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A Morty DVD Review:
"Barbara Mandrell
and the
Mandrell Sisters Show"

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In Association with Amazon.com

Title:  "Best of Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters Show"
Release Date: January 9, 2007
2 Disc Set
Buy From: amazon.com at Morty's Mall  Time/Life
SRP:  $29.99

About:  One of the best things about Saturday nights in 1980 was tuning in to watch "Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters" on NBC.  The show was huge,  with 40 million viewer at it's peak (almost twice the number of viewers Seinfeld had at it's peak).  By the mid-1970's Barbara Mandrell was quickly becoming a recording super-star with hits like:  "Do Right Woman Do Right Man,"  "Sleeping Single in a Double Bed," "If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don't Wanna Be Right)," "Years," "Fooled By A Feeling" and the disco-oriented hit called "Crackers."  In 1981 she had another big hit in called "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool."  That title became her theme, because she really was country when country wasn't cool,  and her music transcended the country music charts and was making it's mark in the pop top 40 charts.

 
Weekly regulars on the show were Truck Shackley and the Texas Critters,  her Kroft Puppets entourage.   

 "Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters" debuted Tuesday, November 18th 1980 at 10:00PM.  Barbara and her sisters, Louise and Irlene combined a warm down-home humor with flashy Las Vegas style costumes, dance sequences, cheesy sets, and pop-flavored music.  The show featured all the big country stars of the era, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride,  Ray Stevens,  Brenda Lee,  Paul Williams,  Ray Charles,  Tom Jones,  and Lynn Anderson. Weekly regulars on the show were Truck Shackley and the Texas Critters,  her Kroft Puppets entourage. 

This show was nominated for several awards, including multiple Emmys, a Golden Globe and it won several Music City News Awards.  Barbara would show off her musical ability and play up to 9 instruments.

The DVDs:  First, remember these are not full episodes, this is a "Best of" set,  with material from six episodes. Time/Life says the collection includes 65 songs, I didn't count,  I'll take their word.  Highlights are: Barbara Mandrell: Sleeping Single in a Double Bed * Dolly Parton: 9 to 5 * Johnny Cash: I Walk the Line * The Mandrell Sisters: Dueling Banjos * Roy Rogers and Dale Evans: Happy Trails * Marty Robbins: El Paso.  Includes performances from legendary artists like:  Alabama,  Kenny Rogers,  John Schneider,  Bob Hope, Glen Campbell,  Ray Charles,  The Statler Brothers, Charlie Daniels Band,  Ray Stevens,  B.J. Thomas and more.

MUSICAL PERFORMANCES

DISC ONE:
1. "Lady" John Schneider
2. "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Donšt Want To Be Right"  Barbara Mandrell
3. "Nine to Five" Dolly Parton
4-5. Medley:  "His Eye Is On The Sparrow"/ "Gone At Last" Dolly Parton, John Schneider, the Mandrells
6. "Three Times A Lady"  Kenny Rogers
7-9. Patsy Cline Medley:  "Crazy"/ "I Fall To Pieces"/"Always" Barbara & Louise Mandrell
10."The Best Of Strangers"   Barbara Mandrell
11."I Wish That I Could Hurt That Way Again"  Kenny Rogers
12. "Old Time Feelin'"  Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
13. "Oh Susannah"   June Carter Cash & Barbara Mandrell
14. "I Walk The Line"  Johnny Cash
15-19. Medley: "In The Garden" /"The Faith That Comes From You" / "The Fourth Man" / "Diamond In The Rough" / "Will The Circle Be Unbroken"  Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash & the Mandrells

DISC TWO
1. "Buttons And Bows"  Bob Hope & Barbara Mandrell
2-4. Medley: "St. Louis Blues" / "Beer Barrel Polka" / "Dueling Banjo"  The Mandrells
5. "Sleeping Single In A Double Bed"  Barbara Mandrell
6-8. Medley: "Tonight Carmen" / "Cool Water" / "El Paso"   Marty Robbins and Barbara & Louise Mandrell
9. "Old Flame"  Alabama
10. "Bonapartešs Retreat"  Glen Campbell & Barbara Mandrell
11. "Standing Room Only"  Barbara Mandrell
12-15. Medley: "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" / "Me And Jesus" /  "Have A Little Faith" / "Power In The Blood"  Alabama, Glen Campbell & the Mandrells
16. "You Donšt Know Me" Ray Charles
17-20. Medley: "Ridinš The Frets" / "Nine Pound Hammer" / "Johnsonšs Old Gray Mule" / "Uncle Joešs Boogie"  Norm Hamlet, Merle Travis, Gordon Terry, Joe Maphis, Barbara Mandrell
21-25. Medley:  "Help Me" / "You Light Up My Life" / "You Make Me Happy" / "Old Time Religion" / "Do Lord"  Ray Charles, Sylvia and the Mandrells

Over 4 hours of entertainment!

Overall:  I really enjoyed this series, and the DVDs are pretty good. Not much from the 80's holds up well, e.i. clothes and hair styles, and at times the show comes off as gaudy and at other times corny. Country music isn't as cool as Barbara made it two decades ago. Still, when you watch these shows you're transported back to a simpler time,  so just enjoy it  and don't worry why the puppets are so big.   This is a pretty average Time/Life DVD set - it's good, but not great. Includes a "play all" feature, and a chapter after the opening credits,  needs some bonus material.










 

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