Barbara Mandrell sings “Married But Not to Each Other”

Barbara Mandrell was born on December 25, 1948 in Houston, TX–perhaps she was a Christmas gift that Nashville needed as she grew up to be one of country music’s greatest performers. Mandrell’s musical talents were discovered by Chet Atkins when she was a teenager at a music trade convention in Chicago, IL where Barbara was showing off her skills as a steel guitarist. While known for her excellence on the steel guitar, Barbara was also fluent on accordian, bass, banjo, guitar, saxophone, resonator, and mandolin. Her musical versatility paired with her amazing vocal abilities made her a stand-out artist in the 1970s and lead her to several record deals over the years. These labels included Columbia, ABC/Dot, MCA, and Capitol.
Shortly after, her music career accelerated when she was hired as a featured performer at a Las Vegas nightclub show which was followed by tours with Red Foley, Tex Ritter, and Johnny Cash. Following these tours, Mandrell made her first network television debut on the NBC-TV series Five Star Jubilee in 1961. Barbara Mandrell’s first Billboard number-one hit was 1978’s “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed,” which was followed by “(If Loving You is Wrong) I Don’t Wanna Be Right,” and a number-one hit each year for three consecutive years following.
During her career she won 6 consecutive People’s Choice Awards for favorite all-around entertainer from 1982-87 and was the first performer to win Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award two years in a row. Mandrell also achieved two Grammy awards, one in 1982 and the other 1983.
Barbara Mandrell held her final concert at the Grand Ole Opry House on October 23, 1997. Following the concert, she retired from performing music. Mandrell was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009 and while she is retired, she is still a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
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