Barbara Mandrell to join Country Hall of Fame
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Barbara Mandrell, Roy Clark and Charlie McCoy will become the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The Country Music Association announced the selections Wednesday in Nashville. All three will be formally inducted in the spring.
Mandrell was introduced by her sister and sometime musical partner, Louise, who said Barbara "got where she is through hard work and determination. But she didn't waver one inch from her priorities: God, country and family."
The 60-year-old Mandrell said the support of her father, Irby Mandrell, was unwavering when she was a child and a young woman, even starting the Mandrell Family Band to help her realize her dream. He also managed his daughter's career.
"This is me being honored, and this is Irby Mandrell being honored. Because he earned it," she said during her emotional remarks.
Mandrell began her professional career in California when she was 11. She made her national TV debut on ABC with Red Foley's "Five Star Jubilee." Her first concert tour was with Johnny and June Carter Cash, Patsy Cline and George Jones.
She charted her first single in 1969, a remake of Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long," and went on to have a long run of country hits including "Midnight Oil," "Married But Not to Each Other," "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed" and "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool."
At the height of her career, she acted in TV shows like the "The Rockford Files" and in 1980 joined sisters Louise and Irlene to host "Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters" on NBC, which drew 40 million viewers a week and broadened her exposure beyond country music.
Mandrell has two Grammys. But she said her Hall of Fame selection is special.
"I'm about 6-feet off the ground right now," the 5-foot-2 entertainer said. "It's too much to dream and hope and certainly pray for."
From Tennessean staff writer Peter Cooper:
Induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame is a heady deal, though there aren't many people who know just how heady. Only 108 music pros have been pegged for the Hall, so we're talking about the most exclusive of country clubs.
OAS_AD('ArticleFlex_1'); Yet, on Wednesday morning, when Barbara Mandrell was named along with Charlie McCoy and Roy Clark as a new Hall member, Barbara and her family found some time for frivolity amidst the joyful tears.
Sister Louise Mandrell noted the importance of the Barbara Mandrell & The Mandrell Sisters NBC-TV show, which was seen by an audience of 40 million in the early 1980s.
"Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters… I can't believe she made us audition for that," Louise quipped.
Barbara said that McCoy had earlier spoken with her about his joy in recording some overdubs on a Patsy Cline project.
"He was so pleased with that," she said. "I told him that when I was a kid, I slept with Patsy Cline."
Ahem … by that, she meant she roomed with Patsy Cline when they were on a tour with Johnny Cash.
Stardom has been something of a full-time job for Barbara, who takes pride in never appearing in public — be it on a stage or at the grocery store — without being well-dressed and looking like… well, like Barbara Mandrell.
"I always figured that if someone who might like you or your music sees you out, you should make an effort to look your best," she said.
The one exception to all that came during a recent election, when husband Ken Dudney reminded her that early voting was soon to close.
"Oh, I had maybe run a comb through hair that probably should have been washed," she said. "I had on slip-on shoes, and very little makeup. But I thought I could slip in to vote and slip out. A few days later, someone said, 'Barbara, you voted, didn't you?' I said, 'Why is that? I don't remember seeing you when I was voting.' She said, 'I saw you on TV.' "
Apparently, news cameras caught Barbara on the way to the polls. Somehow, her reputation has survived. Happy Hall of Fame, Ms. Mandrell.
Texas native Barbara Mandrell enthralled the American public through television, a best-selling autobiography, and bonafide country music superstardom. Born into a musical family and the ultimate product of a family band, she began performing as a child. With hits including “Playin’ Around with Love” and David Houston-duet “After Closing Time” already under her belt, she joined the Grand Ole Opry at the tender age of 23. In one year, she earned her first chart-topper, “The Midnight Oil,” which she followed with consecutive no. 1 smashes “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed,” “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right" and "Years." Throughout the 70s and 80s, Mandrell dominated the charts, returning to top them again with hits "Till You're Gone," "One of a Kind Pair of Fools," and her signature jewel, “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.” In 1980, she partnered with her sisters Louise and Irlene to create television variety program Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters, which went on to garner a combined 11 Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. She took home her first CMA Entertainer of the Year trophy the same year, and in 1981, she became the first artist ever to win Entertainer of the Year two years in a row. Mandrell also boasts two Grammys, countless television special and acting credits, six American Music Awards, and a spot in the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Roy Clark and Barbara Mandrell will formerly enter the Country Music Hall of Fame at the official Medallion Ceremony, slated for later this year. For more information regarding the Hall of Fame and comprehensive biographies of the inductees, please visit www.countrymusichalloffame.com.