18. She was managed by her father for 40 years
Barbara was managed by her World War II veteran father for nearly four decades. In fact, it was Irby Mandrell who helped her secure a deal with Columbia Records way back in 1969. Sadly, he passed away in 2009, just days before Barbara’s induction at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
17. She released a groundbreaking single
Mandrell scored the highest-charting single of her Columbia period in 1973 with “The Midnight Oil.” The track not only reached number seven on the U.S. country chart, it was also hailed as a groundbreaker. The song is widely regarded as the first ever to be performed from the perspective of a cheating woman.
16. Her record company initially wanted to drop her
Of course, Mandrell was anything but an overnight success. Indeed, Columbia Records executives were so unimpressed by her early sales figures that they continually asked her regular producer Billy Sherrill why he kept her on the label. Mandrell eventually achieved her major breakthrough when she moved to the ABC/Dot label in 1975.