THE BARBARA MANDRELL STORY by Charles Paul Conn

THE BARBARA MANDRELL STORY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A sort of fanzine bio that reads like a publicity release for country singer Mandrell. Conn, president of Lee College, is author of several inspirational books including A Faith to Keep, The Man from Galilee, and The Meaning of Marriage. The main impetus for this bio is the resurrection of Mandrell after a terrible car crash in 1984 that left the teen-age driver of the other car dead and the singer crippled with no memory at the age of 36. Even at that young age, she had accomplished much--many hit records (in her ""countrified"" blend of country and soul that has done a good deal to change the face of country music in the past two decades); a smash, two-year national TV show; a loving family; and a contract for a movie yet to be filmed at the time of the accident. As biographies go, however, this is about as thin as they get. The first half of Mandrell's life garners about five pages (in which the most fetching scene shows her father quizzing her elementary school teacher to see whether her ""A"" in music was accompanied by enough math: ""All I ever expected was for her to learn music, figure percentages, and count money""). We learn here, too, that Mandrell came within a hairbreadth of being on the ill-fated plane that took star singer Patsy Cline's life. But the rest of the book--a patchwork of chapters on Mandrell's fans, family, and future--is marred by the author's gee-whiz attitude (""The relentless singer forged on""; ""Just an old-fashioned girl""; ""She was in a tough spot, a place she had never been before""; etc.). Neither inspiring nor particularly informative, this book could leave even die-hard Mandrell fans cold.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 1988
Publisher: Putnam