbara Mandrell, Universal, 2004.

Back in the Saddle, Sony Legacy, 2005.

Video

Best of Barbara Mandrell & the Mandrell Sisters Show, Time-Life, 2007.

Sources

Books

Conn, Charles Paul, The Barbara Mandrell Story, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1988.

Mandrell, Barbara, with George Vescey, Get to the Heart—My Story, Bantam Books, 1990.

McCloud, Barry, Definitive Country—The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Country Music and Its Performers, Perigree, 1995.

Stambler, Irwin, and Grelun Landon, Country Music—The Encyclopedia, St. Martin's Griffin, 1997.

Periodicals

Country Music, January/February 1990.

McCall's, May 1988.

Redbook, April 1988.

Online

"Barbara Mandrell," All Movie Guide,http://www.allmovie.com (March 2, 2007).

"Barbara Mandrell," All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com (March 2, 2007).

"Barbara Mandrell," Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com (March 2, 2007).

Barbara Mandrell Official Website,http://www.barbaramandrell.com, (March 2, 2007).

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Mandrell, Barbara

Barbara Mandrell

Country singer; instrumentalist

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Barbara Mandrell is one of the brightest stars of contemporary country music. She has scored hits with songs such as Sleeping Single in a Double Bed, I Dont Want to Be Right, and Fooled by a Feeling, and has garnered numerous awards, including the Country Music Associations Entertainer of the Year in 1980 and the Peoples Choice Award for Favorite All-Around Female Entertainer for six consecutive years beginning in 1982. Mandrell also hosted her own variety show with her sisters, Louise and Irlene, Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters, from 1980 to 1982.

Mandrell was born on Christmas Day, 1948, in Houston, Texas. Her father, Irby Mandrell, owned a music shop, and her mother, the former Mary McGill, was a music teacher, so it was natural that Barbara was interested in music from her early childhood. The first instrument she learned to play was the accordion, and she performed a solo at the familys church when she was only five. When she was a little older she took pedal steel guitar lessons from family friend Norman Hamletfamed in country circles for his ability with the instrument. By the time Mandrell was eleven years old, she was paid to demonstrate steel guitars at a music trade show in Chicago that she attended with her father. When they returned to Oceanside, California, where they had moved from Houston, country performer Joe Maphiswho had heard Mandrells work in Chicagogot her a job as a regular on a local country variety show, Town Hall Party. The following year, she performed on the nationwide ABC television show Five Star Jubilee. And the year after that, Mandrell took part in a three-week tour of the Southwest with country greats such as Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and George Jones. Meanwhile, she was adding to her repertoire of instrumentsthey now include saxophone, banjo, guitar, dobro, mandolin, and bass in addition to the accordion and the pedal steel guitar.

But country music was not as popular around the year 1960 as it was to become in later decades, and Mandrell suffered socially for her childhood stardom in the field. She told Country Music reporter Michael Bane that after doing a four-hour live television show I would go back to school on Monday and the kids would yell Yee-haw! or Hillbilly!poking fun at me. It continued through high school. During some of these high-school years she managed to find the time to travel with her fathers band, entertaining U.S. servicemen stationed in the Pacific and the Far East.

Mandrell intended to curtail her performing when she married Ken Dudney in 1967, but this was not to be. Fearing loneliness when Dudney was shipped overseas for Air Force duty, she decided to live with her parents for the duration of his assignmentand her

For the Record

Born December 25, 1948, in Houston, Texas; daughter of Irby (a music shop owner, entertainer, and talent manager) and Mary (a music teacher; maiden name, McGill) Mandrell; married, husbands name Ken Dudney; children: Matthew, Jaime (daughter), Nathaniel. Religion: Christian.

Demonstrated steel guitar at music trade shows at age eleven; performed on country variety shows Town Hall Party and Five Star Jubilee, c. 1960; toured with country stars Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and George Jones, c. 1962; entertained U.S. Armed Forces with fathers band in the Pacific and Far East, c. 1965; played and sang with the Curly Chalker Trio, c. 1969; recording artist and concert performer, 1969. Had television variety show with sisters, Louise and Irlene, Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters, on NBC, 1980-82.

Awards: Numerous awards, including six consecutive Peoples Choice Awards for Favorite All-Around Female Entertainer, 1982-87; Academy of Country Musics Entertainer of the Year, 1981; Country Music Associations Entertainer of the Year, 1980; Country Music Associations Female Vocalist of the Year and Academy of Country Musics Female Vocalist of the Year, 1979; and Sleeping Single in a Double Bed named Single of the Year by the American Music Awards, 1979.

