Barbara Mandrell to be honored by the Grand Ole Opry, July 30

by Preshias Harris / 581 days ago / Comments

Celebrating 50th anniversary as Opry member with two shows

Mandrell. Just that one word, that one name, sums up visions and sounds of an entire era of music. Barbara, Irlene and Louise Mandrell were arguably the most famous sister act in country music and went mainstream with their nationally-broadcast television show, Barbara Mandrell & the Mandrell Sisters, on NBC in the early 1980s.

All three siblings were talented entertainers, but Barbara was clearly the driving force who was already a seasoned performer long before the launch of the TV show. She played accordion at the age of five and was a multi-instrumentalist in her pre-teens. Her skill with a steel guitar brought Barbara to the attention of Joe Maphis who invited her to be a featured performer in his Las Vegas nightclub show by the age of thirteen. She was soon being featured in television shows such as Five Star Jubilee and Town Hall Party

With the guidance of her father Irby Mandrell, Barbara signed with the major label Columbia Records in 1969 and began releasing a string of charting country singles, beginning with her Billy Sherrill-produced version of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)” penned by Otis Redding and Jerry Butler. Dozens of hit albums were to follow along with the glittering weekly TV show with her sisters.

And now, the Grand Ole Opry will celebrate Barbara Mandrell on her 50th Anniversary as a member of the Opry family with two shows Saturday, July 30. Opry member Carrie Underwood, who has lauded Mandrell as one of her musical and professional inspirations, is scheduled to perform and help honor the music legend who will be in attendance at both shows and more artists will be announced soon.

If you are unable to attend either show in person, A one-hour portion of the night’s first show will air live as Opry Live on Circle Television and will livestream via Circle’s social channels, while both shows will air in their entirety on WSM Radio,,  and SiriusXM’s Willie’s Roadhouse channel.  

Barbara Mandrell, a Country Music Hall of Fame member, three-time ACM/CMA Entertainer and four-time ACM/CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry on July 29, 1972.

Meanwhile you can pick up some Mandrell merch: In honor of Mandrell’s golden Opry anniversary, a special commissioned Hatch show print will be available in the Opry shop and online here.  Additionally, the exclusive merchandise line that Mandrell, in partnership with the Opry, launched last year in celebration of the 40th anniversary of her signature hit - and one of country music’s most iconic classics - “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” will again be available exclusively online at and in the Opry gift shop in Nashville, TN. The collection includes “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” branded t-shirts, Hatch poster, coffee mug and more.

Barbara Mandrell’s final performance took place on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House in 1997. “It was a television special that we called The Last Dance,” she remembers. “I chose that venue because it felt like my home.”

More about Barbara at her website, on Facebook and on Instagram (@barbaramandrellmusic) 


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About Preshias Harris

Preshias Harris Journalist

Preshias Harris is a music journalist who has interviewed everyone from Alabama to ZZ Top for articles and stories published in numerous music magazines. She is the author of longest-running monthly country music column in America and authored The College of Songology™ 101: The Singer/Songwriter’s ‘Need To Know’ Reference Handbook. As a music career development consultant with special emphasis on emerging and aspiring artists and songwriters, she focuses on ‘chasing the dream’ while understanding the realities of the music industry. She maintains a writers’ room on Music Row – named The Sangtuary – for her clients and their co-writers. She is a member of ASCAP (as a publisher), BMI, The Country Music Association (CMA), The Recording Academy, The National Association of Talent Directors (NATD) and a life member of Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI).

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