She Was Country, When Country Wasn’t Cool


BNA Records has announced an October 17, 2006 release of the tribute album to country music legend Barbara
Mandrell. “She was Country When Country Wasn’t
Cool”.  (

I think the album was recorded some time ago, and is being released now.  Contributers to the album include:  Willie Nelson, Reba McEntire, Kenny Chesney, Terri Clark, LeAnn Rimes, Brad Paisley, Gretchen Wilson, Sara Evans, Willie Nelson, Shelby Lynne, Lorrie Morgan, Dierks Bentley, Alabama’s Randy Owen, gospel star Cece Winans and newcomer Blaine Larson.  Mandrell, who retired in 1997 after 38 years as an entertainer, did not sing on the album, although she did go to the studio when it was being recorded.   She is retired, she says, and “I gave my best, and now I’m giving my best at home.  I am enjoying being a wife and a mother.  My life is very, very good.”

She is also taping an accompanying special for the Great American Country TV network that airs Oct. 15, and is co-hosting the “Broadway Meets Country” benefit concert with Broadway star Jane Krakowski on Oct. 30.

Mandrell first hit the charts in 1969 with the Otis Redding and Jerry Butler song, “I’ve Been Loving You too Long (to Stop Now).” She went on to record more than 50 Top-40 country hits, including “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed,” “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want to be Right” and “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.”

At her peak, she had a variety show on NBC with her sisters Louise and Irlene in the early 1980s and won the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award in 1980 and 1981.

Her last professional performance was Oct. 23, 1997. Shortly after, she sold all her musical instruments except for her steel guitar, which is in the Country Music Hall of Fame, and a Dobro with an inscription from her parents on it.

Mandrell was born in Houston and raised in Oceanside, California.

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