Barbara Mandrell Biography
Barbara Mandrell (full name: Barbara Ann Mandrell) is an American country music singer, musician, and actress from Houston, Texas. She was quite famous in the 70s and 80s due to her series of country hits and her own prime-time variety TV show on NBC.
She was also an active member of the Grand Ole Opry for 25 years until her last performance on October 23, 1997, at the Grand Ole Opry House and retired from performing music. In 2009, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Born to a musical family, Mandrell began playing the accordion and reading sheet music before she could read words. By age eleven, she was a prodigy on the steel guitar, which prompted her father to take her to a music trade show in Chicago. Her performance caught the attention of legendary country guitarists, Chet Atkins and “Uncle” Joe Maphis. It was her first foray into the music industry, and the beginning of a storied, successful, 38-year career.
After her landmark performance at a trade show, Maphis invited Mandrell to join his show at the Showboat Hotel in Las Vegas. It became one of the single greatest influences on her musicianship, and by the time she was a teenager, Mandrell was touring with The Johnny Cash Show, which included high-profile guests such as Patsy Cline, George Jones and June Carter.
A short time later, Mandrell’s father, Irby Mandrell, formed the Mandrell Family Band, and the act embarked on a successful tour across Asia. The formation of the band also brought Mandrell together with her future husband Ken Dudney, after her dad hired him as the drummer.
Mandrell married Dudney in 1967 and made the decision to step away from the music industry to focus on being a wife. She’d just returned from an exhausting tour in another country and had already been working for nearly a decade when she turned 19. Mandrell went to live with her parents the next year after Dudney, who was working as a Navy carrier pilot at the time, was deployed.
She gradually began playing a few shows again here and there at the urging of friends in the industry. Mandrell had a come-to-Jesus moment while sitting in the balcony of the Ryman Auditorium with her father, watching another female performer on stage. She felt that she was not destined for a life of sitting in the audience. Mandrell’s passion was reignited and she made the decision to get back on stage and give it her all as a solo artist.
Mandrell’s career took off in Nashville, and she scored her first hit with a remake of Otis Redding’s classic “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.” That single put her on the charts and set the stage for a succession of No.1 hits that skyrocketed her to the forefront of country music stardom with songs such as “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed,” “(If Loving You is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right” and “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.”
In 1980, the Country Music Association named Mandrell Entertainer of the Year. At the time, she was only the third woman to have ever won the title. She earned that accolade again in 1981, an unprecedented honor only recently replicated by Taylor Swift. An array of accolades from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, and People’s Choice Awards followed, making her one of the most awarded country’s acts in history.
Is Barbara Mandrell Still Alive
Yes, Barbara is still alive and well.
Barbara Mandrell Age
How Old is Barbara Mandrell? The country music songstress is 70 years old as of 2018. She was born on 25 December 1948 in Houston, Texas, United States.
Barbara Mandrell Family – Parents
She was born as the firstborn daughter of Mary Ellen and Irby Matthew Mandrell, a World War II naval veteran, and Texas police officer.
Her mother, Mary Ellen, was a homemaker and musician hailing from a large family in rural Wayne County, Illinois. Mr. Mandrell was a Garland County, Arkansas native, and an accomplished musician and entrepreneur.
Barbara Mandrell Sisters
Barbara is the eldest in her family with her first sibling, her sister by the name Thelma Louise Mandrell being born on 13 July 1954. Her youngest sister, Ellen Irlene Mandrell, was born on January 29, 1956, 18 months after Louise.
The three ladies were raised in Houston, Texas and when they became famous, their father managed their careers for over 3 decades.
Barbara Mandrell Husband
Mandrell married Ken Dudney in on May 28, 1967.
Barbara Mandrell Children
Mandrell and Dudney have three children; Kenneth Matthew Dudney, Jaime Nicole Dudney, and Nathaniel Mandrell Dudney.
What Does Barbara Mandrell Look Like Now
The Mandrell Sisters – Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters
Mandrell and her sisters, Louise and Irlene, enjoyed a lauded television career that began in the 1980s with her NBC variety show, Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters. The variety show drew nearly 40 million viewers weekly and introduced the world to country music.
