Three Cheers for Barbara Mandrell

So, Barbara Mandrell is going into the Country Music Hall of Fame this weekend.  And, I have to tell you, I’m feeling strangely emotional about it, considering that I don’t know Barbara Mandrell nor do I have any personal ties to her.

I do remember her from when I was a kid, though, because she had her tv show and she was one of the only women I remember the men around me could not talk about only in terms of how pretty she was (though, she is indeed beautiful).  She was so damn talented that it always came up in conversations about her, because she could do it all–she sang, she played instruments, she danced, she had the tv show with her sisters.

And she had the respect of the men I knew.  I mean, I can remember overhearing a farmer after church talking about did his friend know that Barbara Mandrell was a genius?

Was there anything that Barbara Mandrell couldn’t do if she set her mind to it?

To my grade school way of thinking, it sure didn’t seem like it.

If there’s one word you never hear thrown out in a positive way in country music, it’s feminism.  You have all these women who want to be famous and powerful and the speed with which they backtrack from being identified as feminist could, if harnessed, power the Southeast (in a way that would be so fitting I about can’t stand it).  So, I’m not going to call her a feminist.

And you really couldn’t call Barbara Mandrell a role model, because I firmly believe no one is like her.  She is unique.  She’s not modeling anything for the rest of us.  Where she is, you’re never going to be.

But I felt, as a fan and as a girl, like I was one of a vast group of people holding onto the edges of a blanket.  And what Mandrell could do when tossed up in the air was some stuff we were never going to see again.  And I could take great joy in watching that.  And I took and take great joy in the up and down motion of my own arms.

It’s corny, but I’m proud to see Barbara Mandrell going into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  She deserves it and it feels right.

Watch this and watch a woman taking delight in her own talent.  It’s extraordinary.

9 thoughts on “Three Cheers for Barbara Mandrell

  1. I always thought Barbara Mandrell was a prime candidate for a Kleenex sponsorship. Every time I went to one of her press conferences she was crying her eyes out over something.

  2. I couldn’t swear to it, but I’m pretty sure that Jeannie Sealy would not reject being called a feminist. Barbara Mandrell … eh, I don’t know.

  3. Barbara is most deserving of this honor. And, now that I know she was in the 1975 and after group, she deserved to bein the HOF before George Strait and Vince Gill. And,I bet both of them would agree with me.

  4. Glad her dad was able to see her make it to the HOF before his passing in March. Sisters Louise & Irlene are jsut a proud.

  5. Three great artists are finally hall of famers.. This is a great news.. For new artists, I bet this would serve as an inspiration for them.. An inspiration for all of us.. In the end, we will always be rewarded with our efforts.. Congratulations..

  6. Just to clarify a point. Barbara Mandrell is not a feminist. She said this years and years ago. And, she has not changed.

    I, too, am so happy her father was able to learn about her induction and share in the initial announcement of her selection. And, I agree that her entire family is so happy for her. I do resent people who keep mentioned her sisters when the topic is Barbara, though. Louise and Irlene are not Barbara and they were not an act other than what they did on the TV show. When the show ended, Louise and Barbara chose to pursue separate careers, something which Barbara had a head start on way before her TV show. Barbara is the giant in this family and her sisters would agree. She opened doors for her sisters and both of them have been able to have the success they have because of Barbara. There is nothing wrong with this. But, I do resent it when some people try to extend the greatness Barbara achieved to her sisters. Barbara is Barbara and she stands alone.

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