PROFILE
Name:
Barbara Mandrell
Birth Date:
December 25, 1948
Birth Place:
Houston, Texas, USA
Height:
5' 2" (1.57 m)
Nationality:
American
BIOGRAPHY
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Sleeping Single in a Double Bed

Background:

Two time Grammy award winning country singer, songwriter, musician and actress Barbara Mandrell won her Grammys for the inspirational song “He Set My Life to Music” (1982) and the gospel duet “I'm So Glad We're Standing Here Today” (1984), with Bobby Jones. A regular nightclub performer as a teenager, the Texas native toured with her family band until she relocated to Nashville. Signing with Columbia Record in 1969, Mandrell released her first solo studio album, “Treat Him Right,” in 1971. She has since released 21 more solo albums, one live album and two collaboration albums, not to mention a number of other albums. Recognized as one of the most successful female vocalists of the 1970s and 1980s in country music, Mandrell has six number one country hits, including “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed” (1978), “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right” (1978), “Years” (1979), “I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool” (1981), “Till You're Gone” (1982) and “One of a Kind Pair of Fools” (1983) as well as many hit singles, including “The Midnight Oil” (1973), “Standing Room Only” (1975), “Married But Not to Each Other” (1977), “Woman to Woman” (1977), “Tonight” (1978), “Fooled by a Feeling” (1979), “Crackers” (1980), “The Best of Strangers” (1980), “Wish You Were Her” (1981), “Operator, Long Distance Please” (1982), “In Times Like These” (1983), “Only a Lonely Heart Knows“ (1984), “Fast Lanes and Country Roads” (1985), “No One Mends a Broken Heart Like You” (1986) and “I Wish That I Could Fall in Love Today” (1988). Her singing career gradually decreased in the late 1980s and she left the music industry in 1998.

During the height of her career, Mandrell starred in the variety music series “Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters,” which ran on NBC from 1980 to 1982. The show brought Mandrell a Golden Globe nomination and in 2006, she was nominated for a TV Land Award for her work on the show. After retiring from music, Mandrell turned her attention to acting. She landed guest spots in “Baywatch” (1997), “Diagnosis Murder” (1997), “Touched by an Angel” (1996, 1998), “The Love Boat: The Next Wave” (1998) and “Walker, Texas Ranger” (2000) and a multi episode role in “Sunset Beach” (1997-1998). She also played a supporting role in the TV film “The Wrong Girl” (1999).

Mandrell was named one of People Magazine's “25 Most Intriguing” in 1981 and ranked No. 38 on the CMT list of “40 Greatest Women of Country Music” in 2002. She was also listed as one of People Magazine's “100 Most Beautiful” in 2007 and one of People Magazine's “100 Most Beautiful At Any Age” in 2008. Mandrell was inducted into the Country-Gospel Hall of Fame in 1999. Ten years later, she became an inductee of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Mandrell became the first performer and is currently the only female in country music history to win the Entertainer of the Year honor twice from the Country Music Association Awards. She is also the recipient of the 1991 Minnie Pearl Award from the TNN/Music City News, the 1992 Woman of the World Award (tied with Oprah Winfrey) and the Academy of Country Music's Pioneer Award in 2001 and the Triple Crown Award in 2005

Mandrell has been married to Ken Dudney (born in 1941) since 1967. The couple has three children. Their daughter, Jaime Dudney, was Miss Tennessee Teen USA in 1993. She has also acted in the TV series “Diagnosis Murder” and “As The World Turns” and in the films “Get to the Heart: The Barbara Mandrell Story (1997, TV)” and “Get a Job” (1998).


Music Prodigy

Childhood and Family:

The oldest of three girls, Barbara Ann Mandrell was born on December 25, 1948, in Houston, Texas. Raised in a musical household where her father, Irby Mandrell, owned a music store and her mother, Mary Mandrell, taught piano lessons, Barbara learned how to read music at a very young age. She made her first public appearance at age 5 when she played the accordion at her church. As a youth, she also learned to play the guitar, saxophone and banjo, among other instruments.

After making her first television and radio appearance in Bakersfield, California, at age 11, Barbara was escorted by her father to a music trade convention in Chicago, in which her talent came to the attention of Joe Maphis and Chet Atkins. Before long, she became a featured performer in Maphis' Las Vegas nightclub show, a gig that led to a regular job on L.A.'s “Town Party,” a network debut on NBC's “Five Star Jubilee,” and a concert tour with the “Johnny Cash Show,” which also featured Patsy Cline, June Carter, and George Jones.

