Barbara Mandrel Biography
In Las Vegas, she also played guitar for Joe Maphis and has been on the Town Hall Party Show as well, Barbara Mandrell was up to a good start. Patsy Cline was so much in awe this little blonde girl that she had with her on tour that she even wrote a friend saying - "a 13 year old blonde doll that plays the steel guitar out of this world! What a show woman!"
The Mandrel Family Band was founded by Barbara's parents two years she had already gone on the road, touring with such huge stars. The group, as their name suggested, featured the whole family playing music and they too, went on the road accross the entire United States even reaching Asia. Ken Dudney, drummer for the family venture on tour would later on be Barbara's husband. The two got married just right after Barbara graduated from high school.
Barbara Mandrell decided to pursue a career as a country singer after her husband was sent overseas where he was serving as a pilot in the Navy. With her father as her manager, 1969 they signed on with Columbia Records and she had minor, luke-warm successes from the two-years worth of releases made under Columbia, where she remained until 1975.
The songs that "really" started Barbara Mandrell's country music career and made her a household name include "Midnight Oil", the first song that had the woman as the cheat, "Do Right Woman Do Right Man", "Treat Him Right", "Show Me" and "Tonight My Baby's Coming Home".
Another country singer, David Houston and Barbara Mandrell laid down a few duets, the biggest of these were the 1970's top 10 hit "After Closing Time" and 1974's "I Love You, I Love You". In 1976, under her own label Standing Room Only and after switching to ABC/Dot records a year earlier, she entered the top five country list for the very first time. What sets apart Barbara Mandrell from other country singers were the things she spoke of in her songs, unlike the typical country songs of heartache and loneliness.
Barbara Mandrel explored being on TV and peaked during the 80's with her own variety TV show, "Barbara Mandrell and The mandrell Sisters". The show ran succesfully with the help of her younger sisters, Louise and Irene reaching an audience, at its peak, 40,000 million viewers. The show never lost it's viewers or ever dropped its ratings, burned out and too exhausted, Barbara Mandrel cancelled the show. Then after the show's voluntary cancellation, you'd think she'd slow down, right? - No. She performed in a show called The "Lady Is a Champ", the show was so succesful that HBO had talks with them to record a performances and broadcast it, as asuccesful concert it was, so was it's ratings when then just newly opened HBO aired it.
1984. There's nothing that could quite say your "successfull" at what you do or "popular" for who are, than building your own theme park, off course naming it after you, depicting every step you took on to success and in return the theme would itself hit the charts at its own class as a tourist destination. The fan-based park/museum was dubbed "Barbara Mandrell Country" and it stood across the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville and theree it stood for nearly a decade-long run of being a strong tourist destination/attraction.
Her 1984 head on collision with another car that also involved two of her children, both surviving the accident, Barbara suffered fractures from her leg down to her ankle and foot, cuts, bruises and a year-long depression from a severe blow she took on her head. The driver that hit the family head on died.
She slowly recuoperated from her injuries and as soon as she could, went on to do public service announcements, that the seatbelts that they had on minimized their injuries and ultimately saving their lives.
Physically surviving the ordeal proved to be less of a problem compared to what followed when she tried to collect insurance. Tennesee law stated that in order for her to collect on her insurance that she planned to use to settle her medical bills, she must first sue the estate of the other driver. A move that was long misundertood until six years after when she spoke on Oprah, clarrifying that it was never her intention to take anything from the family ofthe driver that died, it was just something she needed to do as it was stated in the books of law regarding such matters, so she did.
Although within a year, her fractures, cuts, bruises and head trauma had all but healed, the effect of the accident on her finances while still paying high premiums and not getting any insurance back, is the only injury she suffered from the accident that she never did really bounce backed up from.
Her return to country music was marked by hits such as "There's No Love in Tennessee," "When You Get to The Heart," "Fast Lanes and Country Roads, "Angel In Your Arms", "No One Mends a Broken Heart Like You," and "Child Support". Her move to switch from previously known label ABC/Dot Records, became in 1979 MCA Records and sign on to EMI America/Capitol Records in 1987 on which the song "Child Support" was released under and was the first song to hit the charts after she had switched record companies.
By 1988, her seemingly iron hold on the charts started to slip and for the first time since she had first started hitting what almost seemed to be "in love" with her charts, they hada falling out and Barbara Mandrell skipped a year without a hit on it. Re-appearing again in 1989 with two hits, a top 5 hit, "I Wish That I Could Fall in Love Today", and a top 20 hit, My Train of Thought". Unlike her chart performances, her live shows never lost their luster and continued to satisfy, proving that the stage was where she was really at home and where she is also the most comfortable of all media platforms she has ventured onto. TNN picked up her shows, recorded and broadcast the tours "No Nonsense Tour", the "I'll Be Your Jukebox Tour", the "Favorite Things Tour", the "Ain't No Stoppin' Tour", and the "Steppin' Out Tour".
As her then unblemished hit chart track record began signs of slowing down, she turned her focus on acting and appeared on numerous high profile popular TV shows of the late 80'sentering the 90's, "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman", "The Commish", "Baywatch and "Walker, Texas Ranger" just to name a few. She was also cast and took part in made for TV movies. In the late 90's, guest starring with a recurring role on Aaron Spelling's daytime drama, Sunset Beach.
"Get to the Heart : My Story", a New York Times Bestseller that enjoyed a spot on top for over three months in 1990. Seven years later was adapted by CBS into a made for TV movie that was also highly rated.
In 1997, came the announcement that shocked everyone. She was retiring from being a country music star. She held her last concert on october of the same year at the Grand Ole Opry, it aired on TNN, highly anticipated, on its broadcast it noentheless rated high as what was expected, the show was aptly entitled, "The Last Dance".
Not saying about anything about completely forgetting about music, only that she was retiring and leaving behind her carreer in country muscic. She remains, to this day, a member of the Gran Ole Opry.
And from 1997 to the present, you might catch a glimpse of her when you turn on you TV. As she announced she did withdraw from her carreer in country music she turned her attention to other things,focusing even more on her acting, you might be able to cath her on the numerous made forTV movies she has done in recent and not so rec ent years following her "retirement".
Along with other artist like herself Andy Griffith, Loretta Lynn, Gary S. Paxton, David L Cook, Lulu Roman and Jimmy Snow were all inducted into the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame on October of 1999.
Recently, a tribute album entitled -"She Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool: A Tribute To Barbara Mandrell", featuring todays brightest country music stars that all paid homage to her and gave her credit for her efforts that brought country music towards a positive directions to where it is today. The tribute featured artists Reba McEntire, Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, LeAnn Rimes, Brad Paisley and Gretchen Wilson and their renditions of Barbara's classics. It was released on October 17, 2006, under BNA Records and upon its release, debuted at #25 on Billboard's Country Album's chart. On the same year, in November 6, she made an appearance as a presentor in the 40th Annual Country Music Awards for an award that she alone has recieved two years in a row, Entertainer of The Year.
"The Best of Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters", A DVD collection, under Time Life was released on May 1, 2007. The DVD features 40 guest musical performances, comedic legends and other guests that have graced the popular show. A Fair warning to hardcore fans though, the DVD release might just end up a big disappointment for you, since many cuts have been made, mostly on song and dance routines, opening numbers, as well as the sketch comedy that rounded out the series.