After CLC’s brilliant, satirical offering of today, I’m a little paranoid to write about yet another country star I’ve had moments with. But, still, I must talk about another one today cause I just saw her on tv and it got my head all a’spinning. Plus, I just may be dining with her tomorrow night.
Let’s talk about Barbara Mandrell, shall we?
Y’know…she’s quite deserving of the tribute album. Vocally, Patsy Cline she was not, however, she cut some good songs. I’m partial to The Midnight Oil. It’s a nawtee, nawtee cheatin’ song of which makes country music great. I dig me some Treat Him Right, too. She did some good ballads and she did a helluva job convincing us she was a great musician, a great dancer…I think we should hang her up and shoot her for making us have to deal with Louise’s horrendous fiddling…She had a good variety show…she was cute as a dang button…
Something that happened to her after her 1984 wreck though, was the Bullshitting Ability was totally lost. She was so convincing before, but, boy, after that wreck, she couldn’t fake it no more. I mean, you see her now and it’s almost like she’s been taking lessons from Naomi Judd, bless her heart.
She had that wreck in September of 1984. My mother had a very similar car accident exactly a month later. It was the same type of situation…the other car crossed the center line, smashed into my mother, killed the driver and laid ol’ Barb (my mother is Barbara, too) for a good while. Luckily for our Barbara, she didn’t have the head injuries Babs Mandrell had. They did, however, have the same doctors at Baptist Hospital. (Groovy!)
A couple weeks after Mom came home from the hospital, they had to take her back cause of blood clots or something. An ambulance had to come get her cause she had screwed up legs and stuff. It was the most surreal experience now looking back at it. At the time, it was as normal as going to Wal Mart but I swear to you this is the story and it is true.
Mom’s friend Goldie Hill Smith had come to sit with her that day and to provide comic relief. (Goldie coulda been a great comedienne had she not been the first Country Music Babe). Goldie was still smoking then and she goes to light up a ciggarette, but, lit the wrong end. (I promise this relates to Barbara. Hang wid me) Goldie was so funny, she even made lighting a cigarette the wrong way hysterical. When I was a smoker and anytime that happened to me, it never failed it made me think of her.
So, Goldie lit the ciggarette wrong while the ambulance guys were hauling Mimi/Barbara/Mom/Bobbie into their rig. At this same time, I was drinking Coke out of a glass with ice and I was chewing on the ice and the ambulance guy told me to stop chewing the ice cause he couldn’t stand it. (WTF?)
So, I’ve got my mother on a stretcher, Goldie lighting ciggarettes wrong, a bitchy ambulance guy scolding me and then the phone had the audacity to ring. I was 15 at this time….not that that has any relevance, but, that’s how old I was…I answer the phone and it’s Babsy Mandrell herself! Poor Barb M. had been all in the news about her wreck and here she is on the phone calling to see about Mom. I remember she said something about how she was praying for her and it was very nice. (The Sista connection here was the same orthopedic doctors and California days with the Biffer.)
It wasn’t until 15 years later when Barbara wrote her book that I realized there is no way in hell she’d remember that phone conversation today because according to the book, she was still wacked outta her mind from her "head" injury. Still, it provided me a hilarious moment.
The Tribute Album is good. I didn’t think they were putting The Midnight Oil on it at first, but, they did. Gretchen "I Don’t Use A Trainer, But, Still Have Flat Abs" Wilson did it and it was ok. Sara Evans does Crackers and its my favorite thing on the whole recording. I could really have lived the rest of my life without hearing Reba and Kenny Chesney do I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool though. It’s just wrong.
They did a thing on the Opry tonight about Barbara is what made me think of her. I had a better story to tell about the Smiff’s Official Family Fun Togetherness Day, but, it will wait til tomorrow.