When she was 14, Barbara began performing with her family in a group called the Mandrell Family Band. The band toured throughout the U.S. and Asia.

After graduating from Oceanside High School, Barbara married Ken Dudney, the drummer of the Mandrell Family Band, on May 28, 1967. She briefly retired from music to focus on her family, but returned when music called. Barbara has three children, Matthew (born in 1970), Jaime Dudney (born in 1976) and Nathaniel (born in 1984).


Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters

Career:

Barbara Mandrell made her recording debut in 1963 with the minor hit single “Queen for a Day.” She continued to tour with her family's band until her drummer husband joined the Navy and was sent overseas. She then made her way to Nashville to pursue a career as a country singer. Thanks in part to the help of her father, who was her manager, she secured a contract with Columbia Records in 1969 and recorded “I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now),” a cover version of the Otis Redding classic. The single peaked at No. 55 on Billboards' Hot Country Song. She followed it up in 1970 with two Top 20 Country hits titled “Playin' Around with Love” (#18) and “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” (#17). Her debut album, “Treat Him Right,” which was produced by Billy Sherrill, was released in 1971 and peaked at No. 44 on the Top Country Albums chart in 1980. The title track rose to No. 12 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks and in 1971, she was named Academy of Country Music's Top New Female Vocalist.

In 1972, Mandrell collaborated with David Houston for the duet album “A Perfect Match.” The album included the Top 6 country hits “After Closing Time” and “I Love You, I Love You,” and “Almost Persuaded,” a duet remake of Houston's hit from the late 60s. “A Perfect Match” rose to No. 38 on the Top Country Albums chart in 1972. In 1973, Mandrell experienced a big breakthrough with the release of “The Midnight Oil,” which reached No. 8 on the 1974 Top Country Albums chart and spawned the five Top 40 Country hit singles “Tonight My Baby's Coming Home” (#10), “Show Me” (#11), “Holdin' On (To the Love I Got)” (#27), “"Give a Little, Take a Little” (#24) and “The Midnight Oil” (#7). In 1974, she released “This Time I Almost Made It,” the fourth and last album under Columbia Records. The album rose to No. 41 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and produced the Top 40 hits “This Time I Almost Made It”(#12) and “Wonder When My Baby's Coming Home” (#39).

After leaving Columbia in 1975, Mandrell signed a contract with ABC/Dot Records and released a first album for the studio in 1976 called “This Is Barbara Mandrell,” which was produced by Tom Collins. It peaked at No. 26 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. The lead single, “Standing Room Only,” rose to No. 5 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks and the second single, “That's What Friends Are For,” rose to No. 16. Still in 1976, Mandrell released the album “Midnight Angel,” which reached the Top 30 (#26) on the Top Country Albums chart. In 1976, Mandrell received a Music City News Country award for Most Promising Female Artist of the Year.

Mandrell launched the albums “Lovers, Friends, & Strangers” (#26) and “Love's Ups & Downs” (#29) in 1977. The first album contained the No.3 hit singles “Married But Not to Each Other” and the Top 15 hit “Hold Me” (#12). The latter album spawned the crossover hit “Woman to Woman,” previously recorded by R&B/blues singer Shirley Brown in 1974, which rose to No. 4 on the Billboard country music chart and No. 92 on Billboard's Hot 100 as well as the Top 5 country hit “Tonight.” Mandrell, however, did not have a No. 1 country hit single until she released “Sleeping Single In a Double Bed” and “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right.” The latter song also peaked at No. 31 on Billboard's Hot 100 and No. 6 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks. Thanks to the popularity of the singles, “Moods” rose to No. 8 on the Top Country Albums chart and she won a 1978 Academy of Country Music for Top Female Vocalist and a 1978 Country Music Association for Female Vocalist of the Year.

In 1979, Mandrell released the very successful album “Just for the Record” on MCA Nashville, with Collins serving as producer. It reached No. 9 on the Top Country Albums chart in 1979 and No. 166 on the Billboard 200, which marked the singer's first album to peak on the Billboard 200. The lead single, “Fooled by a Feeling,” peaked at No. 4 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks and No. 89 on Billboard Hot 100. The second single, “Years,” became her third chart topper on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks, which rose to #38 on the Adult Contemporary charts. “Just for the Record” represented Mandrell's new crossover style. Also that year, Mandrell launched the compilation album “The Best of Barbara Mandrell,” which covered most of her biggest hits from the mid to late 1970s. It reached No. 13 on the Top Country Albums and No. 170 on Billboard 200 and was certified gold. She received a 1979 Music City News Country award in the category of Female Artist of the Year.

