Bluesbunny has always had a certain fondness for Barbara Mandrell. In our formative years, the Bluesbunny was greatly affected by late night viewing of her television show. She could sing, she could dance, she had big hair and she could play the banjo. Pretty much all you could want from a woman.
Getting back to the music (and besides covering Frankie Miller's "Darlin'" and thus giving us a bit of Glasgow interest), she had a bit of track record for taking the soul into country and her cover of Luther Ingram's "If Loving You Is Wrong" was actually an American country chart number one. Whilst hushed backing vocals and the leaden disco drums weigh heavily on the song, there is no doubt that the lady could carry a tune. Much as things are in Nashville land today, it seems altogether more AOR than country.
There are another couple of songs to be found on the flipside. "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed" (ooh err missus…). She misses her man and wants to let him know. The production is slick and you can't help but sing along. Keeping it company is a live version of her signature tune - if memory serves, she had a live album out at the time - "I Was Country when Country wasn't Cool". Even though it is live, it is slicker than Teflon. Oddly enough, this song isn't really country either. Name checking George Jones and throwing in a bit of pedal steel doesn't take it out of that solid middle of the road territory. It's all wholesome however and it even manages to squeeze in a bit about freedom of choice into the lyrics just so any godless communists get the message.
Since her television show was mentioned at the start of this review, we have to mention her sister Irlene. The three Mandrell sisters were often on the show together, you see. Never really noticed Irlene at the time but a cursory bit of research on the Internet thingy determined that she is now a spokesperson for Smith & Wesson, a member if the NRA and a crack shot. Taking a look at her website left me both aroused and scared…