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")
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.