Personalities | Barbara Mandrell | Mainstream Country
(Vocals, bass, steel guitar, banjo, saxophone, b. 1948)
Born in Texas and raised in California, Mandrell is an all-round instrumentalist. Starting in The Mandrell Family Band, she was playing steel guitar in Las Vegas nightspots by the time she was 16 – by which time she had also appeared regularly on the Johnny Cash and Red Foley television shows. Moving to Nashville in 1971, she signed to ABC/Dot, making the US country Top 5 with 1975’s ‘Standing Room Only’, and No. 1 with ‘Sleeping Single In A Double Bed’ (1978). She spoke for many country fans with ‘I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool’ (1981), featuring guest vocalist George Jones, and hosted her own network television series (1980–82), which also featured her sisters Louise and Irlene. She was voted CMA Entertainer Of The Year in 1980 and 1981, after which she moved on to an acting career.
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