This day in 1972, Barbara Mandrell became a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
She gave her last concert at the Grand Ole Opry House on October 23, 1997. She then retired from performing music. Mandrell was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009. Although retired, Mandrell is still a member of the Grand Ole Opry; an honor she has held since 1972.
Mandrell was the first performer to win the Country Music Association’s “Entertainer of the Year” award twice (1980, 1981). She also won the Country Music Association’s “Female Vocalist of the Year” in 1979 and 1981.
Mandrell’s first Billboard number-one 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 one. 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 one between 1981 and 1983, a period during which Mandrell also received numerous industry awards and accolades.