Houston, Texas, USA
Claim to Fame
one of country music`s most successful female vocalists of the 1970s and 1980s.
Country-Pop, Urban Cowboy, Contemporary Country
Rousing, Bittersweet, Freewheeling, Romantic, Earnest, Amiable/Good-Natured, Laid-Back/Mellow, Happy, Sweet, Sentimental
Vocals, Guitar (Steel), Classical Music Entry
Actor/Actress, Soundtrack, Producer
Has Detailed Data (New)
Profile Bio Text
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 is 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.
Barbara 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.
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 later television performances and 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.
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.
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.
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 October 17, 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 October 28, where several of the artists on the album sang many of her classics.
On November 6, 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 May 1, 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.
On November 5, 2007, Mandrell, along with Vince Gill and Rodney Crowell, was awarded a star on Nashville`s "Walk of Fame."
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 Jesse Raphaël", "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 "Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson", Ralph Emery`s Nashville Now, and she even "rapped" during one of her 3 memorable "Arsenio" visits.
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.
Couple Profile Source
Full Name at Birth
Barbara Ann Mandrell
Mary Ellen McGill
The Battle Hymn Of The Republic
Anything Except Escargot And Liver
Aretha Franklin, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, Minnie Pearl, James Brown, Brenda Lee
Has Detailed Data (Music)
Barbara Ann Mandrell (born December 25, 1948) is an American country music singer and actress. She is known for a series of Top 10 hits and TV shows in the 1970s and 1980s that helped her become one of country's most successful female vocalists of that period. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
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Has Detailed Data (76)
Music Profile Complete
Page Display = 2 (Legacy)
Music Genre (Text)
Country, country pop
Vocals, pedal steel guitar, banjo, accordion, saxophone
Columbia, ABC/Dot, MCA, Capitol
George Jones, David Houston, Louise Mandrell