Sept. 11, 2009 — Barbara Mandrell spent years tending to her career, and that investment reached its full bloom in May when she took her place in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Now Barbara's sprouting new roots in other ground-breaking ways: She'll take part in the dedication of a Garden to the Stars in Nashville, and she's been named the first female member of the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame.
Barbara and Lynn Anderson will be celebrity hosts on Sept. 29 when the Nashville Music Garden is officially dedicated in Music City across from the Hall of Fame and Museum. It's the first garden to pay homage to entertainers with flowers that bear their names. The ceremony is expected to draw former Alabama guitarist Jeff Cook, Marty Raybon, Donna Fargo, Steve Holy, Ralph Emery and Patti Page, among others.
"I feel truly blessed to be part of the Nashville Music Garden," Barbara says. "The garden will both add to the beautification of Music City as well honor Nashville's best. It is so wonderful to see all of this hard work come into bloom."
Last Saturday, she took her place in the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame during a ceremony in St. Louis. Barbara learned the instrument in her pre-teen years, taught by Merle Haggard musician Norm Hamlet. It got her on the road within just a few years with the Johnny Cash show, where she shared a room with Patsy Cline. Even after she became a headliner, Barbara put her steel work to use, often playing it along with six other instruments on a single song during her performances.