Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Barbara Mandrell

On Christmas day, I find myself reminiscing about one of the greatest entertainers ever - Barbara Mandrell.  Today is her birthday.  She personifies grace, beauty and talent.  How difficult it must have been to be a woman (let alone a tiny woman) in a man's business.

When I was an on-air PD at WEEP (then WDSY's sister station) in Pittsburgh in the 80's - Barbara surprised our station with a visit.  I was on the air.  She entered the lobby.  Unbeknown to me, I started playing one of her songs (I think it was "Woman to Woman")
- and talked about how she had really come into her own - and how her career was blossoming.  She heard every word I said over the lobby speaker.  Once the on air light went off, Barbara burst into the studio, sat on my lap and finished the show with me.  Barry Mardit was there too.

A luncheon was held in her honor that day - and she insisted that I sit next to her.  From that day on, I was a lifetime fan.  I was sad when she retired in 1997 - but not before winning countless awards, hosting a successful network TV show and entertaining millions.  She never carried the bitterness that some performers have when the next generation surpasses their popularity.  Barbara left us wanting more - as it should be.

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