55 m ago
Country Music Hall of Famer and Grammy winner Barbara Mandrell stepped away from the limelight nearly two decades ago, but the legend recently made his triumphant return to the scene.
Tough females in such a country Carrie Underwood, CeCe Winans, Suzy Bogguss, Linda Davis, Jeannie Seely, Janelle Arthur, Mandy Barnettand Connie Smith headed to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night (July 30) to celebrate Mandrell’s 50th anniversary as a member of the hallowed venue.
“Here we are back home,” Mandrell said Associated Press before entering the sacred circle. “Fifty years. Not everyone gets that blessing,” she added.
That “treasure” The singer joined the Grand Ole Opry in July 1972, aged just 23. It was no surprise that Mandrell was inducted into the prestigious institution as she dedicated her livelihood to music very early in life. By the time Mandrell turned five, she was reading sheet music and playing the accordion. Mandrell’s professional career took off when the critically acclaimed guitarist Joe Maphis noted Mandrell’s unparalleled talents at a music trade meeting in Chicago. Maphis catapulted Mandrell to stardom by offering her a spot in his Las Vegas nightclub show. In 1961, she made her television debut on “Five star anniversary” and became a regular guest on a western-style dance show entitled, ”Town hall party.”
It wasn’t long before she signed a deal with Columbia Records in 1969 and released the single “I’ve loved you too long” with producer Billy Sherrill. After several Top 40 hits and scored his first No. 1 album with “The midnight oil,” Mandrell developed into a household name with TV show – “Barbara Mandrell and The Mandrell Sisters.” With several best-selling records, chart-topping singles and big-screen appearances, Mandrell became the first multi-instrumentalist to receive back-to-back CMA Entertainer of the Year awards. Before retiring, Mandrell performed one final performance at the Grand Ole Opry House in 1997.
Underwood was among many musicians who praised Mandrell during the recent tribute show. That “Ghost story” star highlighted Mandrell’s influence on the genre. Dressed in a striking gold gown, Underwood delivered a chilling cover of Mandrell’s 1981 classic “I was country when country wasn’t cool.”
Before introducing the icon to the stage, Underwood explained how Mandrell influenced her craft over the years.
“Everyone talks about Barbara’s beauty. But as beautiful as she is, she’s just as beautiful on the inside. In addition to all the other things we love about her, she always wore her faith on her sleeve. She told us that you can love the Lord AND raise some… dammit,” Underwood said. “She has been such an inspiration to me and so many others who stand on the shoulders of great female artists like her. It is especially fitting to pay tribute to her tonight, in this hallowed place we both hold so dear.”
Shortly after a thunderous standing ovation, Mandrell explained why she holds her Opry family close to her heart.
“My last show, when I retired in 1997, I chose my home to do my last show, and it was this one,” Mandrell told the crowd in the church-like pews.
Throughout the show, the powerhouse vocalists in attendance delivered fan-favorite hits from her impressive repertoire.
“There are so many amazing, great, hugely talented women who performed for us tonight and said so many incredible things about me,” she explained. “They know I love them. And the Opry…Lord knows I love the Opry,” added the genre-bending phenom.
On Saturday, August 6, the Opry will honor a country trailblazer John Andersen. Anderson will be performing songs from the upcoming album, “Something Borrowed, Something New: A Tribute to John Anderson.” Special guests Dan Auerbach, Tyler Childers, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Sierra Hulland Elizabeth Cook everyone is expected to participate in the unforgettable evening. The celebration will be broadcast live (August 6) on Circle Television and on Circle’s social media channels.