Mandrell has also starred in specials for HBO, CBS, and TNN. She has hosted popular programs from The Tonight Show to the People’s Choice Awards and made guest appearances on a countless string of shows — from Barbara Walters’ Specials and Larry King Live to HEE HAW. Her influence on popular media also includes a 1990 autobiography Get to the Heart: The Barbara Mandrell Story that appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List after only four days and remained there for six months. The autobiography was so popular that it was later turned into a CBS made-for-television movie.
In 1997, Mandrell officially retired with a final concert titled Barbara Mandrell and the Do-Rites: The Last Dance. It was filmed at the Grand Ole Opry for a highly-rated TNN concert special. Two years later, in 1999, Mandrell was inducted into the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame. The next year, the Academy of Country Music honored Mandrell with its most prestigious award, The Pioneer Award.
In 2009, Mandrell received two accolades that would be among the proudest of her career, she became the only woman ever to be inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame, and the Country Music Hall of Fame inducted her with a ceremony that paid tribute to her incredible, inimitable career, unyielding faith, and love of our country. Later in 2014, Mandrell was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and was recognized for her prowess in playing multiple instruments, particularly the steel guitar.
In spite of the demands of show business, Mandrell gracefully embraces success in her public life while staying focused on her private life. She has remained true to her love of God, family, and country and is the embodiment of a true entertainer. Mother of three, grandmother and wife of 48 years, Mandrell’s family takes center stage, even as she remains an icon of the industry.
In her spare time, Mandrell can be found gardening, visiting friends, taking care of her home and family and enjoying a slower pace of life since retirement. She often says, “I have so much to do, I don’t know when I found time to work.”
Barbara Mandrell Today | Barbara Mandrell Now
What is Barbara Mandrell Doing These Days?
Mandrell hasn’t released any new music since 1997. However, in 2016 she had a compilation album issued. It’s title, This Time I Almost Made It: The Lost Columbia Masters.
This was a re-release of her third album which has several of her classics that include Today I Started Loving You Again, You’re All I Need to Get By, Kiss the Hurt Away, and Wonder When My Baby’s Coming Home.
Still, in 2016, she re-released another album as a compilation, The 10 Commandments, with 15 tracks. it includes songs like I Gave My Love To a Railroad Man, We’ve Got Everything but Love, Break My Mind, and Release Me.
She has however not been in front of the cameras for several years neither has she been seen in public since The 50th Annual CMA Awards ceremony held on November 2, 2016. In her career, she won two Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year awards (1980, 1981) making her the first artist to do so. She also won the Country Music Association’s “Female Vocalist of the Year” in 1979 and 1981.
Barbara Mandrell Net Worth
She has an estimated net worth of $45 million dollars.
Barbara Mandrell The Midnight Oil
Album: Country & Western Vol. 1
Genres: Country, Pop
Barbara Mandrell Songs
Mandrell has so many songs to her name. The following list is not exhaustive.
- I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool
- Sleeping Single in a Double Bed
- I Don’t Want to Be Right
- Till You’re Gone
- Wish You Were Here
- The Best Of Strangers
- Married But Not to Each Other
- Only A Lonely Heart Knows
- One of a Kind Pair of Fools
- Happy Birthday Dear Heartache
- Fast Lanes And Country Roads
- Fooled by a Feeling
- There’s No Love in Tennessee
- I’ve Been Loving You Too Long
- No One Mends A Broken Heart Like You
- Tonight My Baby’s Coming Home
- Almost Persuaded
- It Should Have Been Love By Now
- Operator, Long Distance Please
- My Train of Thought
- Playin’ Around With Love
- A Very Special Love Song
- Do Right Woman Do Right Man
- Love is Fair
- Angel in Your Arms
- Love Is Thin Ice
- It Must Have Been the Mistletoe
- Standing Room Only
- He Grew the Tree
- I’ll Leave Something Good Behind