Nashville, Tenn. – Barbara Mandrell was presented with the James D. Vaughn “Impact Award” on October 7 at the Southern Gospel Music Association (SGMA) Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Charlie Waller, executive director of SGMA, said of Mandrell: “Her impact on gospel music was far reaching. Mandrell persuaded the NBC executives to give her a chance to close ‘Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters’ television show with gospel music; it was a hit and 40 million viewers saw gospel music each week.” Past recipients of the award include; Bill Gaither, James Blackwood, Les Beasley, Bob Brumley, Mosie Lister, Paul Heil, Eva Mae LeFevre, J.G. Whitfield and Lari Goss. As part of the celebration, Barbara’s daughter-in-law, Christian music artist Christy Sutherland, performed “He Grew the Tree” from Mandrell’s gospel album He Set My Life to Music.
Known as the “Sweetheart of the Steel,” Mandrell was a multi-instrumentalist by the time she was 10. She was on tour with The Johnny Cash Show by age 13 and had her first Billboard chart record at age 21. Throughout her career she has earned over 75 major awards and this year, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and became the first woman to be inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.
Photo by Aaron Crisler/The Judy Nelon Group