Mandrell gained even more success in the 1980s. “Love Is Fair” (1980), her first studio album of the decade, was a hit thanks to the popular singles “Crackers” (#3), “The Best of Strangers” (#6), “Love is Fair” (#13) and “Sometime, Somewhere, Somehow,” which reached No. 26 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. The album rose to No. 6 on the Top Country Albums chart and No. 175 on the Billboard 200. In 1980, she picked up an American Music for Favorite Country Single for the 1978 hit “Sleeping Single In a Double Bed,” a Country Music Association for Entertainer of the Year and an Academy of Country Music award for Entertainer of the Year.

Mandrell released her first live album, “Barbara Mandrell Live,” in 1980. The album, which peaked at No. 4 on the Top Country Albums charts and No. 86 on Billboard's 200, consisted of her signature song “I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool,” which topped the Hot Country Singles & Tracks in 1981, as well as the hit single “Wish You Were Here,” which reached No. 2 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks and No. 40 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. The album eventually received gold certification from RIAA, marking the second and last album to date that earned any certification by the RIAA in the United States. Throughout the year, she collected several awards, including Music City News Country awards in the categories of Female Artist of the Year, Comedian of the Year, and Instrumentalist of the Year, Country Music Association awards for Entertainer of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year, an American Music for Favorite Female Country Artist and an Academy of Country Music for Top Female Vocalist. The compilation album “Looking Back” was also released in 1981.

After “Barbara Mandrell Live,” Mandrell released the Top 10 albums “In Black and White” (1982, #7), “Spun Gold” (1983, #5) and “Clean Cut” (1984, #8). The first two albums also charted on the Billboard 200 at No. 153 and No. 140, respectively. Mandrell had a total of seven singles spawned from these three albums. “Till You're Gone” (1982) peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks and No. 25 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks, “Operator, Long Distance Please” (1982) peaked at No. 9 on both the Hot Country Singles & Tracks and the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks, “In Times Like These” (1983) peaked at No, 4 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks and “One of a Kind Pair of Fools” (1983) peaked at No. 1 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks. The last three singles, “Happy Birthday Dear Heartache,” “Only a Lonely Heart Knows” and “Crossword Puzzle,” (all 1984) reached No. 3, No. 2 and No. 11 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks, respectively.

Mandrell also released her own inspirational album, “He Set My Life to Music,” in 1982 and won her first Grammy award for Best Inspirational Performance for the title song “He Set My Life to Music.” She picked up her second Grammy Award in 1984 for Best Soul Gospel Duo Performance for the song “I'm So Glad We're Standing Here Today,” which she shared with Bobby Jones. She released her second duet album, “Meant for Each Other,” with Lee Greenwood, under MCA in 1984. The album peaked at No. 5 on the U.S. country chart and No. 89 on the Billboard 200. Besides her two Grammys, Mandrell also amassed several other impressive awards from 1982 to 1984

In September 1984, Mandrell was involved in a major car crash with two of her children. As a result, she suffered a head injury, a broken right ankle, a broken right leg, a damaged right knee and various cuts and additional injuries. She needed 18 months to fully recover. Mandrell later wrote about the experienced in her autobiography “Get to the Heart: My Story,” which was released in 1990.

In 1985, Mandrell resurfaced with the new album “Get to the Heart,” which reached No. 25 on the Country chart. It spawned hits with the singles “Angel in Your Arms” (#8), “Fast Lanes and Country Roads” (#4) and “When You Get to the Heart” (with The Oak Ridge Boys, #20). It was followed by “Moments” (#53) in 1986, “Sure Feels Good” (#24) in 1987 on EMI America, and “I'll Be Your Jukebox Tonight” (#35) in 1987 under Capitol. Her singles “No One Mends a Broken Heart Like You” (1986), “Child Support” (1987), “I Wish That I Could Fall in Love Today” and “My Train of Thought” (1989) rose to No. 6, 13, 5 and No. 19 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks, respectively and Mandrell won a 1985 Music City News Country for the Living Legend Award, a 1985 American Music for Favorite Female Country Artist and a 1987 American Music for Favorite Female Country Artist. In addition, she nabbed three consecutive People's Choice awards for Favorite All-Around Female Performer from 1985 to 1987 and an additional People's Choice award in 1985 for Favorite Female Musical Performer.

