On this day in 1972, Barbara Mandrell became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Mandrell is known for a long series of country hits in the 1970s and 1980s as well as her own prime-time variety TV show on NBC that helped her become one of country’s most successful female vocalists of that period. She gave her last concert at the Grand Ole Opry House on October 23, 1997, and subsequently retired from performing music. Mandrell was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009. Mandrell was also inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2016. Although retired, Mandrell is still a member of the Grand Ole Opry; an honor she has held since 1972.
Mandrell has won two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, four Academy of Country Music Awards and four Country Music Association Awards. She was the first performer to win the Country Music Association Award for Entertainer of the Year twice (1980, 1981), having also won the Academy of Country Music Award for Entertainer of the Year in 1980.
Mandrell’s first Billboard number-1 hit was 1978’s “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed”, immediately followed by “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right” in early 1979. In 1980, “Years” also reached number 1. She added one more chart topper in each of the next three years. “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” (her signature song), then “‘Till You’re Gone” and “One of a Kind Pair of Fools”, all hit number 1 between 1981 and 1983, a period during which Mandrell also received numerous industry awards and accolades.