Barbara Mandrell wasn’t yet 27 years old, but she had already spent a lifetime in music when she signed to ABC/Dot Records in 1975. The Houston native was born into a musical family, and was playing accordion by the age of five. By ten, the precocious talent had mastered the steel guitar, and one year later, she began appearing on the famed Town Hall Party television show. Throughout high school, she entertained military audiences as a member of The Mandrell Family. A subsequent, impromptu appearance on a Nashville club stage garnered the attention of producers Billy Sherrill and Glenn Sutton. In 1969, they signed her to Columbia Records, and three years later, she joined the Grand Ole Opry. At Columbia, Mandrell notched 25 Country hits (including eight Top 10 entries), but she hit her stride – often crossing over to Pop and Adult Contemporary – at ABC/Dot and its successor, MCA. She remained with MCA until 1986, scoring six Country chart-toppers. Now, she is revisiting that period and her remarkable legacy with After All These Years: A Collection, a new vinyl anthology due on July 10 at Cracker Barrel stores nationwide and online.
Mandrell helped curate After All These Years which opens with “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed.” The Kye Fleming/Dennis Morgan song became her first No. 1 in November 1978. While the original hit version appears on the LP, Universal has just released a dance remix by Dave Audé (Bruno Mars, Rihanna) as an appetizer for the collection. All six of Barbara’s No. 1s are on the collection, also including “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want to Be Right,” “Years,” “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool,” “Till You’re Gone,” and “One of a Kind Pair of Fools.” Other top five favorites such as “Standing Room Only,” “Woman to Woman,” and “Married But Not to Each Other” are also featured. Every song on this set was released as a single and recorded by Mandrell under the aegis of her longtime collaborator, producer Tom Collins.
Barbara retired from music in 1997, and After All These Years is her first vinyl release in years. “When I listen to the songs that were selected from different albums I recorded, I think about those of you that I recorded them for and those of you that are hearing them for the first time,” she comments in the press release. “The greatest desire of my heart was to be an entertainer. My Heavenly Father — and you — gave me my 38-year career in show business. I’m deeply grateful and I hope that these selections from some of my albums entertain you.”
This vinyl retrospective will be released in Cracker Barrel stores on July 10. It’s also available for order online directly from Mandrell’s new shop. (No CD has been announced.) You’ll find the track listing and pre-order links below! It’s also been reported in various outlets that Barbara’s ABC/Dot/MCA albums discography will soon be arriving on download and streaming services to coincide with this release. Stay tuned for more news!
- Sleeping Single in a Double Bed (ABC single AB-12403, 1978)
- Standing Room Only (ABC/Dot single DOA-17601, 1975)
- In Times Like These (MCA single MCA-52206, 1983)
- Married But Not to Each Other (ABC/Dot single DO-17688, 1977)
- Wish You Were Here (MCA single MCA-51171, 1981)
- Crackers (MCA single MCA-41263, 1980)
- If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want to Be Right) (ABC single AB-12451, 1979)
- I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool (MCA single MCA-51107, 1981)
- Woman to Woman (ABC/Dot single DO-17736, 1977)
- Till You’re Gone (MCA single MCA-52038, 1982)
- One of a Kind Pair of Fools (MCA single MCA-52258, 1983)
- Happy Birthday Dear Heartache (MCA single MCA-52340, 1984)
- Fast Lanes and Country Roads (MCA single MCA-52737, 1985)
- Years (MCA single MCA-41162, 1979)