Mandrell did not record as many albums of new material during the 1990s. She released “Morning Sun” and “No Nonsense” (#72) in 1990 on Capitol and “Key's in the Mailbox” under Liberty in 1991. She did not release another new album until 1997's “It Works for Me” on DRD Records. None of the albums produced a subsequent country hit single for Mandrell. Mandrell also released a number of compilation & live albums, including “Greatest Country Hits” (1990), “The Best of Barbara Mandrell” (1992), “Entertainer of the Year” (1995), “In the Name of Love” (1995), “22 Legendary Hits” (1996), “Super Hits” (1997) and “The Barbara Mandrell Collection” (1999).

Perhaps because of the decline of her music career, Mandrell decided to retire from performing in 1998 in order to focus on an acting career. The star of the variety music series “Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters” (NBC, 1980-1982), from which she picked up a 1982 Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical. and the 1984 made for TV film “Burning Rage,” opposite Tom Wopat, could be seen as a guest in a string of TV series during the 1990s, including “Empty Nest” (1993), “The Commish” (1994), “Baywatch” (1997), “Diagnosis Murder” (1997), “Touched by an Angel” (1996 and 1998) and “The Love Boat: The Next Wave” (1998). She played Alex Mitchum in the NBC short running soap opera “Sunset Beach” from 1997 to 1998 and starred as Angela Fischer in the made for TV thriller movie “The Wrong Girl” (1999), opposite Jonathan Scarfe and Zoe McLellan. Her last roles on TV were those of Ruth Wagner in the TV film “Stolen from the Heart” and Nicole Foley in an episode of “Walker, Texas Ranger” (both 2000).

In the new millennium, Mandrell released the albums “20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Barbara Mandrell” (2000, MCA), “The Ultimate Collection” (2001) and “Back in the Saddle” (2005).

In 2006, Mandrell was nominated for a TV Land Award in the category of Favorite Singing Siblings for her work on “Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters.”


Awards:

  • Academy of Country Music: Triple Crown Award, 2005

  • Academy of Country Music: Pioneer Award, 2001

  • Woman of the World: Woman of the World Award (tied with Oprah Winfrey), 1992

  • TNN/Music City News: Minnie Pearl Award, 1991

  • People's Choice: All-Around Female Performer, 1987

  • American Music: Favorite Female Country Artist, 1987

  • People's Choice: All-Around Female Performer, 1986

  • People's Choice: Favorite All-Around Female Performer, and Favorite Female Musical Performer, 1985

  • American Music: Favorite Female Country Artist, 1985

  • Music City News Country: Living Legend Award, 1985

  • People's Choice: Favorite All-Around Female Musical Performer, 1984

  • American Music: Favorite Female Country Artist, 1984

  • Grammy: Best Soul Gospel Duo Performance, “I'm So Glad We're Standing Here Today” (with Bobby Jones), 1984

  • People's Choice: Favorite All-Around Female Performer, 1983

  • American Music: Favorite Female Country Artist, 1983

  • Grammy: Best Inspirational Performance, “He Set My Life to Music,” 1983

  • People's Choice: Favorite All-Around Female Performer, Favorite Female Personality, and Favorite Female Musical Performer, 1982

  • Music City News Country: Female Artist of the Year and Instrumentalist of the Year, 1982

  • Academy of Country Music: Top Female Vocalist, 1981

  • Country Music Association: Entertainer of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year, 1981

  • American Music: Favorite Female Country Artist, 1981

  • Music City News Country: Female Artist of the Year, Comedian of the Year, and Instrumentalist of the Year, 1981

  • Academy of Country Music: Entertainer of the Year, 1980

  • Country Music Association: Entertainer of the Year, 1980

  • American Music: Favorite Country Single, “Sleeping Single In a Double Bed,” 1980

  • Music City News Country: Female Artist of the Year, 1979

  • Country Music Association: Female Vocalist of the Year, 1978

  • Academy of Country Music: Top Female Vocalist, 1978

  • Music City News Country: Most Promising Female Artist of the Year, 1976

  • Academy of Country Music: Top New Female Vocalist, 1971

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