Monday, January 08, 2007

Under the spell of the Sisters Mandrell...

...Come on, you know you watched it. Now it's out on DVD. Available TODAY people. It aired from 1980 to 1982 and featured Barbara, Louise and Irlene, often in matching, spangled costumes. There was also usually some kind of skit, sometimes involving puppets.
Barbara played 19 instruments or so, including the saxophone. Louise played the "fiddle," and Irlene played the drums. It was what we people over 30 know as a "variety show."
It got me to thinking, where are they now?

I know Barbara continued on with her singing career. She survived a car crash and Maureen McCormick (Marcia Brady) portrayed her in the TV movie of her life story. Remember, she was country when country wasn't cool. My grandmother went to see her at the Dane County Coliseum once and described her as being really slim and wearing black leather pants and a white blouse. Sadly, her official Web site says she gave her last performance in 1997. The site also notes she is slated to appear in the upcoming spring fashion issue of Harper's Bazaar and on the 700 Club. How's that for opposite ends of the spectrum?

So what about Louise, you ask? Well she's been performing in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (home of Dollywood, in case you didn't know). She had her own theater, even. Apparently hers was "the most attended show in the Smokies." I am not sure what the competition is, but I bet it's fierce. Her last show was in 2005.

And that brings us to Irlene ... not the most talented of the bunch. She skated by on her looks and ability to pretend to play the drums. She came out in 1983 with "Texercise," the first country-western exercise program, which included "The Thighs of Texas," "The Big Bend," and "The Saddle Bag Stomp." She is now the spokeswoman for a gun manufacturer. At least she shoots for charity now and then, too.

Thanks for reading -- this extremely random post has been knocking around for a few days. It might become an occasional series -- next up "Whatever happened to Dawn after the gig with Tony Orlando was up?"

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I have to admit: I have no idea who these people are!