1924 – March 5, 2009
Irby Mandrell was the patriarch of the Mandrell family, making him the father of popular country singers, Barbara Mandrell, Irlene Mandrell, and Louise Mandrell. With a background in music himself, Irby and his wife taught all of their daughters from an early age to appreciate music. Oldest child, Barbara learned to play multiple instruments as a young child thanks to the tutelage of Irby, who owned a musical instrument shop at the time. By the time she was 11 Barbara landed her first gig. And from those early days on, Irby managed her successful career as one of country music’s first ladies. Their business partnership lasted the better part of three decades. On March 5, 2009, Irby Mandrell died following a stroke. He was 84.