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Barbara Mandrell

Opry Member Since Year

Barbara Mandrell’s first visit to the Grand Ole Opry was a career-defining moment. She had been in country music for nine years, touring with the Mandrell Family Band, but had decided to take time off to enjoy her marriage to the band’s drummer, Ken Dudney. "I had never been to Nashville when we went to the Opry," she remembers. "We had front-row seats in the balcony and Dolly Parton was onstage at the moment I made that decision [to return to music]. I was watching her and thinking, 'I can do this stuff. I love this stuff.' I turned to my dad and said, 'Dad, if you will manage me, I want to get back into the country music business.' And he said, 'Well, okay, I’d bet my last penny on you.'""

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