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    Barbara Mandrell Returning to the Opry for its 50th anniversary!!

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    The Grand Ole Opry still seems like home to Barbara Mandrell, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame who retired from music two decades ago.

    Grammy-winning and Country Music Hall of Famer Barbara Mandrell ended her musical career more than 20 years ago, but she still considers the Grand Ole Opry her home.

     

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    On Saturday night at the Opry, Mandrell, 73, made a rare public appearance to commemorate her 50 years as an Opry member.

    Before the venerable radio and television broadcast, Mandrell told The Associated Press in a backstage interview at the Opry House, “Here we are at home again.” “50 years. Not everyone receives that favour.

    Mandrell, who was reared in California but was born in Texas, had just turned 23 years old when she joined in July 1972. But by the time she arrived in Nashville, she had already gained experience as a performer, having spent her adolescent years playing steel guitar and routinely performing on the California-based country TV program “Town Hall Party.”

    Over the course of her long career, the actor, musician, and singer introduced country music to millions of fans in the 1970s and 1980s through hits like “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,” as well as her well-liked TV show “Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters.”

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    She crossed over with R&B covers and introduced glitz and showmanship to the genre, becoming the first country performer to win consecutive entertainer of the year awards from the Country Music Association. Whether she was singing to the rafters or playing pedal steel, the banjo, or the saxophone, her performances were a showcase of her musical ability.

    It is known as show business. You must demonstrate something to them, Mandrell stated. “Instead, people may stay in their homes and watch your videos or listen to you on the radio. You have to offer them something to amuse themselves.

    Mandrell and her sisters Louise and Irlene harnessed the influence of television to introduce gospel and country music to new audiences. Musicians from the R&B, pop, and country genres were among her musical guests.

    Mandrell recalled how many people would comment, “I never listened to country music, but now, boy, I’m watching every Saturday night and I love it.”

    Mandrell was still a champion of country music on this particular Saturday night. Prior to the performance, Mandrell gave Carrie Underwood a hug and introduced the band members while watching Underwood perform “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” during her soundcheck.

    Mandrell’s voice was constantly present when Underwood was a child, she claimed.

    Underwood addressed the Opry audience, saying, “She has been such an inspiration to me and so many others that stand on the shoulders of great female singers like her.”

    Mandrell joyfully cheered the all-female artist lineup at the Opry show as they played her hits, including CeCe Winans, Linda Davis, and Suzy Bogguss.

    “I already feel like the world is my oyster. I am very grateful and thrilled because I am such a tremendous fan of these ladies,” Mandrell remarked.

    Mandrell greeted and kissed her fans while they took pictures of her from her spot in the middle of the audience.

    Since she retired in 1997, Mandrell hasn’t performed any music or sung anywhere else besides church. Barbara Mandrell and the Do-Rites: The Last Dance, a TV special about her final performance, was filmed at the Opry House.

    A further farewell was given by Mandrell from the same Opry stage 25 years later while neatly attired in a hot pink jumpsuit and flanked on stage by 50 dozen lavender-colored roses purchased by her followers.

    Mandrell stated, “I choose my home to do my final performance on and it was this one.” Before leaving the stage and disappearing into the darkness, she wished her followers “God bless you.”

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