Addresses: Home Whites Creek, Tenn. Other P.O. Box 332, Hendersonville, Tenn. 37075.

father had taken a job in Nashville. When she accompanied him to a Grand Ole Opry show, Mandrell was filled with determination to become a major country star. She landed a spot with a Nashville band called the Curly Chalker Trio; she of course played steel guitar, but she also sang, and when producer Billy Sherril of Columbia Records sat in on their show, he signed Mandrell to a recording contract in 1969.

Mandrells first releases earned respect from her country peers, but her first big breakthrough with the fans came in 1973 with the single Midnight Angel. As she recalled for Bane, the cheating song struck a chord with her female audiences: To my knowledge, that was the first time a girl had said, Say, Ill cheat. It had always been him who was slipping around. The timing was right on. Mandrell followed with other hits throughout the 1970s, including Standing Room Only, Thats What Friends Are For, and Love Is Thin Ice. She had big smashes with Married, But Not to Each Other in 1977 and Sleeping Single in a Double Bed in 1979. The latter was voted single of the year by the American Music Awards, but that wasnt enough for Mandrell; she quickly scored two more hits with I Dont Want to Be Right and Fooled by a Feeling.

During the 1980s Mandrell had more hits, including Crackers and Wish You Were Here, but perhaps more importantly, in terms of gaining exposure, she started off the decade by starring in her own television variety show, supported on screen by her two sisters, Louise and Irlene, who were also talented on a wide variety of instruments. The show, Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters, fared extremely well for a variety program, and lasted two seasons. Possibly the increased recognition Mandrell received from being seen by millions of television viewers helped her garner six consecutive Peoples Choice Awards for Favorite All-Around Female Entertainer during the span from 1982 to 1987.

While Mandrell was at the peak of her popularity, she had a major setback when she was involved in a serious automobile accident in 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. She continues to be active, however, and has been at work on an autobiography. In 1990, she released the album Morning Sun, which features a duet performance of Crazy Arms with Ray Price and a remake of that singers You Wouldnt Know Love if It Looked You in the Eye.

Selected discography

Singles

(With David Houston) After Closing Time, Epic, 1970.

Show Me, Columbia, 1972.

Give a Little, Take a Little, Columbia, 1973.

Midnight Oil, Columbia, 1973.

(With Houston) I Love You, I Love You, Epic, 1974.

(With Houston) Ten Commandments of Love, Epic, 1974.

This Time I Almost Made It, Columbia, 1974.

Standing Room Only, MCA, 1975.

Thats What Friends Are For, MCA, c. 1976.

Love Is Thin Ice, MCA, c. 1976.

Woman to Woman, MCA, c. 1977.

Married, But Not to Each Other, MCA, c. 1977.

Hold Me, MCA, 1977.

Tonight, MCA, 1978.

Sleeping Single in a Double Bed, MCA, 1979.

I Dont Want to Be Right, MCA, 1979.

Fooled by a Feeling, MCA, 1979.

Years, MCA, 1980.

Crackers, MCA, 1980.

The Best of Strangers, MCA, 1980.

Love Is Fair/Sometimes, Somewhere, Somehow, MCA, 1981.

Wish You Were Here, MCA, 1981.

(With Ray Price) Crazy Arms, Capitol, 1990.

You Wouldnt Know Love if It Looked You in the Eye, Capitol, 1990.

LPs

Treat Him Right, Columbia, c. 1973.

(With Houston) Perfect Match, Epic, c. 1974.

This Is Barbara Mandrel!, MCA, 1975.

Midnight Angel, MCA, c. 1976.

Lovers, Friends, and Strangers, MCA, c. 1976.

Ups and Downs of Love, MCA, c. 1977.

Love Is Fair, MCA, c. 1978.

Moods, MCA, c. 1979.

Best of Barbara Mandrell, MCA, 1979.

Just for the Record, MCA, 1980.

Greatest Hits, MCA, 1985.

Morning Sun, Capitol, 1990.

Sources

Country Music, January/February 1990.

McCalls, May 1988.

Redbook, April 1988.

Elizabeth Thomas

Cite this article
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"Mandrell, Barbara." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Mandrell, Barbara." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/mandrell-barbara

"Mandrell, Barbara." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/mandrell-barbara