Country great Barbara Mandrell is being honored by the Grand Ole Opry with an exclusive new merchandise line in celebration of her signature hit, the 1981 chart-topper with George Jones, “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.”
The collection available via the famous country institution includes “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” branded T-shirts, Hatch Show Print posters from Nashville’s famous print shop, coffee mugs and more.
The glittering career of the Houston-born star, now retired, included 20 years of country hits including five No.1s, the others being 1978’s “Sleeping Single In A Double Bed,” her 1979 remake of Luther Ingram’s “If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want To Be Right),” her cover of Wayne Newton’s “Years” which hit the summit early in 1980, 1982’s “Till You Were Gone,” and “One Of A Kind Pair Of Fools” in 1983.
Voted Entertainer of the Year twice by the Country Music Association and once by the Academy of Country Music, and twice as Female Vocalist of the Year by both organizations, Mandrell has a close relationship with the Grand Ole Opry. She was inducted as a member in July 1972, and gave her final performance there in 1997. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 1997.
“The Opry has always felt like a second home to me,” says Mandrell in a statement to launch the new merchandise line. “My love for that historic stage is why I chose it as the location for my final performance. I simply had to step in the circle one last time. I am blessed to have recorded this song, honored that country fans are still listening to it and thrilled to celebrate 40 years of ‘being country, when country wasn’t cool’ with the Grand Ole Opry.”
Listen to the best of Barbara Mandrell on Spotify.